Devices Opinion

Eitan Gelbaum of Amdocs on the Android G1

What’s the industry thinking about the G1 launch? Let’s hear from one of the top chaps at Amdocs. If you haven’t come across them, they’re a $3 billion 17,000 employee behemoth, serving the back-offices of many huge providers in the telecommunications industry. (Think China mobile, Japan Telecom, Vodafone, BT, Cable & Wireless…).

Eitan Gelbaum, VP of Advertising, Commerce and Entertainment for Amdocs answered a few of my questions about the new G1. I particularly like his points about mobile companies becoming ‘bit pipes’.

Over to Eitan…

What aspects of the G1 have caught your attention?
The G1 is the first phone to support Android open platform for third party application developers. Plus, it’s the first competitor to Apple’s iPhone.

Google has a unique business model. It will share its revenue with service providers and developers. In fact, Google gives 70% of Android market revenue to the developer, but the remaining 30% of revenue goes to service providers, minus billing settlement fees.

The launch of G1 and Android provide an excellent opportunity for Google to capture valuable consumer data beyond basic search information. It also provides them with the ability to capitalise on the huge innovation potential of the general development community.

The G1, the iPhone, and all smart phones will actually end up driving more revenues for service providers, as their core networks are increasingly utilised.

How do you think the mobile industry will react to the G1?
Developers are already developing applications and consumers are hungry for the device. This will force service providers to offer the G1 (or other Android phones) to stay competitive.

Consumers have been excited about the launch of G1 due to the fact that Android supports a number of applications, imposing next to no restrictions. Apple has been criticised for this in the past.

The G1 pushes service providers further back in the value chain. If they do not find ways of making use of their network infrastructure, in conjunction with the capabilities of the Android operating system, they will find themselves further relegated to the role of bit pipes. They should find ways of adding value beyond the device and operating system. While service providers should continue to allow other visibly branded partners into the mix, they should also look at new ways to build their own unique consumer-friendly portals, app stores, digital content shopping experiences and location-based marketing platforms.

A unique portal experience with Android can also be a competitive advantage for service providers, if done right. By positioning themselves as the ‘customer experience’ part of the equation, they can get an even greater share of the pie and add more value to end users.

Is the UK consumer ready for the G1?
Absolutely. Consumers will be able to customise their own customer experience with applications that are relevant or interesting to them. As an alternative and a competitor to the iPhone, the G1 offers greater choice.

Will you be purchasing one?

You Bet! It’s been the most anticipated device since the launch of the iPhone.

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Eitan, thanks for taking the time and I hope you enjoy your G1!

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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