It has been long rumored that Google is in development of their own “iPhone Killer.” Being an iPhone owner myself, I have doubts about the possibility of any company, even Google, being able to develop a phone cool enough to have even a chance of getting me to switch away from my beloved phone. However, word on the street is Google plans to sell their phone dirt cheap, and then provide “free” monthly service. Sound too good to be true? Guess again…
Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, announced in July that the company will participate in the Federal Communications Commission auction for the old 700MHz wireless spectrum. Google is certainly in a strong enough financial position to win the auction, and if that happens, look out! It would enable Google to create a nationwide, ultra high speed network that it would likely offer to consumers for free. Why would they do that? Because by controlling the network millions of people are connecting to, they are assured the default search engine (along with all other default media) used will be their own, and their sponsored advertising revenue would go up exponentially.
This is where the Google Phone (gPhone) comes into play. Computers, even low end computers, are relatively expensive. Cell phones, on the other hand, can be manufactured and sold for less than $100. The Google Phone will be similar to the Apple iPhone by actually being much more than just a phone. They will be miniature, inexpensive “internet devices”, that happen to also be a phone.
The new Google network would not only allow for computers to connect to the internet from anywhere, but it would also double as a free phone network- working exclusively with the Google Phone. Bingo. Why would anyone spend hundreds of dollars for a non Google phone, that also requires an expensive monthly contract with Sprint, ATT or any other major players?! Some still would, of course, but many (dare I say even most) won’t.
How would this change SEM? Well, Google will certainly include a new search tool, that will work a bit differently than normal web searches. It will basically be a sophisticated yellow page like search, yet in classic Google simplistic fashion and style. Users will be just a few touches away from getting 1) a brief description of the business along with a map and directions if they wish 2) a link to the full web site 3) a phone number that will simply need to be touched in order to dial.
Advertisers will literally be lining up to show up at the top of these phone searches, and Google knows it. It’s these advertisers that will enable the free network, and the (possibly even free) Google Phone. The Google Phone will be everywhere, the major cell phone carriers will go out of business, along with many internet service providers… basically, everything is going to get turned upside down, and the resulting tidal waves of users will also change the current landscape of PPC advertising- forever.
Your opinions and comments are welcome.