by Mike Masnick
Wed, Oct 31st 2007 4:41pm
There's lots of talk in the news today saying that Google is pretty close on a deal to have Verizon Wireless be the first to offer Google's new wireless bundle of software that many people are referring to as the "GPhone" (which still hasn't officially been announced). This might seem like an odd pairing to some. After all, it seems like the two companies are pretty vehement in disagreeing on some key telecom issues concerning things like 700 MHz spectrum and network neutrality. Besides, Verizon Wireless is infamous for being the US carrier most focused on walled gardens, while a big part of the supposed point of the GPhone is to force more openness into the wireless arena. So why the pairing? It's actually fairly simple. Blame Apple. Verizon Wireless famously turned down the chance to be Apple's partner for the iPhone, claiming that Apple had too many strict rules to make it worthwhile. So how do you fight back against the juggernaut of the iPhone? Yup, with the GPhone. It's got nothing to do with openness, the features the Gphone provides or any of the other disputes. It's all about Google's brand and the fact that it's, perhaps, the one brand on a phone that will attract enough attention to (maybe) come close to the hype surrounding the iPhone.
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