Google to focus on mobile payment
His three priorities are investment in LTE, mobile money and mobile payment, and make low cost smart phones available. On payment, he writes: “we must attend to the development of mobile money. Phones, as we know, are used as banks in many poorer parts of the world—and modern technology means that their use as financial tools can go much further than that.”
Google recently included NFC functions in Gingerbread, or Android 2.3 operating system (c. Smart Insights Weekly #10-50), and announced the availability of its Nexus S smart phone with NFC aboard. Google also started a pilot in Portland, Oregon, USA, and acquired Zetawire, a Toronto, Canada based startup with a patent on a way to combine a phone-based wallet with a reward-and-loyalty system (cf. SIW #11-02).
Additionally, Eric Schmidt announced he would step down as Google’s CEO, and be replaced by co-founder Larry Page, as of April 4, 2011. Under the new organization, Larry Page will take charge of Google’s day-to-day operations and lead product development and technology strategy, while fellow co-founder Sergey Brin “will devote his energies to strategic projects, in particular working on new products.” Eric Schmidt will assume the role of executive chairman, “focusing externally on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership.”