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Google debuts Open Handset Alliance

updated 11:25 am EST, Mon November 5, 2007

Google Mobile Official

Google today announced its long-awaited initiative for mobile phones, aiming to overturn the traditionally closed approach to cellphone software design. Now called the Open Handset Alliance, the push will see 34 different companies working together to create an open-source software platform that takes away licensing fees while adding the ability to easily modify code for new devices or features. Handset makers HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung have all pledged to implement the software as part of the group; the Alliance also includes key cellular carriers such as Sprint and T-Mobile in the US, Europe's Telefonica, and Japan's KDDI and NTT DoCoMo. Several component makers including Broadcom, Intel, and Qualcomm are also onboard, Google says.

The platform itself, nicknamed "Android," will be Linux-based and will include several of Google's mobile services; unlike other mobile operating systems, however, the OS will not be branded or charge users for each program. The Mountain View, California-based company will instead collect revenues from ads that appear on Android phones.

A software development kit (SDK) for programmers interested in writing programs for Open Handset Alliance phones will be available within a week and should give programmers an early start on writing interfaces and applications. This already includes support for touchscreens, GPS, and other hardware features, and can merge information from Google apps with other utilities; a social networking tool can use Google Maps to locate nearby friends, as an example. Phones shipping with the technology are expected in the second half of 2008 but have not been mentioned by name.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. telem

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 1999


    the iPhone

    So what does this mean to Apple and the iPhone??

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000


    Ads on my cell phone?

    Ah, no thank you.

  1. Gamoe

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Sep 2000



    Where on the site ( is the ads-model mentioned??

  1. growlf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    We'll see.

    On the surface, it appears noble, but I'm not even remotely convinced about the end result.

    Since the individual product implementation will be left up to the handset manufacturers, I'm waaaay skeptical. It seems to open up a large platform of compatibility, with zero enforcement of consistency.

    Looking at the handset manufacturers who are involved, I'd question whether their interest is solely in getting out of licensing fees for Windows Mobile... afterall, you can claim Windows mobile already offers exactly this level of functionality through .NET.

  1. Marook

    Forum Regular

    Joined: May 1999


    Linux vs. OS X?

    So, if I should choose between a OS X based phone and a Linux based phone.. hmm.. wow, that's a tough call!

  1. maybesew

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007


    it means

    more web 2.0 applications from google that will work on your iPhone.

  1. henjin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2007


    Great news customers

    The old world order of MS and Apple has now been thrown in the dustbin of history. Apple is really just like MS except with more control over its customer base.

    Google knows that closed systems like all dictatorships collapse.

    The two dictatorships of Apple and MS will have to come up with a new business plan. I give MS the edge in this as they are not tied to one set of hardware. Apple's Great Salesman thought he had more time.

    Of course Android could just be garbage and we'll go back to Apple offering 1995 Japanese cell phone technology under a controlled and dreary interface.

    Hackers will make Apple's life a misery which is how it should be given as reported Jobs once made a living stealing from AT&T by selling gadgets to get free long distance.

    Google has the muscle and the talent. Apple is so f*&%ked if they allow Jobs to control every aspect of the iPhone or that matter OSX.

    Good news if it does nothing more than scare Apple into offering a real service, rather than crippled phones.

  1. I.P. Freely

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003



    can you also tell me what is going to happen in next 6 years... since you think you can see into the future.

    You don't know anything about Apple's plan. so I suggest you keep your histrionic predictions to yourself.

    And what 1995 Japanese cell phone are you talking about that had the features of iPhone? Why don't just shut up... are you so lonely that you need to make silly comments so you can see people responding to you? Are you devoid of any human interaction that you need to make ridicules comments just so you can pretend you are having a conversation with a real person.

    And how are hackers making life miserable? So they can hack the iPhone... big whoop de damn do. Apple will continue to do what they need to do. They are not going out of their way to stop them, it's not like you can buy iPhone clones from someone else. You still have to buy iPhones from Apple.

    And Apple is f*&%ked if they let Jobs continue to to control every aspect of the iPhone or that matter OSX? Dumbest statement period.

    And Apple has already stated that the iPhone will be open to developers in February...

    And from what the history has taught us... when you gather group of companies with their own self interest at heart, the partnerships never works.

    And what's also stopping Apple from taking part in this venture... maybe not the OS but certainly the applications.

  1. petsounds

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007


    re: great news

    And what about this announcement makes you think that U.S. handset carriers will suddenly start offering better phones? The Google phone OS has nothing to do with the iPhone, and everything to do with taking away business from Windows Mobile. It also has everything to do with securing a monopoly against its competitors. You must be one of the misguided analysts who told people to sell AAPL stock today.

    IMO, the federal government should start to take a keen interest in Google's maneuvers right about now.

  1. Roehlstation

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Re Great news

    Exactly, The federal government should take interest, Google has been buying up all sorts of things left and right. Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer was selling "The Internet" and Bill showed up..."Buy 'em out boys..."

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