For the benighted souls out there who don't come from cricketing nations, a googly is an off break bowled with a leg break action. None the wiser? OK. It's cricket ball bowled as if to break one way that actually breaks in the opposite way - the purpose being to baffle the batsman and get him out - caught or bowled. And that's what Google is attempting to do to mobile operators with its new Android OS strategy, as Martyn Warwick reports.
In a decidedly radical, not to say revolutionary, move, Google is changing its Android mobile operating system strategy. If the scheme works it will result in the company forging a united front with smartphone and tablet makers and so dimiminish the ability of mobile operators to take effective control of the devices.
Hitherto, Google has partnered exclusively with a single manufacturer that has then made and brought to the market so-called "lead devices". Only when that had happened did Google then offer the OS software to other handset and mobile device makers.
However, to pour calming oil on troubled waters after its contentious aquistition of Motorola Mobility, Google assured twitchy OEMs that it would erect chinese walls between the Android and Motorola parts of the business and keep them separate. This assurance was greeted with considerable cynicism when it was given but now Google is fulfilling its promise to give multiple manufacturers early access to new releases of Android and will sell them directly to consumers.
In other words, we could soon be seeing multiple Google Nexus handsets all running Android and with no OEM being placed in a situation of disadvantage vis a vis another.
Current plans are for Google to work with five different manufacturers simultaneously to create a wide range of unlocked Nexus phones and tablet computers which will directly be sold, without a contract, to consumers in North America, Europe and the Far East via Google's Play Store and retail shops. This will leave the mobile operators with much less influence on and input to the development, direction and control of the market and will scare the living daylights out of them.
On the face of it, it looks like a win-win situation for OEMs and consumers alike. Manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, and Motorola will all have a Nexus device working on the Android OS and at least one of them will always have the very latest iteration of Android.
The scheme is also a massive slap in the kisser for the wireless network operators who have got so used to ruling the roost and controlling the sales and marketing of mobile devices made by different companies that they feel it is perfectly alright to preload devices with their own customised before selling it. Under the new Google regime consumers would be completely in control of their handsets and the network operators running around trying to come up with a strategy for a future that is already moving away from them.
"I do love cricket - it's so very, very English" Actress Sarah Bernhardt
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