Google is all set to enter the mobile industry according to news released by theToronto Star. Sources indicate that Google is keen on capitalizing on the mobile advertising market available through cell phones. In fact, Penry Price, the vice-president of advertising sales for Google’s North American operations, stated that “If we don’t get into the space, we’ve got a big problem”. However, the means of which they plan to accomplish this is quite questionable. Regardless, Google with a market valuation near $200 billion seems more in gear to embark upon such an endeavour.
Previously, over-hype circulated blogs and news sites that Google was planning a Google phone to compete against Apple’s Iphone. Now, it appears that their focal point will shift towards software as apposed to hardware. In fact, a possible mobile phone operating system might be at work that is supposed to accomodate all the Google services already available to the mobile phone user. The major difference here is the scope for ad supported services. Furthermore, the implementation of advertisement within Google’s own YouTube and their recent acquisition of Jaiku.com is a good indication of where they are going.
Google should delicately introduce advertisements in a non-intrusive way to the mobile user. Arguably, the inclusion of free minutes, features and other freebies might win over the budget conscious cell phone user in quickly adapting the Google software. However, Google will definitely face stiff competition from Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and other manufacturers of mobile applications that are built into phones. Furthermore, it will take substantial convincing to bring on board mobile carriers such as Verizon, Telus and Rogers to partner with Google. In addition, collaborating with mobile phone manufacturers like Samsung and Nokia to install the program on cell phones will be equally challenging. These carriers and manufacturers have benefited considerably from a lack of healthy competition in their mobile domain and may not be willing to adapt the Google vision.
Alternatively, to avoid such challenges, Google could purchase its own wireless spectrum, which can be used to launch a mobile broadbank network allowing Google to operate like a mobile carrier. In fact, there is potential that Google might bid $4.6 billion for such a licence in the United States. However, these are just educated assumptions and unless we see substantial investment in the form of transactions; we have no way of truly knowing Google’s intentions. Nevertheless, it seems quite evident that Google has serious goals in taking advertisement technology the mobile route.