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Monday, November 05, 2007, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Piper Jaffray on Google's Android, Apple, and the iPhone

Google's announcement of Android and the Open Handset Alliance on Monday will offer mobile phone makers access to many technologies already prevalent on the iPhone, and therefore there's little need for Apple to join the effort, says investment bank Piper Jaffray.

"We believe that Android will give many phone makers their first access to software with full web browsing functionality, which the iPhone already offers," analyst Gene Munster advised clients in a research note. "Simply put, in our opinion, Apple is confident that its iPhone operating system is a compelling one, and developers will want to build applications for the iPhone."

Munster noted, however, that Google's strategy for its mobile platform is an open one, offering handset makers and wireless carriers freedom to modify their respective products, where as Apple's strategy involves a closed system in which the company controls the features and applications that can be added to the iPhone.

Still, both companies will introduce software developers kits (SDKs) for their respective mobile platforms in the near term, with Google promising one for Android next week and Apple having committed to release one for the iPhone by February.

In his note to clients, Munster also affirmed his belief that Google is not presently interested in introducing its own mobile phone hardware and would rather see its Android platform adopted on hundreds of handsets from a broad number of manufacturers.

"[I]f the platform successfully proliferates to many devices and form factors, we do not believe Google will develop a mobile phone (hardware) product," he wrote. "If the platform does not successfully proliferate, then Google may be forced to release a handset that exemplifies and displays the power of Android."