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Google Attack On the Mobile Market Rumored 324

xchg writes in with a somewhat speculative, though plausible, piece from WiseAndroid claiming that Google is gearing up for an all-out assault on the mobile-phone market that will include a new, Google-branded handset and the first comprehensive Google phone service with unlimited free calls. "The real breakthrough, however, will come with the marriage of the Googlephone to Google Voice, the Californian company’s high-tech phone service. Google Voice gives US users a free phone number and allows unlimited free calls to any phone in the country — landline or mobile. International calls start from... just over a penny a minute. Google Voice also uses sophisticated voice recognition to turn voicemails into emails, can block telemarketing calls automatically and offers free text messaging. Google sounded its intentions two weeks ago when it purchased a small company called Gizmo5... [E]xperts are predicting that the Googlephone will be launched in the US early next year."
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Google Attack On the Mobile Market Rumored

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  • by StreetStealth ( 980200 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @07:46PM (#30250740) Journal

    Ever since the introduction of 2G mobile technology, we've just been throwing data back and forth between the towers, and yet even in 2009 the telcos still charge us differently for minutes, text messages, and "data."

    It was always going to take a disruptive force to get them to recognize data as data and price it as such. Maybe Google will serve as just that disruption.

  • by Philip K Dickhead ( 906971 ) <> on Friday November 27, 2009 @07:59PM (#30250870) Journal

    True - but you have to do so by paying them off. Cartel-like, they are setting the interest rate for an individual across accounts and trapping these with tools like "universal default".

  • by TSHTF ( 953742 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @08:14PM (#30251020) Homepage
    Here's another data point for a random end-user: I've used Google Voice to the tune of approximately 1200 minutes per month for the last four months and haven't experienced service issues with receiving calls or placing calls. I've made very few international calls, however.
  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Friday November 27, 2009 @08:24PM (#30251114) Homepage

    That's not true. At any point you can go to the credit card company and say "Here is the $3874 I owe you" and get out of your contract.

    The terms are only unilaterally adjusted if you pay it off monthly. In that case, you're still in the loan, so of course your contract holds. They can't ignore the contract. You signify agreement to any changes by not canceling your account. If you've been using your credit responsibly, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. If you've been using it like a second source of income, yeah, you're screwed.

    I do think many of the credit card company's practices are horrible, and some should be illegal. In fact, some are now (read: June 1st) thanks to the credit card reform that was passed. But it annoys me that so many people take on so much debt and then complain that they have to pay it off.

    I don't see enough people taking responsibility, so I poked at your point that read that way to me.

  • Re:Adapt or else (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2009 @08:49PM (#30251336)
  • by csboyer ( 1101385 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @08:58PM (#30251410)
    Buy an unlocked GSM phone. The N900 meets most of your qualifications above but it only works with T-mobile 3G =(. You can get ATT 2G no problem but thats a deal breaker for most people.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2009 @09:06PM (#30251438)

    You're confused about what the mobile phone makers produce and what the carriers give you.

    Mobile phones have a lot of features, natively, but each phone is customised by your telco.

    The telco you buy a phone from through generally gets to decide what features are enabled or disabled.

    For example, a phone with blue-tooth might allow direct picture exchange with other phones when bought unlocked (or without a contract) but when you buy the cheaper version from Verizon, that feature may be disabled.

    Unlocked phones can be bought but they cost more.

    Because the cost of the phone is subsidised by the carrier you buy it from through phone call charges and presumably the contractual agreements that send part of your phone use revenue back to them.

    When I look at your list of "must haves", the unlocked Motorola SLVR I bought 3 (or 4?) years ago allows me to:
    o use Standard SIM cards from any telco
    o Use blue-tooth to attach ear buds or exchange pics with other phones
    o recharge and sync data via the micro-USB port ... I don't care to use it as a web browser, so I'm not concerned about whether it gets WTAP pages or not.

    Similarly I don't want to run beta-ware software on it so I'm not eager to replace the phone's operating system with my own package that turns it into a brick.

    I suspect that the above three bullet items I've listed are available today, you just need to do your home work and be willing to pay a bit extra.

    Try going to an AT&T store and asking for an "unlocked phone" and if they can't sell you one, go to Sprint and then Verizon and then...

  • by incongruency ( 1683022 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @10:14PM (#30251832)

    Or will the carriers detect a "foreign" SIM card and block access, similar to how my AT&T phone won't work on a Sprint cell network.

    Actually, this particular instance is not a case of Sprint rejecting a Ma Bell SIM card, it's a case of two entirely different wireless technologies. AT&T and T-Mobile in the US run on a more globally accepted standard, known as GSM. However, Verizon and Sprint run on a faster, but less accepted, standard known as CDMA. These two are incompatible with each other; your AT&T phone won't work on the Sprint network because it speaks the wrong language.

  • by yumyum ( 168683 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @10:18PM (#30251848)
    Citation? Otherwise, I think you are "making this up".
  • by GreenCow ( 201973 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @11:42PM (#30252252) Journal

    the G1 fills those requirements, except the proprietary jack (htc), i have a 10$ dongle that gives it mini-usb+audio+htc, but the G1 includes out of box an htc-usb cable for data and charging. the G1 is 179 with a tmo contract (400 no contract) and can be easily unlocked to install debian arm.

    i think the motorola droid on verizon or most other android phones would fit most of these features as well.

  • by Binestar ( 28861 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @11:57PM (#30252312) Homepage

    You have to pay it off, on terms unilaterally adjusted by the lender, on criteria independent of the contract under which you entered the lending agreement.

    I don't know about your credit cards, but when I got one of those "The economy is bad, so we're raising your interest rates" letters that wanted to raise my 9% card to 16% there was a clause that I could decline the change and close the card, *KEEPING* my current rate and payoff schedule. So I did that. When a company changes the contract you have a way out. It has been true of everyone who I've heard has received those letters.

  • by Deluge ( 94014 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @11:59PM (#30252328)

    there's 100's of offers out there from super low rates to high rates with interest FREE periods and everything in between

    I've had a CC for about 10 years now and i think i've only ever paid $50 in interest and about $1000 in annual fees, and considering a CC is an unsecured loan i think that's amazingly cheap.

    That's a lot of annual fees! I've had CCs for 13 years now, and have paid maybe $20 in interest and $0 in annual fees. I have, however, received several hundred dollars from various 'reward' CCs plus I've used the extended warranty coverage provided by many cards. CCs have saved me a nice sum over the years.

    This is the only appropriate way to use CCs IMO. You already pay a ~2% credit card tax when you purchase anything in retail, since the retailer has to pay that percentage to the CC company for the privilege of accepting those cards.

  • by downhole ( 831621 ) on Saturday November 28, 2009 @01:16AM (#30252618) Homepage Journal

    You need to check out the unlocked phone market; these features are pretty common there. I've had a Nokia N85 for about a year, and it does everything you describe except for being completely open. It connects and charges over Micro-USB; there is proprietary software for Windows that allows syncing, but it will present as a USB storage device to any platform. Since it is unlocked with quad-band GSM and tri-band W-CDMA, it works with any GSM carrier in the US or overseas, just drop in a SIM card. Bluetooth can be used for sending files and tethering in addition to earpieces and headphones. It supports several web browsers, which are all capable of showing full webpages. It does a pretty good job playing videos too, though the stock player is a little picky about h-264 encoding settings. It has since been replaced by the N86, which is the same phone except with a 8MP autofocus camera instead of 5MP. There's no touchscreen, but it is small enough to actually fit in your pocket comfortably.

    The only downside is that while there won't be a contract, you will need to shell out a lot more then you would for any phone at the carrier. I've paid around $400+ for all of my unlocked phones.

  • by twiddlingbits ( 707452 ) on Saturday November 28, 2009 @01:36AM (#30252696)
    Not true. Credit scores are important no matter what Dave Ramsey tells you. Many jobs these days check your credit score and credit history, bad scores due to bad credit history will kill your chances. Insurance companies (life, auto, not sure about health) can charge you higher premiums for lower scores. Plus if you don't have any credit record (you always paid cash) that means a low score too. It's not like you start at 850 and go DOWN, you have to work up to perfect credit. That's ass-backwards for sure but it's the way it is.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"