Looks like Google's hit a few roadblocks in its quest to rule the world. First comes news that Google Android, the operating system designed to serve up the Internet on mobile phones and rival the iPhone, won't be able to interface with new cell phones until the end of the year. When Google announced the project back in November, it projected that cell phones bearing the Android software would be ready by this summer. But according to the Wall Street Journal, Google has announced that its handsets won't be available until the fourth quarter of this year. In addition, Sprint Nextel reportedly won't launch a Google Android phone until 2009. And China Mobile, which boasts 400 million cell phone accounts, won't launch its Google Android model until late this year or early 2009.
Information Week's Eric Zeman is surprised that everyone's so surprised at the news. "Mobile operating systems are a tricky business" he writes. "They don't just appear overnight. Bringing new handsets, especially ones running a brand new operating system, takes 12 to 18 months to bring to market. Did the WSJ forget that Google didn't announce Android until November 2007?"
Los Angeles Times correspondent Michelle Quinn thinks it's just as well that the Android phone won't come out soon. "Maybe it's not the right year to come out with a new phone anyway" she writes. "The U.S. consumer cellphone market has seen a 20% drop in sales in the last year."
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Google News has seriously struggled to post decent growth numbers and capture a significant slice of the news-reading public. Over the last two years, Google News traffic growth has been a mere ten percent, while news sites such as MCNBC grew by at least 42 percent, and the Times web site has seen even fast rates of growth. In May, Google News could boast only 11.4 million readers, less than a third of Yahoo News readership. CNET's Matt Asay finds Google's defense -- that Google News is one of its most innovative products -- fairly unconvincing. How much imagination, he asks, does it take to aggregate the news of the day?