I posted a few early comments on the Open Handset Alliance yesterday.
One thing that isn't immediately obvious is whether how much of the total handset market is serviced by the strategy of new OS + Google Apps + advertising + openness + maybe a direct subsidy from Google.
In particular.... will the model work for the majority of the planet's mobile users who have prepay phones, often bought from non-operator channels? And who are often anonymous, and don't have data plans?
There seems to be lots of very US-centric rhetoric from the company & innumerable observers about how this will 'break the strangehold of the carriers'.... which conveniently ignores the fact that that's certainly not true for the overall handset market anyway. Globally, it's about 50/50 sold through operator vs. non-0perator channels.
It's very easy to be seduced by big numbers in mobile - 3bn users, 1bn phones shipped and so on. But generally most of the smartphone propositions I see actually have a theoretical addressable market that is, at most, 30% of that figure.
Now, 30% of 1bn is still a big number... but when you take out about 100m Symbian devices per year, plus a bunch of other platforms used by the licencees, I'll take a wild punt that G-phone shipments will struggle to top 20m by 2010.
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