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Google, Get on the Phone

Enough with the speculation, it's time to announce the plan.



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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.

My motivations are somewhat selfish. I'd want that phone -- but I bet many, many others would want it as well. Judging by your broader philosophy, my guess is it would be simple, light, focus on functionality more than image, and make Web-browsing its most important capability.

Like most people with any technology know-how whatsoever, I already use your search, email, and chat, among your other products. That means you could also start bridging the divide between the desktop and wireless world for your many users.

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.



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iPhone debut was tempting. But it lost its entire luster for me after reports of its slow Internet connectivity started to surface.

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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


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


, 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.)

One of your direct competitors told me that what frustrates them most is that in their surveys, they've asked consumers about fake Google products and are shocked to get positive responses. So, for example, they'll ask people what they think about Google Laundry Detergent, and people will say they like it.

You have the brand muscle to pull this off, in other words. A phone with the Google brand will sell like hotcakes -- It might even be as popular as Google Hotcakes.

And that's exactly why you avoid the other route you've reportedly been contemplating: limiting yourself to creating an operating system that you'd try to have other phone companies install. Most consumers simply wouldn't get as excited about some phone with a Linux-based operating system designed by Google as they would an all-out Google phone.

That's provided they don't get fatigued by the endless speculation about said phone beforehand, of course.

So Google, for the sake of your shareholders, for the sake of "organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible" -- as your mission says -- please just get a phone out. And kindly put me down for one.