Google Phone? Not Quite.

This year was filled with rumors of Google making a “Gphone,” to compete with the amazingly popular iPhone. However, Google has taken a different, more ambitious approach to conquer the mobile phone industry. The California search giant announced that it instead would be designing an open-source operating system for these devices and make it completely free and available to developers; creating what some predict could become as popular or even more so than Apple’s wildly successful iPhone product line.  

The operating system, dubbed “Android,” will be completely free and open to developers. Google already has received the backing of 30 technology/mobile industry leaders who have dedicated themselves to the open-source phone movement by signing the Open Handset Alliance.

Google has even started the Android developer challenge, offering over $10,000,000 in prizes to developers who write useful applications for this new open-source platform.

The company hopes by giving mobile phone users a choice of what software to run on their phone, all mobile phone users will benefit. An open-source platform will encourage developers to make many great applications and also force phone companies to be more competitive, as well as greatly increase the rate of innovation in mobile phone technology.

Why would Google go to all this work and simply give away Android? It’s quite simple. By giving people a great tool that will allow them to connect their phones to the web, Big G knows they will spend more time using Google Search, thus resulting in more revenue for them while providing people with great software for their phone and a solid platform for developers.

The release of android, due in the second half of 2008 is sure to shake up the mobile phone industry, and lead to a boom in the development of mobile phone applications.