The Wal-Mart of the Internet
Most every online user knows by now that Google is the most dominant search entity to date. But it seems lately being known as #1 in search isn’t enough. Google has expanded into social networking (YouTube), competing with Microsoft Office (Google Docs & Sheets), not to mention the 35+ other services offered on Google.com.
The newest revelation (or rumor depending how you look at it) is the possibility of a Google branded mobile phone code named Switch.
This phone is speculated as being part Blackberry but with enhanced internet/search functionality. Its most obvious competition would be the much anticipated iPhone due for release sometime this summer.
Google, just like Apple, would most likely lease tower space from established mobile providers such as Verizon, Alltel, or Cingular. These middleman carriers are known as MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). Some other examples of MVNOs are: Amp’d Mobile, Helio, Boost, Disney Mobile (ESPN), and Virgin Mobile.
One of the biggest hurdles Google will have to face is the monthly cost for a subscriber’s air time. Several companies have tried similar business models of renting tower space; some have been very successful and some failed miserably. ESPN Mobile is a great example of a failure. By having a niche product and loyal target market ESPN was very confident in success with its sports only mobile service, but shut down shop in only 11 months.
Google has done its share of throwing weight around online, as has Wal-Mart in the retail world. To make the “Switch” a success in the competitive mobile world where ESPN couldn’t, a large sumo named iPhone will have to be pushed out of the MVNO arena.