Google just showed a brief demo (good stuff at engadget, techCrunch and androidcommunity) of a prototype phone called the HTC Dream. While the demo is just plain cool, we (zintin) think it also sheds new light on the future of the mobile software space, and the upcoming competition between iPhone, Android and established players.
As far as we can tell, the first phones running Android will be targeted towards people looking for a phone/entertainment device hybrid, and thus the phones will compete most directly with the iPhone. A few days ago at the last Silicon Valley iPhone developers meetup Mike Mace (of MobileOpportunity) shared some insight into the mobile market segmentation with us. One of the points he made clear was that there is a large divide between people who want entertainment from their phones and people who want business features. This seems to be a somewhat common perception among people watching the space. However, we think that the street view demo shown today on Android says something else.
The Google street view app is beautifully integrated with unique characteristics of the mobile device, (eg the compass). This is a great example of the kind of new software that people have been waiting to see on phones. However, its not an entertainment app. And its not a business app either. In fact, its just a plain useful app.
What does this mean then? It means that the market segmentation of mobile devices is changing. No longer will there be a strict divide between business and entertainment devices. New phones that have great new features which are useful to everyone have a chance to make inroads in all segments.
Zintin will be out on the iPhone first, but we are very excited about what we have already been able to do on Android. Both platforms are already breeding grounds for innovation, and when new apps start to hit the market, expect to see some big changes in the mobile market.
Visit zintin.com to sign up for the beta announcement.