T-Mobile USA ships Google Android this year, expected avalanche

Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA Inc ships I’s first mobile handset built on Google Inc’s open Android platform (GOOG) sometime later this year. Wireless carriers are expecting and avalanches of innovation to come from users, and radical changes to what their customers demand and expect. However if they expect to make money in this fast altering landscape, some disagree where start-ups should be focused.

Vice president and general manager of T-Mobile’s broadband and new business division, Joe Sims, at the Wireless Innovations 2008 Conference in Redwood City Calif, said: he has already seen prototypes of the companies Andriod based phone, which are scheduled to ship in this year’s final quarter.

Sims said: “I’m impressed; we will have more than one product… (The move to an open platform) will be innovation across the board, not just one device.”

At first, same as other carriers, T-Mobile was somewhat leery of Google due to the open platform Google was pushing seemed to be untested and radical. According to Sims, T-Mobile is now a part of Google’s Open Handset Alliance, as is chip maker Qualcomm Inc.

Qualcomm’s vice president of product management for CDMA technologies, Sayeed Choudhury says” like T-Mobile, Qualcomm was “skeptical” of Google’s plan at first, but we got over that hurdle when we saw the use-case models. The Web-browsing, the taking and uploading of pictures.” Choudry went on to say he expects fast big changes once Android phone get into the hands of consumers.

Director of strategic platform initiatives at Blackberry maker Research in Motion Ltd. (RIMM), Nedim Fresko predicts T-Mobile’s release will be a “wakeup call for innovation.” He goes on to say: “Security is the issue, people want secure, managed and safe networks.”

Senior vice president and manager of News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox Entertainment Group Inc.’s interactive media division, John Smelzer adds: “photo and video distribution would be the next killer app. Fox isn’t immediately interested in moving social networks to mobile, but it sees great potential in start-ups working on applications that replicate the broader online experience on handsets – for instance, middleware companies, content aggregators, and distributors and companies working on encoding and trans-coding data.”

Smelzer continues with “Subscription-based video has served Fox well, and the company plans to continue that model as networks and handsets move toward openness. For the long tail, we think it will be mobile Web.”

According to T-Mobile all of its offerings will be tailor made to the customer and they in turn will inform carriers just what they expect their mobile handset to be able to accomplish.

Panelists agreed that there would be changes over the coming years, they won’t be top-down changes but will be a response from carrier to customer, after all customers are quickly growing in number and so expect that much more from their mobile phone.

J.H. Kah, senior vice president of Korean cellular service provider SK Telecom Co. (SKM) summed up with…”The college kids out there have all the ingredients, finally. It’s so easy and cheap for these kids to start new ventures. VCs ought to look at very early-stage, but the real winners will be those that stick around a few years.”

Source — money.cnn

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