Monthly Archives: November 2007

A week of gPhone daydreams

gPhone conceptual design

No sooner had the Great Pumpkin passed than the Wall Street Journal fires up speculation about the “any day now” gPhone announcement.

The rumors cluster around three sets of ideas:

1. Google is interested in developing an ad-based cell phone market place, where the phone and/or usage would be subsidized by ads. “Hi, this is your Mother speaking,” … “We pause this phone call for a short message from our sponsor …”, … “Did you forget your Dad’s birthday again ?” The scenario is interesting, but faces interesting marketing challenges.

2. Google is interested in developing a unix based smart phone architecture and operating system through which it could place local and/or otherwise smart ads. This would be partly a general keitai device, with access to mapping services, etc. iMode for gOogle. The software, and an SDK would be open sourced and free for cell phone manufacturers. Again an interesting scenario, especially with the rapidity with which Chinese manufacturers were able to demonstrate prototypes of iPhone clones. The catch here is that most cell phone companies are loath to allow users to choose their own devices, at least in the United States. Of course, gOogle maybe thinking globally, with an eye to developing Google.cn and Google.in.

3. Google is interested in producing services that run on regular cellphones. That is already partially true – Google Mobile services supports the google homepage, google search. gmail, … google.com/mobile … – which run nicely enough on some devices. Other devices, well. In this scenario, google would try to urge regular vendors and networks to be more google friendly, perhaps offering to share revenues. The bit of light in this scenario is “fear of iPhone.” Everyone (ha!) is afraid of being left behind the technology shift, with the phone companies going the way of the recording industry.

4. Google is interested in becoming a communications carrier. This is the scenario that comes out of google’s earlier efforts to get the FCC to require an “open access” policy for the 700 Mhz spectrum with the promise that it would thereby enter the bidding for spectrum. As far fetched as this seems, Google is a very fat Cash Cow, so this is something it could afford to do. Or, even less far fetched, something it could encourage – it could buy the spectrum, but allow 3rd parties to franchise the services, perhaps offering support in interesting, money making rules.

Or, all of the above. Which is what I expect to eventually happen. In any case, if the one concrete item in the rumors is true … that an announcement will be made tomorrow, November 6th, we will soon know. Too bad they don’t hire Steve Jobs to do the announcement for them :)

Sources:

John Markoff, I, Robot: The Man Behind the Google Phone, New York Times, November 4, 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/technology/04google.html

Ben Worthen, Ring-Ring…Google to Announce Phone Plans Monday, Wall Street Journal Online, November 1, 2007, 5:34 pm. http://blogs.wsj.com/biztech/2007/11/01/ring-ringgoogle-to-announce-phone-plans-monday/

Ben Worthen, The Gphone Is All About Mobile Software, Wall Street Journal Online, October 31, 2007, 1:10 pm. http://blogs.wsj.com/biztech/2007/10/31/the-gphone-is-all-about-mobile-software/

Amol Sharma, Can Google-Powered Phones Connect With Carriers?, Wall Street Journal Online, October 30, 2007; Page B1. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119369951717475558.html

Amol Sharma and Kevin J. Delaney, Google Pushes Tailored Phones To Win Lucrative Ad Market, Wall Street Journal Online, August 2, 2007; Page A1. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118602176520985718.html

–, Le Gphone dévoilé dans 15 jours ?, Abondance, lundi 27 août 2007. http://actu.abondance.com/2007/08/le-gphone-dvoil-dans-15-jours.html

Eric Schmidt, Google Intends to Bid in Spectrum Auction If FCC Adopts Consumer Choice and Competition Requirements, Google, Mountain View, California, July 20, 2007. http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/20070720_wireless.html

iPhone 1.1.2 Update on the way

T3, the gadget website, is reporting hands-on time with the UK version of the iPhone 1.1.2 ROM version.

iPhone 1.1.2 Firmware

The not really unexpected update fixes the TIFF display error that provided the 1.1.1 Jailbreak route. Business wise, this is good news security wise, but not so good for the community of users wanting a bit more out of their cellphone than Apple, AT&T, Verizon, etc, care to offer. Cash cows are Sacred Cows.

Sources:

Mark Wilson, UK iPhone Launching with 1.1.2 Firmware, Jailbreak Broken., Saturday, Nov 3, 2007, 10:45 pm. http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/crap/uk-iphone-launching-with-112-firmware-jailbreak-broken-318611.php

It’s Official: iPhone 1.1.2, T3, 2007-11-04, http://www.t3.co.uk/news/247/communications/mobile_phone/iphone-firmware-update-2

One-click Jailbreak for iPhone 1.1.1

 A “one-click” (almost zero-click) jailbreak has been released for iPhone 1.1.1. Just point your iPhone’s Safari browser at http://www.jailbreakme.com/, tap the “install” link, and in a few minutes, your iPhone now has Installer running on it. And, as a byproduct, the TIFF bug is repaired (preventing further exploitation of this “feature.”)

Get Out of Jail Free

iPhone Atlas, reports in an interview with Nicholas “Drudge” Penree, one of the developers of AppSnapp, that 150,000 visits have been made to the site resulting in approximately 100,000 downloads. Earlier, Apple itself had estimated that 250,000 iPhones have been “jailbroken,” so this 100,000 number may be a major increase in freed phones.

AppSnapp allows the installation of 3rd party applications on the iPhone; AnySim is necessary for using 3rd party cellular services.

Sources:

Nearly 150,000 installs of AppSnapp in 3 days, iPhoneAtlas.Com, Posted 31 October 2007 @ 2pm. http://www.iphoneatlas.com/2007/10/31/nearly-150000-installs-of-appsnapp-iphone-3rd-party-appjailbreak-tool-in-3-days/

Tom Krazit, More than 100,000 iPhone owners break out of jail, October 31, 2007 4:28 PM PDT. http://www.news.com/8301-13579_3-9808647-37.html

Tom Krazit, Apple: 250,000 iPhones bought to unlock, Cnet News, October 23, 2007 5:28 PM PDT. http://www.news.com/8301-13579_3-9802980-37.html