Google (GOOG) has invested a lot of time and money in building a broad alliance of companies to support Android, its operating system for mobile phones. The Open Handset Alliance now totals 47 members, including hardware, software, and chip companies. Now Google is considering a move to sell its own phone, which risks undermining the coalition. Phonemakers such as Motorola (MOT) and Samsung, in particular, could begin to see Google as more rival than ally if the search giant starts selling a product head-to-head with theirs. “This could destroy the Open Handset Alliance,” says program manager Will Stofega of market researcher IDC.
There’s no telling yet whether or when AT&T (T) might lose its position as the sole U.S. carrier of the Apple (AAPL) iPhone. But in the event Apple opts to partner with other mobile-phone service providers, Verizon Wireless says it’s up to the task.
Verizon Wireless has even made upgrades that would make its network more capable of handling extra traffic that would be generated by the iPhone, Verizon Wireless Chief Technology Officer Anthony Melone says in an interview.
“We have put things in place already,” Melone tells Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “We are prepared to support that traffic.”
Three months after the launch of its its supercomputer-scale hosted data mining service, startup 80legs Inc. has made a limited version of it available without charge.
The company will continue to charge for higher levels of the service.
Aimed at researchers, students, startups and small companies, the free offering lets users search and analyze up to 100,000 Web pages per job, the company said in a press release last week. Users may have one job, which the company says is more sophisticated than a typical Google keyword search, running at a time.