“Google Inc. is close to unveiling its long-planned strategy to shake up the wireless market, people familiar with the matter say. The Web giant’s ambitious goal: to make applications and services as accessible on cellphones as they are on the Internet,” Amol Sharma reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“In a move likely to kick off an intense debate about the future shape of the cellphone industry, Google wants to make it easier for cellphone customers to get a variety of extra services on their phones — from maps to social-networking features to video-sharing,” Sharma reports.

“In recent months Google has approached several U.S. and foreign handset manufacturers about the idea of building phones tailored to Google software, with Taiwan’s HTC Corp. and South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. mentioned in the industry as potential contenders. Google is also seeking partnerships with wireless operators,” Sharma reports.

“The Google-powered phones are expected to wrap together several Google applications — among them, its search engine, Google Maps, YouTube and Gmail email — that have already made their way onto some mobile devices,” Sharma reports.

MacDailyNews Take: “Some mobile devices” would, of course, be headlined by Apple’s iPhone which already features Google search, Google Maps, YouTube, and Gmail capabilities.

Sharma continues, “The most radical element of the plan, though, is Google’s push to make the phones’ software ‘open’ right down to the operating system, the layer that controls applications and interacts with the hardware. That means independent software developers would get access to the tools they need to build additional phone features… While many software developers are likely to cheer Google’s open wireless platform, there are some potential risks for consumers. If Google isn’t careful, sensitive user information could end up in the wrong hands, leading to spamming, stalking or other invasions of privacy.”

Full article here.