Daily Debrief: One step closer to the Google phone
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>> Welcome to the Daily Debrief. I'm CNET's Kara Suboy, here with Tom Krazitz, and we're here to talk about the Google Android phone, which everyone is touting as the possible competitor to the iPhone. Let's first talk about what this phone is all about, since we don't have it out yet, no one really knows that much about it. Tom, why don't you explain, what is the Google Android phone?
>> Sure. Well first of all, it's not Google's phone. It's, HTC is the company that's gonna have the first phone out. What Google is doing is they're making software, you know, an operating system, a browser, a couple of applications that other companies will put on phones, HTC is probably the first one that we're gonna see. Other companies will put on phones as sort of a, it's like a basic smart phone setup that you, you'd want to think of it as that kind of thing at least.
>> That's right. They are opening it up for you know, software developers everywhere to build on it -
>> That's right.
>> - and customize it.
>> There are dozens of companies involved in the open handset alliance, which is sort of Google's partnership to get these things out. You know, lots of Motorolas, another prominent one, Samsung, another prominent company. They all expect to have phones out eventually. But we learned today that HTC will probably be the first company out with a phone, and we'll expect that around November on T-Mobile's network.
>> So HTC, and I know they're calling this phone The Dream.
>> The HTC Dream. But what do we know as far as the hardware? What is it gonna be looking like? Is it gonna be comparable to the iPhone?
>> It will be comparable in some ways. We expect it to be a 3G phone, we expect it to have Wi-Fi. It's going to be a smart phone, which means it should be able to browse the internet, and download applications, and that kind of thing. As far as the look and feel goes, you know, it's a little, it's a little unclear if we can compare it directly to the iPhone. I mean we've seen screen shots, we've seen you know, demonstrations and that kind of thing. I don't think you should think of Android as a true iPhone competitor. It's really meant for more of a broader base of phones. I mean the iPhone's all about integration, it's all about the software and the hardware working together, and that's Apple's big pitch -
>> Of course.
>> - for all of its things really.
>> Android's more like Windows Mobile, or Symbian if you've heard of those other kinds of software, you know, where the software is designed to run on a wide variety of phones. And so when you do that, when you make more concessions to the hardware, you've got to sort of spread things out a little bit, and go a little bit more lowest common denominator on some of the things that you do. So I mean I think you should think of Android as more of a mass market type of phone, more mid-range kind of smart phones that will be all over the world. Whereas the iPhone's really a high end product at the moment, compared to everything else.
>> But of course you know, Google is obviously a very popular company, not just for their search, but now for their Docs, now for their, you name it.
>> I mean they really are kind of reaching out. So if this, I mean if they already have such a following for every other product they've launched, it's a safe bet that a lot of those followers will want to adopt this phone version too.
>> Well people are very interested to see what Google has in mind for this. Because I mean a lot of you know, early smart phones haven't done the browsing part of things, as well as others. And this is why people are all crazy over the iPhones, because the iPhone's really the first smart phone that really got the internet, and really did the browsing on a scale that people are used to no their PCs.
>> Absolutely. You see it on your screen, you see it on your phone.
>> Same thing.
>> And so that's what Google is going after. I mean you know, the demonstrations of course are always pretty good so you know, you're not really learning all that much from those. You know, when this gets out in the open and out in the wild, and people have more experience with it, we'll see how far Google's gone towards that goal.
>> All right. But it sounds like November is when we could be seeing this at the earliest?
>> That's what it looks like, yeah. There was a little document inside the FCC approval process that said that HTC had asked the FCC to hold everything secret until November tenth, and there's really no point in launching something before then if you know, this is a phone that's gonna be torn apart within about twelve seconds of its arrival, so.
>> Sure. And do we have a price yet? Any idea what -
>> No, and that will vary I think greatly by carrier, by country, by handset maker. You know, like if you want to load up the handset with all kinds of you know, hardware, bells and whistles, then obviously it'll cost more.
>> You know, or you could put Android on a real bare bones kind of phone too it seems. So I would expect pricing all over the map.
>> All right, and I'm sure there's gonna be lots more developments between now and November, so.
>> I would expect so.
>> All right, thank you very much Tom Krazitz. I'm Kara Suboy, we'll see you on the next Daily Debrief.
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