Enter…the Googlephone!

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I hope this doesn’t turn into a monstrous iPhonelike media bubble. Everybody writing about it, myself included, should be forced to take several deep calming breaths before setting fingertip to keyboard. But yeah, Google might possibly be making a phone.

It’s not a wildly radical idea: you picture some kind of low-end version of an iPhone-like object, with basic voice and data functionality, fees to be defrayed by revenue from ads served to said object…I’m in no position to be crunching the numbers, but the numbers on the face of it do seem to be crunchable. I don’t really want ads on my cell phone, but I’d opt in if the money were right, and I suppose the ads would be geographically localized, since the phone would know where I was, which would give them an additional layer of relevance. But that’s about it. It could be a game-changer, but only because the cell phone game is so horribly lame and broken to begin with.

It does remind me a little of that moment in 1996 when it seemed like companies might actually be able to make money by giving away low-end PC’s for free, with free Internet access, for the privilege of serving a ribbon of ads across the bottom of the monitor screen. Then somebody had the bright idea of putting a strip of duct tape over the ribbon of ads, thereby “hacking” their ad-crippled PC into a regular old PC with a slightly smaller screen. Let us pour out a splash of Vitamin Water onto our industrial grey carpeting in memory of fallen business plans everywhere.