Last week at Future of Mobile in London, David Burke from Google (http://www.future-of-mobile.com/speakers.html#DaveBurke) gave a great presentation on Android. My perspective that such an initiative will be successful because it’s Google pushing it.
Google have to win in search on the mobile for the obvious reasons (briefly, mobiles are more pervasive than PCs, always with us, very personal) and can gain massively if the search/advertising market on mobile is brought forward in time. This initiative, if successful (success being that they are in I would say 60% of mobile phones) in maybe 3 to 5 years, will give Google the platform to deliver mobile search and at the same time have provide a massive boost to take-up of the mobile internet.
Investing even what is a very large amount of money in such an initative is nothing when compared to the size of the gain for Google and the huge sums that they have available.