SAN FRANCISCO -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini is an iPhone user, but if his observations about mobile phone use at the Web 2.0 Summit here today come to fruition, the future looks really bright for Google's Android mobile operating system.
Otellini sits on Google's board. No word yet on how much Google paid him for the following assessments, which paint an incredibly rosy picture for the search engine giant. (Ha-ha, funny).
Otellini said the chip maker's phones started ringing the day after Apple launched the iPhone, with every computer company, handset manufacturer and phone carrier wanting to play in the smart-phone space.
But the iPhone is just a start, he said. The arrival of Android, available in T-Mobile's G1 smart phone, is just one indication that the market will soon be flooded with new smart phones. Otellini added:
"As all of those industries compete to provide the best evolutionary path from the iPhone over, as consumers, we'll have better and better products."
This makes sense, given what we know of the market evolution in the PC industry. It's also why Google needs to help convince carriers and handset manufacturers, not to mention mobile application developers, to build devices and software based on Android.
If the G1 is the height of innovation around Android, I believe the platform will be a disappointment. And then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who just dismissed Google's approach with Android, will be vindicated. Om Malik believes Ballmer is missing the mark and urges him to look at Windows Mobile.
Moreover, Otellini is hopeful that despite the iPhone's proprietary nature, application and tool development for smart phones will be done with standard tools, which means open source. That plays right into the Android programming scheme. He said:
"We have an increasing degree of freedom in something like Android and as other vendors bring out other Linux-based environments ... we'll be more open. The problem is that the networks will require that there is some degree of testing and compatibility so that they don't screw up the phone network that these are going to be run on."
However, he said he believes carriers will eventually loosen up about protecting their networks, noting that voice will be free with the money in social networking services and mobile advertising. Carriers, handset manufacturers and PC makers are all mulling how to leverage these, but the easiest path to these technologies and services is the Internet.
Again, this description couldn't have painted a rosier position for Google, which has -- surprise -- mobile social networking tools via Jaiku and Zingku, and a mobile ad model to boot.
How do you see Google positioned for the future?