Blog Post

Googles Next Big Move: Voice


Chad and I have a friendly smartphone rivalry. He is a die hard, early-adapting iPhone dude. I think he's had 3 different models of iPhone since they came out. He likes the style and coolness factor. I respect that, but have opted for the Nexus One (also known as the Google Phone), running the opensource Android Operating System from Google. I feel that Google is in a much better position in the long-run. While not the first mover (which was clearly Apple), much like Microsoft in the 90's, Google is extremely well-positioned to pull a "Bill Gates" on Apple. Poor Jobs. Seems like the story of his life.

Regardless of your position on the Android vs IOS4 debate, one aspect of the recent Google innovation has gotten surprisingly little press coverage: Google Voice. Google has essentially gotten into the cell phone business, in a Skypish way. They have built a VOIP capability for mobile. And in my opinion this is as much a game-changer as the first iPhone itself - perhaps bigger.

For about 15 years now, the cell phone industry has had a relatively stable approach to pricing and product offerings. While the number of minutes has been increasingly (and costs decreasing) Google is blowing the doors off the entire model by making your phone calls free (except internationally). It is the Skype model for mobile. And to me it is likely to revolutionize the cell phone business (from the consumer point of view - sorry geeks).

Interesting side-note, when I first got my Nexus One Google Phone, it said that "not all carriers are supporting Google Voice." I'll bet. They were probably trying to resist it as long as possible. In the very near future, you might only need a cellular data plan for your smartphone and that's it. All thanks to Google.