"I think there is a big, big play to be made in the mobile arena, [but] ...people have not figured out where it's going to be. Look at the raw number of handsets...As it relates to content, no one has put it together, yet"
Meanwhile, the first "Google Phone," a handset running Google's Android OS, was just released. My initial thought was that Google's an ad company, so this makes no sense, but I realized what Google's after: the mobile ad market. Google's been trying to tap this market for a while, but so far, it's been unsuccessful.
Platform matters. Regular phones are broken at practically every level. Bad hardware, bad provider, and bad software (even within software, the entire stack is broken). In a way, they're practically unusable for anything beyond phone calls and texting, which happen to be where carriers make the most money. Google saw this, and recognized that a new mobile browser wasn't the solution, it had to change the way phones are used.
The plan probably won't work. Google has competition from Apple, and the two carriers with faster networks aren't even involved with the iPhone or Android, so breaking into the market is tough, hence Google's role in the wireless spectrum auction.
Even if Google squeezes its way into the market, I'm still not convinced it can sell a significant number of mobile ads. Squeezing an ad onto 6 square inches just doesn't seem as practical as an ad for printers when I search for "troubleshooting deskjet 810" on a PC.