INDIANAPOLIS -- All Linda Williams wants for Christmas is a Google Phone, but it's unlikely she'll get it. The much buzzed about phones were distributed to select Google employees last week but they are not expected to be sold to the public until 2010. The homemaker and mother of three boys said she began obsessing about the phone after a tech savvy college student, who works part time at the library where Williams volunteers, told her it would "crush the iPhone."
Williams switched her email account from AOL to Gmail earlier this year and has been a Google enthusiast ever since, jetissoning Yahoo! search and spending her free time looking at satellite views of friends' houses on Google Maps. Williams says she aspires to be a "premature user," with the Google Phone, apparently referring to the term for an individual who embraces a new technology before it becomes mainstream, more commonly known as "early adopter."
Her family is a bit mystified by her ardor for Google, which they say is becoming an obsession. Fifteen-year-old son Luke said he found his mom on eBay last month, bidding on a Google Wave invite. Once she got one, which Luke was able to get for free after posting a request on Facebook, Williams was disappointed after realizing that none of her e-mail contacts -- mostly other stay-at-home moms -- had the Wave, which relies on collaboration with others.
Williams ended up creating a wave with herself, embedding a map to her house along with a yes/no poll asking "Who thinks Google Wave is The Bomb?"
After hearing her library cohort talk about the Google Phone, Williams found out more information about the device -- by googling "google phone," of course, which she recounted to her family. "She tells me it's thinner than the iPhone, but right now she uses a pre-paid clunker cell phone that she never even remembers to turn on," said an exasperated Luke Williams. "I'm not really sure why it being 'vastly superior to Verizon's Droid' matters when you just keep it in the glove compartment for emergencies and you don't even know what a Droid is."
Nonetheless, Williams has told her family that the only thing she wants for Christmas is a Google Phone, though she is resigned to waiting until 2010 to get it.
In the meantime, she is busily planning the family's summer vacation to Mountain View, Calif., where Google headquarters is located. Williams said she hopes for a Marissa Mayer sighting, or at least the chance to try the Google vice president's favorite cupcake flavors.