Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Verizon to embrace Android - whata change!

December 4, 2007

Yesterday BusinessWeek reported the following:

Verizon Embraces Google's Android
How Verizon Wireless learned to stop worrying and love open access. Step one: Realizing it's a way to add low-cost customers

This is significant! Very Significant!

Verizon isn't stupid.

IF you spot the 800 pound gorilla in the room, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on him.

IF said gorilla is about to pound your lame old ass, be sure to appear agreeable, friendly and willing to feed him.

Verizon isn't stupid!

Of course, Google's Android "play" won't destroy Verizon's market share nor will it cause thousand of new subscribers to avoid Verizon. What it does is setup up a reluctant symbiosis.

Verizon wins by getting a cheaper way to GAIN market share by both allowing the Android handsets AND perhaps even utilizing the Android OS on their own handsets.

Google isn't stupid either!

Google wins by getting more and more platforms to provide advertising, and surprise, then share some of the spoils with the other monster in the room.

Is this a win for consumers? Yes, although as consumers we must keep something in mind. Recalling the movie King Kong, when Mr. Kong protects our movie heroine from the T-Rex. Sure she isn't eaten by the T-Rex, but her situation does not improve much. We the mobile phone consumers are about to be protected by "King Google" and he isn't going to kill the V-Rex, merely calm him for now. It will be in both their best interest to play nice, for at least some period of time.

Just remember, as consumers, we still look pretty darn appetizing to both of them and I am confident in saying that they are looking out for their best interests first. How this will play out is anyone's guess, but for me I would love to see the following:

Google's Android standard succeeds (or a mutant of it)thus providing a common platform for providers to build upon.

Verizon truly embraces the standard, which in turn causes their profits to increase while supplying more and more service at an ever decreasing price.

{Remember your economics! You can sell one thing for $200,000 or you can sell hundreds of thousands of things for $10 each and make far more profit than you ever thought possible}

The flies in this ointment are greed and the ever popular "territorial pissing match". Working together using a standard and creating products consumers actually want rather than bludgeoning them with advertising until they succumb, the main players can thrive. If either of the flies buzz too loudly in their ear, they may lose track of what their real purpose is. What is their real purpose? To make money! But rather than monopolizing the market, they keep making us "golden gooses" happier and happier so we keep laying eggs for them... lots and lots of eggs!

Opinion: If a mobile OS standard is adopted, then many companies which are now on the brink of oblivion could actually get a piece of the action and survive. It is right in the Palm of their hand, they simply need to embrace it rather then attempt to choke it to death.

Nice move Verizon! Way to go Google!

Just remember, we are watching you!

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