Nov 24th, 2009

Whoops did I say Harold & Kumar?


I meant Kumar. As in Ashok Kumar of Northeast Securities. The same Ashok Kumar featured in the “According to Idiots” article with Michael Cote who graciously proved his point. And now the London Times is quoting Ashok Kumar regarding even further details about the rumored early 2010 gPhone – here is a passage from that story:

The Googlephone promises to be one of the most advanced smartphones, with a large touchscreen display and a processor almost twice as fast as the one powering Apple’s iPhone 3GS. It will probably be the first phone to run a new version of Google’s Android software, codenamed Flan, offering high-speed 3-D gaming said to be as good as that of many handheld consoles.

According to Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Northeast Securities, a financial services firm, the Google-branded phone will be built by a third-party supplier, possibly the Taiwanese phone maker HTC, and will incorporate a processor from Qualcomm.

The real breakthrough, however, will come with the marriage of the Googlephone to Google Voice, the Californian company’s high-tech phone service. Google Voice gives US users a free phone number and allows unlimited free calls to any phone in the country — landline or mobile. International calls start from a couple of cents (just over a penny) a minute. Google Voice also uses sophisticated voice recognition to turn voicemails into emails, can block telemarketing calls automatically and offers free text messaging.

Google sounded its intentions two weeks ago when it purchased a small company called Gizmo5, which had developed technology to connect Google Voice with voice-over-internet (Voip) networks such as Skype. Now Google has the means to offer a complete, end-to-end phone service, with which consumers can make and receive calls between the Googlephone and other phones or computers anywhere in the world, and often for nothing.

1GHz processor or better. Flan. 3D gaming. Google Voice & Gizmo5. I’ll let you make your own assumptions and analysis but I want to emphasize 2 groups that Google could alienate in this whole process. First of all, carriers:

This could prove a problem, though: few phone networks will appreciate being frozen out of lucrative business such as voice calling and text messaging, and being reduced to a simple data pipeline for Google’s services.

Second of all, manufacturers:

The mobile networks aren’t the only enemies Google risks creating. Other phone makers now using the Android operating system, such as Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, might not take kindly to Google keeping the most up-to-date version of its software for itself.

But if using the GooglePhone equates to drastically increased revenue through Google’s own advertising systems, they could almost certainly afford to subsidize the cost of the hardware and even kickback to carriers that partner with them. What do you think?

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