Google's New Smartphone Wows Consumers, But Enterprises Must Wait - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
9/25/2008
05:00 PM
50%
50%

Google's New Smartphone Wows Consumers, But Enterprises Must Wait

Mobile users hoping to use the G1 for business may be disappointed by the absence of Microsoft Exchange support, and a desktop syncing client.

Google, T-Mobile, and HTC launched the latest salvo in the smartphone wars as they unveiled the first handset to support Google's Android operating system.

The G1 smartphone, manufactured by HTC and marketed by T-Mobile, has a 3.2-inch touch display that flips out to reveal a full keyboard and trackball navigation. With Google closely involved, the G1 has tight integration with many of the search giant's offerings, including free push Gmail, wireless syncing with Google's calendar, and support for YouTube.

Mobile users hoping to use the G1 for business, however, may be disappointed by the absence of built-in Microsoft Exchange support, and neither T-Mobile nor Google is providing a desktop syncing client. "We expect it to be more for the consumer, not necessarily for enterprises," says Cole Brodman, chief technology and innovation officer at T-Mobile USA.

InformationWeek Reports

But if consumers like the G1, IT organizations should expect to see it pop up in the enterprise. As with the iPhone, there won't be any stopping enthusiasts.

The 4.6-by-2.1-by-0.6-inch handset, which will go on sale in the United States on Oct. 22, will let users view Word and Excel documents as well as PDFs. It also has IMAP and POP3 e-mail support, and Google execs say they expect the lack of Exchange support will soon be remedied by a third-party application.

The phone also has integrated Wi-Fi, and users can hop on to T-Mobile's expanding 3G network for mobile Web access. There's a GPS chip that can use cellular data for assisted GPS services, such as location-based searches, and a full HTML browser is built on the same technology as the recently released Chrome desktop browser. The handset has a multimedia player, preloaded with an Amazon.com application that lets users shop from more than 6 million DRM-free music tracks.

Even though it has features equivalent to Apple's iPhone, industry experts don't expect the G1 to have the same "wow" factor the iPhone had when it debuted in June 2007. The G1's $179 price is only $20 less than the iPhone's, and its $25- to $35-per-month data plans are similar.

GOOGLE'S DREAM

The G1 smartphone

G1 has iPhone-like features, but quite a different look
When Google unveiled its Android mobile software platform last November, it clearly had broader ambitions than just a Gphone. With the Linux-based platform and the creation of the Open Handset Alliance, a group of companies dedicated to building Android-based applications and devices, Google aimed to merge the openness of the Internet with the mobile market.

The Net is where Google can parlay its expertise to provide a better experience for mobile users. Google also is taking a different approach than Apple to application distribution. The Android Marketplace will have fewer restrictions than Apple's App Store. Apple preapproves all apps in its store and takes a 30% cut of any sold. Google said its Android Market will feature a YouTube-like system for publishing, distributing, and commenting on apps, and it won't take any of the revenue.

A recent study by J. Gold Associates says Research In Motion will remain the dominant player in the U.S. enterprise smartphone market, with nearly 60% in 2011. The report estimated Android will garner 4.8% of the market in three years.

Cracking the smartphone market won't be easy, as companies like RIM, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Apple aren't going to give up share without a battle. But Google isn't one to shy away from a challenge, and its resources and partners give Android a fighting chance.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
How CIO Roles Will Change: The Future of Work
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/1/2021
Commentary
A Strategy to Aid Underserved Communities and Fill Tech Jobs
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/9/2021
Slideshows
10 Ways AI and ML Are Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/28/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Slideshows
Flash Poll