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Case Title:

Google's Android A Threat to Mobile Giants?

Publication Year : 2010

Authors: M Bhattacharya, B Gopal and A Syed

Industry: Telecommunications


Case Code: IPD0116IRC

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Google's long anticipated entry into the mobile phone market took place with the launch of its Android software. Android was claimed to be the first free, open source mobile platform which was fully customisable. The new operating system (OS) was launched to enable cellphones to perform numerous on-line applications developed by Google. With the launch of Android, the giant stepped into the Internet mobile revolution. This was expected to transform the cellphone market into a smartphone market where every device would have Internet access. Google was promoting Android by not charging a licensing fee to manufacturers, thus, reducing cost and prices of Android based phones. Many believed that Google's phone project might not have, at least initially, as much impact on the wireless industry as was created by Apple's iPhone. However, proprietary mobile OS providers like Microsoft would face competition from Google. It was also believed that Google's initiative behind the phone project was to loosen the controls of the carriers on mobile software and services that were available on their network. On the other hand, major carriers in the US like Verizon, AT&T were promoting search engines and advertisement of small companies. Many felt that Google's attempt at bringing the dynamics of the computer Internet to the mobile phone would largely depend on its ability to convince major wireless carriers to adopt it. It is to be seen whether Google with its little experience in complex hardware could replicate its web search advertising success in the mobile platform.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To Google's growth as a search engine and on-line advertising giant.
  • To developing the Android platform and Google's foray into the cellphone market.
  • The impact of Android phones on the smartphone market.
  • The challenges and future potential of Google-enabled phones.

Keywords :  Google, Apple iPhone, Android, Smartphone, HTC, T-Mobile G1, Nokia, Hotbot, AltaVista, Lycos, Symbian, 3G wireless network, Wireless carriers Verizon, AT&T, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), PC Internet advertising, Research in Motion (RIM), Blackberry, Microsoft's Windows Mobile, Linux

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