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 replace Android 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 of 2014. This replacement of Android in favor of Chrome OS should not be a surprise to readers of this column, as I first predicted it, in this article, two years ago. Clearly, I was too optimistic about the timing. That said, my fundamental 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's filled with elegant cloud and HTML technologies. Whether Chrome or cloud apps, it's all very seamless and elegant. The one wart under Google's foot that's bothering the decision-makers in 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 what an 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 would never admit it, because it's largely its own fault. They would say that Android is 100% open, so of course, there will be massive fragmentation -- Amazon ( AMZN), Samsung, Facebook ( FB) -- because everyone is free to modify Android any way they want. That's all true, but behind that happy-face facade, Google also isn't happy with this situation. Just contrast it with Chrome OS, where Google is in 100% control, and every device is 100% consistent from one 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 updates simultaneously, right away. Google pushes these software updates, and there is nothing Samsung, Acer, Lenovo or HP can do about it -- to stop or 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 OS tablet devices already in 2013. This will establish Chrome OS as a credible "touch only" operating system. Seeing as the Web itself is not optimized for finger-touch -- rather, for mouse/touchpad on a PC -- this would also entail optimizing the Web experience for finger-touch, with large touch-targets. Google, of course, is the one company in the world that can ensure that this happens to the Web. Once such a finger-touch optimization has taken place inside Chrome OS and on the Web experience, Google would be ready to launch its first Chrome OS smartphone -- "Chromephone." This likely takes us to mid-2014. In launching a Chromephone, Google can give all of its previous Android partners the finger. Unlike Android, which is provided under an open source license, Google does not risk having the likes of Samsung, HTC and all the others modifying Chrome OS. For the Chromephone, Google would simply do what it just did with the Pixel Chromebook: Go directly to the manufacturers in Taiwan and China and create its own hardware label. It's not even clear that Google would bother calling its wholly owned subsidiary Motorola ( MOT)for this task.
Google's upcoming moves to gradually replace Android with Chrome OS is more 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.