NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The biggest smartphone technology event in a decade may be just one year away. Google (GOOG) appears to be working hard to replaceAndroid with its current PC desktop/laptop operating system, Chrome OS-- commonly referred to as "Chromebook" and "Chromebox" products.These new smartphones and tablets would be called "Chromephones" and "Chromepads." The Chromephones would launch around the middle of2014. This replacement of Android in favor of Chrome OS should not be asurprise to readers of this column, as I first predicted it, in thisarticle, two years ago. Clearly, I was too optimistic about the timing. That said, myfundamental prediction remains, on an amended time schedule. So, why would Google do this? There are two basic reasons: 1. Architecture / technology: When you look at Google's product and service portfolio, it'sfilled with elegant cloud and HTML technologies. Whether Chrome orcloud apps, it's all very seamless and elegant. The one wart under Google's foot that's bothering the decision-makersin Mountain View is Android. Android is Java and it's old-world.Intellectual property disputes with Oracle ( ORCL)? Hey, even BlackBerry ( BBRY)recently abandoned Java. On the other hand, Chrome OS represents Google's pure vision of whatan operating system should be. It's simple, super-quick and secure.Google is 100% in control of it.
2. Business model and industry structure: Everyone knows Android has become sort of a mess. Google wouldnever admit it, because it's largely its own fault. They would saythat Android is 100% open, so of course, there will be massivefragmentation -- Amazon ( AMZN), Samsung, Facebook ( FB) -- because everyone is freeto modify Android any way they want. That's all true, but behind that happy-face facade, Google also isn'thappy with this situation. Just contrast it with Chrome OS, whereGoogle is in 100% control, and every device is 100% consistent fromone PC to the next. It doesn't matter whether it's Acer, Samsung,Lenovo or HP ( HPQ) -- they are all identical in terms of the software. Speaking of software, all Chrome OS devices get updatessimultaneously, right away. Google pushes these software updates, andthere is nothing Samsung, Acer, Lenovo or HP can do about it -- to stopor delay. Even better, there is nothing Verizon ( VZ) can do about it,either. Google is in 100% control.
There is little doubt that Google will release multiple Chrome OStablet devices already in 2013. This will establish Chrome OS as acredible "touch only" operating system. Seeing as the Web itself isnot optimized for finger-touch -- rather, for mouse/touchpad on a PC-- this would also entail optimizing the Web experience forfinger-touch, with large touch-targets. Google, of course, is the one company in the world that can ensurethat this happens to the Web. Once such a finger-touch optimization has taken place inside Chrome OSand on the Web experience, Google would be ready to launch its firstChrome OS smartphone -- "Chromephone." This likely takes us tomid-2014. In launching a Chromephone, Google can give all of its previousAndroid partners the finger. Unlike Android, which is provided underan open source license, Google does not risk having the likes ofSamsung, HTC and all the others modifying Chrome OS. For the Chromephone, Google would simply do what it just did with thePixel Chromebook: Go directly to the manufacturers in Taiwan andChina and create its own hardware label. It's not even clear thatGoogle would bother calling its wholly owned subsidiary Motorola ( MOT)forthis task.
Google's upcoming moves to gradually replace Android with Chrome OS ismore than a watershed in the mobile computing market. It's a Tsunami. At the time of publication the author was longGOOG,AAPL, BBRY, NOK and FB. Follow @antonwahlman This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.