Dear Google ( GOOG): Seriously. Just tell us you're coming out with a phone already. We're getting a little tired of this constant speculation about whether you're making it, whether someone else will make one for you, if you're just making an operating system for mobile phones, and your comments about wireless spectrum bidding. Your analyst day on Wednesday provides just the opportunity to clear the air. During the event, CEO Eric Schmidt will no doubt delve into the finer points of your algorithm advertising-ranking methodology, the generational transition from client-server to "cloud-based computing," and your new widget ads. Fascinating as that may be, here's what everybody really wants to know: Are you developing a mobile phone that will at long last deliver on the promise of wireless Internet connectivity? I hope the answer to that is an unequivocal yes -- and that you say as much.
We would basically just be connecting to the Internet from different devices, where you would greet us with all of our wonderful data and prior surfing history. That's all a lot of us are looking for. Sure, Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone debut was tempting. But it lost its entire luster for me after reports of its slow Internet connectivity started to surface. A few months and a price cut later, it turns out the iPhone was basically a big video iPod that could make phone calls and connect to the Internet, albeit poorly. It did have its share of gimmicks, like being able to show YouTube videos. But I think for most people, the preferred place to watch YouTube videos is at work. (This is not true for myself, of course. I spend pretty much every minute of my day researching Internet stocks and diligently creating value for the shareholders of TheStreet.com.) The iPhone's status as a "chick magnet"
also was briefly noted . But how much attention do you really want from a woman so impressed by a shiny phone? Apple built the iPhone on top of its other hot product, the video iPod, with the Internet as an afterthought. You, Google, have the chance to design a product from scratch that puts the Internet first.
Now, nobody's saying you actually have to make this thing yourself. Find a contractor like HTC, as some reports have suggested you may, and let them build it. Along with designing a phone, all you have to do is make sure that your logo is on it. After all, as market researcher Millward Brown Optimor reported in April, you now have the most powerful brand in the world. (Apple ranked a mere 16th.)