Orange San Francisco

Orange announced their new San Francisco smartphone this week, it’s a mid spec touch screen phone with GPS, Wi-Fi, an FM radio, a 3Mp camera and HSDPA.

Nothing special so far but the two killer points are Android 2.1 and the £99 price tag.

This is exactly what Google wanted to happen with Android,  low priced handsets that make Google’s services, apps and perhaps more importantly advertising reach, available to the masses.

It’s a smart move by Orange, own brand handsets have never really made much of a splash, but using android allows Orange to deliver big league smartphone features without spending on developing an OS, apps, market place and all that jazz.

Will it tempt big brand fans away from the newest, shiniest offerings from the likes of the iPhone? I doubt it, but it will probably entice more price concious buyers, particularly those on pay as you go, to make the leap to a fully fledged smartphone.

So it’s win-win then, well maybe not, it seems that the mobile phone market is going the way the PC market went in the early 90s,  proprietary OS/hardware combinations were largely replaced by commodity PCs running a common OS on off the shelf hardware. The Orange San Francisco is a step on this path, an own brand, low cost commodity phone.

The losers are likely to be those standing resolutely beside the proprietary hardware/software model, I doubt apple will be unseated any time soon, but Nokia and RIM had better watch out.

Comments are closed.