Google Android phone won’t debut until Thanksgiving; may lack Exchange support, force Gmail use

“The first mobile phone based on Android, which is software supported by Google, will debut this fall… Moe Tanabian, senior principal at IBB Consulting who has seen the device, has been able to give me a lot more details on its software,” Olga Kharif reports for BusinessWeek.

“If you want to receive push e-mail, you’ll have to use Google’s Gmail. It’s unclear that the phone will support Microsoft Exchange,” Kharif reports. “The phone will have access to upcoming T-Mobile App Store, which will be very similar to Apple’s store featuring third-party iPhone applications. Only T-Mobile will likely place fewer restrictions on software developers, so that Android phone users may have more games and productivity apps to choose from.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple App Store actually places very few restrictions of developers. In fact, game and productivity app developers get pretty much free reign. There are already hundreds of games and productivity apps for iPhone and iPod touch. Plus, as we already know from PC software: more doesn’t equal better. Having 100 word processors, or 100 of any type of app, means nothing when only three or four of them are of any value.

Kharif continues, “The phone will come with Google’s advertising software pre-installed. Customers who opt in to receive mobile ads from Google may be offered to buy the phone for a lower price, and may also pay lower monthly service fees. The Google platform will serve ads based on your interests and location, provided by the phone.”

“The Android phone will hit stores around Thanksgiving, not in September-October, as some news outlets have reported,” Kharif reports.

“If, indeed, you’ll have to use Gmail for push e-mail, that’s troubling. Clearly, lots of people use other services today. And many businesses may be hesitant to abandon their current e-mail systems,” Kharif reports. “The Gmail mandate also raises all those old, hairy questions about just how much control Google will exercise over the Android project. Lots of the world’s best independent developers and software companies actually compete with Google. And if they sense that Google is always getting the upper hand with Android, they will not back this phone. End users will suffer, as they won’t have access to the best applications out there.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Chuckles the Microsoft CEO” for the heads up.]

In an interview early this year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was said to be “skeptical about Google’s decision to develop smartphone software… ‘Having created a phone its a lot harder than it looks,’ he said. ‘We’ll see how good their software is and we’ll see how consumers like it and how quickly it is adopted.’ In seeking not to get locked out of the mobile phone world, ‘I actually think Google has achieved their goal without Android, and I now think Android hurts them more than it helps them. It’s just going to divide them and people who want to be their partners.'” – The New York Times, January 15, 2008

20 Comments

  1. i was wondering if … yep
    Gmail is stil BETA after what, 4 years!!!
    I know a lot of people who like it, but I consider using an app that spends its whole entire life as beta, to be an asshat move, not for me. BETA means, anything can happen ANYTHING. Not meaning to offend anyone, but if I were an investor or Gmail user, I would have no confidence in anything Google beyond ‘search’. Oh yeah, I believe they bought youtube? well, youtube is estimated to cost over $1 million a day in expenses, while profit is a tidy $0 a day.
    question if you overpay ($1.65 billion) for a company that has zero profit, what do you expect? Honestly, I’d like some actual shareholders tell me, what gives? Who let this occur?

  2. Am I the only one who thinks that the “troubling” part about Android is that it will be sending your location to Google? For advertising, no less!

    Also, anyone here who would enjoy seeing ads on their phone? What a stupid idea.

  3. I personally, look forward to seeing what Google will do with this Android phone and am anticipating its benefits. I understand that there’s a lot of things that it can’t do yet, but by November, we’ll see some great capabilities. It’s just like the iPhone, two years ago.

    I guess what I’m saying is that the mobile phone industry could always use some alternatives. That’s one of the things that Steve Jobs said himself, that cell phones are too complicated to use. We’ll see what happens when we start seeing an Android User Interface available.

    We can’t all be rich iPhone owners. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. the “dropped feature” set from android is getting silly. at this point i wouldn’t be shocked if they told me that making phones was no longer a feature they planned on including.

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