An excellent article in the New York Times looks at Andy Rubin, Google's director of mobile platforms, and tries to uncover what the gphone really shall become in the ever evolving mobile market.NYT are confident referring to the gphone as a "software" package, rumours of which we have heard countless times. According to the extensive report, the gphone will be made available by the middle of 2008 and is being produced by Google's partners (HTC, among others?) Google's contribution will be an open OS that shall be distributed freely and will earn revenue via advertising links. Interestingly, the model of bundling free software has been pretty successful in the past, as exemplified by Internet Explorer.
It seems Mr. Rubin is the right man for the project, as one of the founders of Danger Inc., the company behind the excellent Sidekick smartphone series, he seems well qualified to deal in the competitive market. That is not the only experience he is bringing to the game either; back in 1990 Mr. Rubin worked with Apple on a project called Magic Cap, which focused on a groundbreaking platform for portable devices. The venture fell through, as it was apparently too far ahead of its time. (Is this how the gphone and the iPhone inadvertently cross development paths?) Mr. Rubin went it alone, he blew his entire savings on producing his vision of a mobile platform that would be open to all software developers. The name of Mr. Rubin's project? Yup, you guessed it—Android.
Whatever the gphone is officially confirmed to be—phone / software suite or both—the potential impact Google will make to the way we communicate will be definitively game changing, if successful. With all this information seeping through, it is only a matter of time before the covers are dropped on the big G's big plans. For now, the wait goes on.