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The Man Behind the Google Phone 95

Hugh Pickens writes "The New York Times is running a story about Andy Rubin, Google's resident gadget guru, and one of the primary architects of the gPhone. You won't find any new technical details about the gPhone in the story, (Google is planning an announcement on Monday about its future mobile plans.) but the story about Rubin gives some clues that indicate that Google plans to do more than merely develop an operating system for cellular phones. One clue to the gPhone is that after Rubin left Apple he joined General Magic, the company co-founded with Mac pioneers Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld that developed Magic Cap in the 1990s, a PDA precursor years ahead of its time that included a cell phone and email. The Times speculates that Google may also be planning to replay the strategy that Microsoft used to bulldoze Netscape in the mid-1990s by 'cutting off' Microsoft's air supply by giving the gPhone away to handset makers and to put Microsoft Windows Mobile out of business. If the strategy works, it will be because Rubin and his team have successfully developed a vision of the smartphone of the future and a strategy for getting it accepted by the public and by the carriers."

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