You've probably heard the news. Google is developing its own phone platform, which is apparently much more friendly to open-source software development than its iPhone counterpart. Google's linux-based software kit (known as "Android") will ostensibly spur independent developers to open up the the mobile phone market to incredible grassroots innovation. Google will win too, of course, and the endgame is for the G-men to cut out a large portion of the mobile advertising pie.
Why would Google spend hundreds of millions ensuring that their content and features are available on the mobile platform? Sheer audience, numbering in the billions. To date, there are 3.5 billion mobile phone subscribers; that outnumbers Internet users three-fold. And, of course, it matters not only how many subscribers are signing up to mobile phones, but where they are. Every minute in China, there are an estimated 388 new mobile phone subscribers; in Africa, 94.
Mobile Phone collection image by merfam [cc, 2.0]