I have been complaining about the restrictions on cellphones in the US by the cellphone companies a lot. I probably should be happy with today's announcement of a Open Phone Operating system.
Everyphone has a Operating System that runs the phone just like Windows runs PCs. If you have a phone with an internet connection the chances are that your phone has one of these operating systems:
Symbian, Palm, Openwave, Windows Mobile.
Google has announced that it will introduce the Android OS with its partners in a Open HAndset Alliance( Both Phone companies and device manufacturers will use for cellphones) Google, T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm, Motorola, Sprint and others. The phones with this platform will be available in the Summer of 2008.
So if you are in the market for a phone today go right ahead and buy it. 3 Billion people already use Mobile devices (http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/8528.html).
When Android is established by the end of 2008 - the other factors not changing ( example : Microsoft coming up with a cooler operating system) you may be able to install widgets that developers can develop at their whim. There could be a mashup application of your Twitter buddies GPS/Google maps and twitter to show you how many twitter buddies are in the same bar as you.
There is no end to innovation- payment by phone, scanning RIFDs on your phone, taking your Pandora preferences with you. poking someone automatically on their Facebook profile as you pass their city :) anything is possible. Since this is a open platform the cost of devices may even reduce as there may not be a license fee.
You have atleast a year to dream about what apps will be the coolest for your phone.