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Google and Yahoo eye piece of $16.2bn mobile internet pie

Wow. It has to be said. Actually, I’ll say it again. Wow.

Google and Yahoo have just described the mobile internet market and stated their desire to go after it. According to the channel mag ARN the two companies want to go after 3 billion (that’s nine zeros) mobile phone users.

“The phone is three times the size of the market as the Web, so why not people turn on the phone first?” remarked Andy Rubin, Google’s director of mobile platforms.

Rubin said that since Google’s business comes mostly from advertisements, enabling Internet-like experience in mobile phones is very important to them. He said Google’s new mobile phone platform, Android, could be “the ultimate Internet-style-luminated mobile phone” slated to be launched later this year or early 2009.

I personally think he’s missed one point and that is the mobile internet users are usually the PC owners. If you’re not that fussed to have the internet at home, is it such an emergency to pay for it on the mobile?

That said, a recent report by eMarket predicted that the mobile advertising market, with a record spending of US$1.2 billion in 2006, would reach $16.2 billion in 2011. Is it any wonder the companies are after this.

More from ARN:

“Android is open-source platform for mobile phones. It allows developers to develop Internet-style applications on the phone,” he explained, adding that Google has partnered with eight telecommunication companies worldwide who are now building phones based on the Android platform.

Rubin said Google has funded US$10 million to challenge developers to develop applications for Android and there are now about 1700 developers in 75 countries that joined the contest — 20% submissions coming from Asia –which he described as a “pretty global effort and exciting to watch.”

In an exclusive press briefing in Singapore, Rubin presented an unnamed mobile phone that uses the Android platform, where it has Internet-style application features such as BreadCrumbz, PedNav, Fon11, Enkin, multiple weather applications, and various pocket PC games,among others.

Meanwhile, David Ko, managing director and vice president of Connected Life Yahoo! Asia Pacific, announced at the CommunicAsia event here in June that Yahoo!now treats mobile devices as the “starting point” in reaching more product consumers in the Internet compared with PC users.

“We’re reinventing the mobile Internet. It is our goal to target billions of consumers in the Internet,” Ko said, announcing Yahoo!’s new partnerships with Smart Communications Inc. and Sun Cellular, both in the Philippines; the Mahanager Telephon Nigam Limited (MTNL) in India, one2Free in Hong Kong, and Vibo Telecom Inc. in Taiwan.

Ko said the development has increased Yahoo!’s mobile search deals to over 60 in the past 18 months. He claimed that with Yahoo! oneSearch’s launch in the Philippines, it now has the potential to reach 95% of the country’s mobile phone users, more than online desktop users.

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