In September 2008, Google and its Open Handset Alliance (OHA) partner, T-Mobile, launched the first Android-enabled smartphone in the U.S. market. Android was a new, open source, operating system for the wireless industry, developed by the OHA, a group which Google brought together in November of the previous year. The introduction of an open source operating system specifically designed for mobile telecommunications had the potential to make a substantial impact on the marketplace. The case describes the mobile telecommunications industry landscape Google faced, and the incentives that the dominant search engine provider would have for initiating the Android project. The case also describes the challenges facing Google, and the Android operating system. By studying the dynamics of the wireless industry available in the case, one may consider whether Google had the potential to become a Cross Boundary Disruptor (XBD) in the wireless industry.
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