Google (GOOG) is trying to get out a bunch of wireless handsets with its Android software. But, log-jams and competing agendas are hurting that. The first products were supposed to to be out in the second half of this year. According to The Wall Street Journal, "some cellular carriers and makers of programs that work with Android are struggling to meet that schedule."
Building Android to work on a massive number of phones and disparate cellular systems could become a nightmare as time goes on.
While Google and all of its PC-based competitors want to "go mobile" to make money in the new world of high-speed internet and smart handsets, the company may rue its approach. It is, at the very least, another one of a series of projects that the search company has taken up which may distract from its money-making operations.
With the hundreds of different handsets from Samsung, Motorola (MOT), Nokia (NOK), and their competitors and the dozens of carriers from AT&T (T) to China Mobile (CHL), Google will be chasing software developers for the next century. While it may seem appealing to offer a complete operating system for phones as a means of getting Google further along in wireless, it is not.
There is an easier way to do it. The best software and services win, even if the platform changes. If Google’s search products are the best and getting better, consumers are not going to use Google on their PCs and Yahoo! (YHOO) search on their phones. Google does not have to waste time trying to gain a foothold in the wireless world.
It will happen anyway and Google won’t have to waste all of the time and money.
Douglas A. McIntyre