gPhone: In Defense of Google

Hey Rizzn-ites,

Well, if you’re like me, you woke up this morning with an inbox full of emails and a Google reader that pointed to mostly links to the New York Times article on the gPhone. Instead of tapping out thirty or forty replies to emails on my comment on the story, I’m simply going to post here, and refer all the bozos who wrote me back to this article.

You can hear me talk about this today on RizWords, daily politics and technology (subscribe for free to listen).

Everyone in the new media seems to be taking the New York Times article as if it were gospel, on not a poorly written re-hashing of everything else Crunchgear, Information Week, DigiTimes and I have written previously. Very little primary source research work was done for the article, and everything mentioned as a ‘fact’ about the gPhone, I’ve mentioned previously (to little fanfare) on my blog. The only difference is that the New York Times didn’t attribute me as a source, nor did the even bother to contact me and ask me where I got my facts from.

That’s right. I’m saying plagiarism. If not from me, then from the blogosphere in general. That they’ve not checked me out or asked me about anything (or that anyone but the Boston Globe has contacted me from the MSM) to try to get a couple of the rumors they’re reporting as fact correct completely floors me.

Here are the first four paragraphs of the NYT article, translated and condensed down to a sentence a piece:

Everyone is saying there’s a gPhone coming. The gPhone isn’t going to be better than the iPhone. I’ve figured out all of Google’s mobile strategy, magically, and without any help. Here it is: they want to advertise on mobile phones.

The problem here is it’s all the way down to paragraph five when the author starts talking to someone who might have a clue as to what technology is, Karsten Weide. Unfortunately, even a cursory glance at his bio shows us that he has very little experience in what it is that Google actually does. He’s an ex-Yahoo Germany project manager – the closest he ever came to knowing Google strategy was working at a branch of a competitor of Google.

The article then continues to cite: an anonymous (non-Google) executive, Dan Olschwang of JumpTap (a mobile phone version of Google), Arun Sarin of Vodafone, and Scott Cleland (telecommunications industry analyst who recently testified before the Senate against Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick). All of these folks were either in direct competition with Google or were anti-Google.

Only in the last three sentences are any positive words used (by the article or by quoted sources) in reference to Google.

Essentially, the NYT piece is just a poorly veiled hit piece on Google, essentially stating that the gPhone is extraneous, and that you can already get to Google.com with a mobile phone, so why the hype about a gPhone?

I’ll tell you why the hype. The Apple iPhone was this incredible piece of technology released to the largest launch in recent memory for a mobile device. What we had was a device we could develop for and look at as a platform for real forward, user-controlled advancement. And then Apple bricked it.

Now, with the gPhone, we’re looking at the same thing, but without an Apple-ish propensity for monopoly, and closed systems. Google and the gPhone is the only device coming out on the horizon that looks like it both has the power to inspire the masses as well as the open and robust platform that developers can use and work on. That’s the bottom line, and that’s the big picture that the New York Times missed.

For an article that got it right, see TechCrunch today.

For a good chronology, see SearchEngineLand.

I’ve got more to say, but you’ll have to tune into RizWords today to get it.

/rizzn

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