Delayed: Android, aka Google Phone

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.

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