YahooPhone, GooglePhone and Mobile Carriers

Yahoo_mobile Om’s outline of YHOO and GOOG mobile strategy in Yahoo and Google Unwire is worth a scan. Om writes…

"Christian Lindholm, the father of Lifeblog software and Navikey UI leaves Nokia . A few weeks later Lindholm joins Yahoo. A few months later WSJ publishes plans of Yahoo teaming up with SBC and Cingular of joining a co-branded phone made by Nokia. WSJ calls this move “launch of services for advanced cellphone networks.” The cellphone will play digital music, and will have a 1.3 megapixel camera, and be able to do other stuff like TV. (Sounds like 6682, doesn’t it!) I am guessing this is Cingular looking for content for its soon to be launched HSDPA network.

To sum it up: this is an announcement of an anti-MVNO; a phone that is most likely to have an interface tied specifically to Yahoo services like email and search; and it will be a device that hawks Yahoo services. With US wireless penetration hitting 61.7% and more focussed MVNOs like Helio, Amp’d and ESPN Phone coming to market, I wonder how much opportunity there is for Yahoo in this space.

In sharp contrast to Yahoo, Google is going to launch a piece of software that can be downloaded over-the-air on most phones that support Java. The software will be a Google Local application, which will allow users to conduct searches for local services and see them on a map. I do find it interesting the divergent strategies of the two fierce competitors. Yahoo is in bed with the carriers, while Google is betting on neutral networks. I will write more on this later!"

With Yahoo’s introduction of its own Phone and rumors of GoogleNet and their recent acquisition of Android and Dodgeball, how far away is the GooglePhone rollout?

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