Google Mulls Custom Phones To Tap Ad Growth

03 August 2007

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: Google is reported to be wooing cellphone operators as it seeks partners to offer mobile devices customized to cash in on its mobile advertising services.

The world's online search leader has talked to telcos T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless among others and hopes handset manufacturers will produce devices based on its specifications.

It is unlikely that Google phones will be available for public purchase until next year but its serious intentions leave no doubt it will enter the market.

Salivates ceo Eric Schmidt: "What's interesting about the ads in the mobile phone is that they are twice as profitable or more than the nonmobile phone ads because they're more personal."

Despite overtures to his company, Verizon ceo Lowell McAdam is wary of Google's plans saying: "They want a disproportionate share of the revenue."

Global spending on cellphone advertising was a modest $1.5 billion (€1.09bn; £739m) in 2006, reports online market researcher eMarketer, a figure forecast to rise to nearly $14bn by 2011.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff