Google has announced the details of its mobile OS strategy. It’s called Android and its the brainchild of the so-called “Open Handset Alliance.” The Daily Tech Rag reports on the latest and very interesting development in the Mobile application space.
Google has teamed up with 34 different partners in the technology space (including NVIDIA, Intel, Texas Instruments, Synaptics, Marvell, Qualcomm, Motorola, Samsung, T-Mobile, Sprint, Skype, LG, HTC, KDDI, DoCoMo and China Mobile) to create the Open Handset Alliance (OHA)–a group focused on building an open, fully customizable alternative to closed operating systems like Windows Mobile 6, Symbian S60 and the iPhone OS.
The OHA’s first product will be Android, an open-source mobile OS and associated application suite that’s built on the Linux operating system (and will be open-sourced via the Apache v2 License). The Android SDK will be made available to developers on November 12th and Android-sporting handsets will flood the market next year, from device manufacturers like HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung.
These handsets will be available during the second half of 2008 in the U.S. (from T-Mobile and Sprint) China, Japan, Germany, Italy and Spain. As has been reported earlier, the Android OS will be targeted toward consumers and will be available to OEMs free of charge (the OS will be ad-supported, like all of Google’s other apps).
“A few observations:
- It’s interesting that Google isn’t putting their own name on this but rather, taking a step back and pushing the OHA brand. While this certainly seems like a collaborative effort to a degree, it’s clear that Google is the driving force here–they’ve had the OS in development for three years now.
- Will this force other carriers/device manufacturers (most notably AT&T, Verizon, Nokia, RIM and Apple) to open up their handset platforms?
- Does this mean that just about every desktop developer who has thus far been shuttered out of the wireless industry will make a mad dash for that SDK in order to have an Android app out by next year? You had better believe it.
From the looks of it, Google and the OHA are sitting on what could be a real game-changer here, in terms of openness, user-customization and mobile functionality. Android is expected to usher in an age where mobile devices operate more like PCs, with users downloading, installing and customizing to their heart’s content. ”
Endadget has compiled some useful background information – if you want more details.