An open-source wireless network.

Monday, November 12th, 2007 @ 11:50 am | Apple, Economy, The Internets

As the auctioning of the 700mhz spectrum approaches, there’s been a vigorous debate over whether or not our future wireless world will continue to be owned by a couple giants, or if it will attain the freedom and independence of the Internet.

When I first heard that the iPhone would only be available to subscribers of AT&T, I immediately dismissed it. “That won’t last long,” I said.

But while Google’s much-anticipated plan has encouraged talk of a Google Phone, the company said that for now it had no plans to build phones. Instead, it has signed up powerful partners to develop and market the phones, including handset makers like Motorola and Samsung, carriers like T-Mobile, Sprint and China Mobile and semiconductor companies like Qualcomm and Intel.

The group, the Open Handset Alliance, expects to start selling the Google-powered phones in the second half of next year.

If Apple won’t wake up and make the iPhone available to everybody, Google will. And Google will be rewarded for it. I use Sprint, and I’m staying with it for now. Sprint needs to get on board with its own future-phone to compete, and signing on with the Google phone is essential to keeping the market competitive. It’s not surrendering to an open network, it’s accepting reality. Eventually, Apple will have no choice but to either continue being a niche in the phone market, or go into the battlefield. One would assume they trust their abilities to win based on design.

-jb

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