Everyone’s buzzing about Google’s entry into the cell phone market, pitching itself against Apple's iPhone.

Tech analysts streaming out of the woodwork predict the Android platform will capture four percent of the smartphone market-share in this fourth quarter.

Bold predictions that will go down in a “blaze of glory”, Bon Jovi style.

Initial comparisons between the platforms suggests par value. Deeper investigations, however, reveal significant drawbacks to unsuspecting G1 phone buyers.

The G1 does not offer business e-mail security, severely limiting initial expansion into the business market.

T-Moblie, the G1 carrier is a tier-four player in the market with only 31 million subscribers. Coverage is limited to urban markets and only 21 markets maintain 3G availability compared to AT&T’s 200 markets. Sorry, Governor Palin – there is no coverage in Alaska, so you won't be able to hear Russia either.

Google’s decision to go with T-Mobile defies logic …. at first glance. Taking a lesson from Apple’s launch of the second generation iPhone and the inventory problems it encountered, Google’s strategy may well be centered upon a soft launch through a limited (read handicapped) coverage carrier generating an initial trickle in sales while the giant irons out its bugs. Sales will not surge until Google moves to a first tier player, likely to be Verizon. A smart, if not brilliant, strategy.

The G1 phone’s Taiwanese manufacturer, HTC, is a relatively new brand name in the US market (although it manufactures many of the private label phones now in use) and maintains a rock-solid reputation for its products. Cher Wang, its chairwoman, has positioned the company for significant growth beyond its already stellar reputation. Look for the company to begin its branding effort here soon.

So much for the analyst’s predictions. Google will secure a fair share of the smartphone market …. but not until the third or fourth quarter of 2009.

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