Google's Rich Miner has identified one of the biggest problems facing mobile phone carriers, manufacturers, and developers: the hardware on the current generation of phones is not being fully used by all customers.

Miner, Google's group manager of mobile platforms, made the observation at the Future of Mobile panel at Emerging Technology '08.

"Hardware on mobile phones has been outpacing the software capabilities," Miner declared, noting that 80 percent of mobile phones being sold today have cameras on them, yet the number of people who actually know how to use them or get the images off the phones is between 10 and 50 percent, depending on the model.

"The capabilities on these devices are not being leveraged by people," Miner added. He pointed to small screens, bad UIs, and closed systems for leading to the current state of affairs.

The trend has huge implications for Google and its Android partners, including T-Mobile and HTC, whose G1 phone will be released to the public next month. However, Miner seemed confident that Android will prevail, thanks in large part to software improvements, the presence of a true web-browsing experience, and Google's open development platform.

"These are factors which are helping to realize the mobile internet, which has eluded us," he said.

Ian Lamont blogs for The Industry Standard

See also:

T-Mobile G1 review

Google Android review

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