"Google Phone" Rumors Spread, Again
The blogs are abuzz again with rumors of an upcoming "Google Phone," a cheap, Google-enabled device that I guess is sort of an anti-iPhone. Can't those guys just finish Google Time Travel and be done with it, already?
it be true? Is the Googlephone nigh at hand? Not that we haven't been
hearing this time after time (after time after time, etc.), but we've
actually got some hot news from a number of very trustworthy sources
about Google's plans for the mobile space. Namely, Google's mobile
device platform is well on its way, and will be announced in the very
We understand that the "Gphone OS" (our name for it, not theirs)
began development after Google's very quiet 2005 acquisition of mobile
software company Android, started by Danger cofounder and former-prez /
CEO Andy Rubin. At Google, Andy's team has developed a Linux-based
mobile device OS (no surprise) which they're currently shopping around
to handset makers and carriers on the premise of providing a flexible,
customizable system -- with really great Google integration, of course.
As for the timeframe on this thing, we keep hearing Google will
announce its mobile plans some time post-Labor Day (September 3rd);
from what we've heard Google isn't necessarily working on hardware of
its own, but is definitely working with OEMs and ODMs to get them to
put the Gphone OS on upcoming devices. Think of it more in terms of
Windows Mobile or Palm OS (in the early days) -- Google wants to supply
the platform, but we don't think they want to sell hardware. Still,
don't entirely rule out the idea. Andy Rubin knows how to make a device
and put it in peoples' hands, so nothing is impossible on the hardware
side. Either way, we're totally stoked to peep the software, we've been
waiting for the Googlephone for years on years.[/q]
Specialized blogs are all abuzz this week with rumors that Internet giant Google will soon launch the "Google Phone" or "GPhone," a cheap mobile phone equipped with a Google operating system.
High-tech product specialist Engadget said a Google announcement would come next week, adding that a Google operating system would be tailor-made for the new cell phone.
According to another blog, CrunchGear, "Google is currently assessing over twenty (of Taiwan's) HTC models" and plans to launch its cell phone between January amd March of 2008.
Photographs of Google's touch-screen handset are already on the Internet, and according to Rizzn.com, it will cost a mere 100 dollars.
CrunchGear said the HTC/Google phone would have Google Talk enabled, allowing users to make free Internet phone calls.
The blog said the Google phone will not only be able to surf the net but also will include "a special version of Google Maps, compatible with built-in GPS, and compatibility with Gmail," Google's email service.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Google has already shown its prototype to US companies AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, making it seem clear the Google Phone's launch will definitely take place in the United States.
Indian blog Rediff said the GPhone will be launched in two weeks simultaneously in the United States and Europe, adding that Google was talking with Indian telephone operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar, and that Bharat Sanchar Nigam could be one of the manufacturers.
Google has refused to make any comment on the rumors.
The company, at any rate, is interested in telecommunications. It recently announced it would participate in an "open" frequencies auction next January in the United States that could cost it billions of dollars.
The owner of open frequencies could create a mobile phone network across the country accessible to any cell phone, and not restricted to models chosen by US operators, as is now the case.
The Wall Street Journal quoted sources familiar with the dealings who said Google has invested several hundred million dollars in the project and that a phone will be launched in early 2008.
Google also intends to develop special applications for mobile phones, such as a search engine for ringtones, and offer free telephone subscriptions that would be financed through advertising.
The persistent rumors about a GPhone reflect gadget fans' enormous interest for the iPhone Apple launched in late June, which has since generated a lot of buzz on the internet.
The idea of a cheap, touch-screen, internet-adaptible GPhone promoted by a company that advocates "open" frequencies seems to be in direct competition with Apple's iPhone.
Greatly valued for its design, the iPhone has its high price (500-600 dollars) going against it, as well as its exclusive contract with AT&T.
Several hackers have recently boasted of having found the way to "unblock" the iPhone and make it work with other telephone operators, and some have promised to put their unblocking software up for sale on the internet soon.