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Summary:

If you are a start-up targeting the mobile industry, then you are well aware of the slow moving ways of incumbents, equipment makers and of course handset makers. You are made aware of their equally glacial ways when you come from the opposite end of the […]

If you are a start-up targeting the mobile industry, then you are well aware of the slow moving ways of incumbents, equipment makers and of course handset makers. You are made aware of their equally glacial ways when you come from the opposite end of the spectrum, Silicon Valley.

Google, the Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine that is making a big mobile push via its Android Mobile Platform, is learning the realities of mobile business the hard way. A report in WSJ suggests that the company is experiencing delays to its so called launch which is now slated for fourth quarter 2008. (Somewhere in Cupertino, Calif., Apple’s Steve Jobs is having a good laugh!)

“This is where the pain happens,” Andy Rubin, Google’s director of mobile platforms told WSJ. “We are very, very close.” He was talking about adding features etc requested by carrier partners. I think this is why Jobs was smart in being tyrannical and ignoring carrier requests when it came to software. Google apparently can’t afford to ignore partner requests.

Here are the relevant and interesting facts from the WSJ article:

  • T-Mobile USA is taking up all of Google’s attention, since the company wants to launch a device in the 4th quarter. This is diverting attention away from other partners.
  • Executive reshuffle at Sprint is causing some delays. Sprint now wants to develop an Android phone for its 4G network instead of 3G network. Sprint as we know, is like a dancer with two left feet.
  • China Mobile’s equipment partner is having a tough time translating Android into Chinese characters.
  • Developers are finding it hard to write apps for Android because Google keeps making changes to the Android.
  • Again, as I said earlier – whimsical wishes of carriers, endless customization, software delays and of course, executive reshuffling – these are facts of life for mobile start-ups. Welcome to the club, Google.

    Related Stories:

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  • The Mobile Linux War.
  • 5 Open questions about the Google Phone aka Android
  • By Om Malik

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    1. Google’s mobile efforts will go exactly the same way as MSFT’s mobile efforts and cable set-top box efforts. That is, nowhere.

      Mobile operators, as slow, stupid and greedy as they may be, aren’t about to let a bunch of nerds from Google with cool software dip their smarty-pants fingers into their margins and potentially lucrative future advertising revenue streams.

      See how the cable operators dealt with Microsoft and its efforts to put their software onto their set-top boxes. Meet, discuss, test, revise, meet, discuss, test and so on. Once they learned what they needed to know the put set-top box hardware and software design out to bid, and made sure there were multiple winners.

      So… sure, there will be announcements, phones will ship, but operators will just monitor, take notes, learn and then take what they’ve learned elsewhere.

      Google’s only mobile hope is WiMax.

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    2. So realistically, phones will be out Q1 2009?

      I still haven’t heard any arguement as to why we should be on the pro-Android bandwagon.

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    3. “Developers are finding it hard to write apps for Android because Google keeps making changes to the Android.”

      — It’s not that. Developers are having hard time to write Android apps b/c the API is a kludge, mish-mash of classes and packages, with way too much things stuffed, while there is no coherent way to build a nice ui (and no good tools).
      I was suprised google designed such a mess. It seems they just threw people at it, and people worked without talking to each other, producing these APIs.

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    4. [...] carriers want their own apps and their own branding. They’re being old and stubborn again. As Om Malick says, "I think this is why Jobs was smart in being tyrannical and ignoring carrier requests when it [...]

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    5. Interesting that T-Mobile is apparently absorbing so many resources, given that last I checked the pink network has only about 10% market share in the U.S.

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    6. Because no one wants a Open Source Phone :( … except me of course

      iPhone …. Shared ‘Greed’ … 2 years $3000+ contract is all that everyone wants and promote!

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    7. [...] click here and read his take on the Google Android [...]

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    8. [...] Delayed: Android, aka Google Phone [via Zemanta] [...]

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    9. [...] full quarter delay in the launch of Google’s Android phone is entirely the fault, and desire, of the carriers [...]

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    10. Eagerly waiting for Android.

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