The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is preparing to launch a more structured mobile search capability and index for mobile content that may also include social networking features. According to the article:
Google Inc. is developing a new search service for cellphones that will help consumers find and buy ringtones, games and other mobile content …effectively becoming a gateway for finding and paying for mobile media content … Google would charge companies for high placement in the search results, much the way it offers “sponsored links” on computer Web searches, the people familiar with the plans say.
The ringtones aspect of the hypothetical service would put Google at odds with carriers — not that that isn’t already true to some degree because of carrier Googlephobia.
There’s a way in which the article doesn’t exactly ring true (so to speak). The article presents the concept of something akin to a separate index or engine for mobile content vs. other Google mobile services. Assuming the article is directionally correct, I would imagine that Google is seeking to create something closer to a better, more integrated mobile experience overall (like what Yahoo is attempting with oneSearch) with content and commerce as a subset of that broader mobile search capability.
Here’s Danny’s comprehensive timeline of events and rumors associated with the “GPhone.”