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Google Phone An Attempt To Take On $100 PC?

Google Phone has been a subject of many rumors lately. Mark Hopkins, a technology podcaster, says he got the confirmation of the Gphone after talking to an insider Google (GOOG).

He said that the Google (applications) Suite is going to play a huge role in the usability of the GPhone, and the thought process behind it’s functionality is less about beating the iPhone and more about beating the $100 Laptop, which provides a huge clue behind what will be the pricing structure on this….regarding the two week timetable on it’s release, he said he could not confirm that part of the story.

If that indeed is the case, then it makes sense for Google to be talking to mobile carriers in countries where PC density is marginal. By tightly integrating the Google Apps, Google Phone could become a viable rival to the much ballyhooed $100 PC being promoted by everyone from Nicholas Negroponte and Microsoft (MSFT), and will also over come the connectivity problem facing most of the $100 PC schemes. Of course, I have no way of confirming what Hopkins is claiming, so take this post with a big pinch of salt.

24 Responses to “Google Phone An Attempt To Take On $100 PC?”

  1. What a heated discussion!

    If the story is true then Google seems to agree with what Microsoft said 1.5 years ago:

    Cell phones, not laptops, hold the most promise for providing low-cost access to one-to-one computing in developing nations, according to Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates.

    Gates’ decree came after Microsoft vice president and chief technology officer Craig Mundie told both he and Gates are convinced that turning cell phones into computers by connecting the handheld devices to keyboards and television sets holds the most promise for the spread of one-to-one computing, especially in developing nations, where access to expensive hardware and software often is difficult.

    On a TV there is even enough space for spreadsheets.

  2. My most sincere apologies to Mr Hopkins if Mr Malik actually reported something Hopkins didn’t say.

    In that case, the horrid pile of nepalese yak matter belongs to Mr Malik, so let’s give credit where it’s due.

    So, who talked crap about Google against OLPC ?

    I’m all ears.

  3. How about calling Schmidt or Google PR to double-check ?

    How do you get to report on this unverifiable pile of nepalese yak B.S. ?

    I’m an avid reader, but this isn’t even a rumour… it’s plain B.S. creating and issue where there is none, messing with a project that deserves our highest admiration for the altruism, solidarity and other values that are alien to despicable characters who are unable to entertain the possibility of a better world.

    Next time you get crap like this from unreliable sources, please think twice before clicking the “Post” button.

    I’ll keep reading… for now.

  4. Michael gets my gist correct. I’ll post an update on the blog later today saying as much. It’s been in the works long before they could really plan against an iPhone, firstly. If I remember the phrasing correctly from my friend, it went like: “…[T]hink $100 PC, but better,” intimating that it was geared to be more utilitarian than “fun” like an iPhone, NTM that since a lot of the function would be ad monetized, the overall cost would be driven down quite a bit.

    If you check out EP 116, about 7 minutes in or so, we go into extrapolation on my conversation with my friend … might provide a bit more insight for those that are a little doubtful or confused.

  5. Michael

    I guess when I saw him say that’s intended to be “more about beating the $100 laptop” I didn’t interpret that literally. While it certainly makes sense for Google to try to penetrate unserved markets (“where Pc density is marginal”), I took that quote to mean that it’ll be more like a portable computer and less like a personal lifestyle device. I would imagine it’ll be cheap, dead-simple to use and popular among people who are tired of getting strong-armed into paying $600-$700 for fancy phones.

  6. Hey Om,

    I just wrote about it yesterday. The only speculation I did was the very existence of gPhone.

    I wrote about the “GPS for the masses”, I wrote about the integration of the Google Application Suite.

    I wrote about how they will be giving the phone for free. Well $100 price range is almost like a free phone :)

  7. Maybe so, but I have a problem with a computer phone when it comes to the real estate on the display.

    I have a difficult time navigating a simple web page on the iPhone, much less doing some spreadsheet or document application.

    I’ll be the first to admit I thought the computer (smart) phone was the end all, but I have reservations after using the iPhone.

  8. Anyone who claims they have the next OLPC killer because they have some sub $100 piece of HW that runs some productivity applications has clearly not personally worked with the XO. I have had the privileged, and like others who have also, the first thing you notice is that it is a collaboration tool presently optimized for education. It does not do the greatest job with PIM/desktop tasks because it was not designed for techno-gadget craving, white-collar workers. Have an educator do a review on the g-phone and then I might listen.