Report: Google branded smartphone is a “certainty”

Mon, Nov 30, 2009

News, Rumors

Mirroring a recent report from TechCrunch, Gizmodo reportsthat Google is in fact working hard to develop their own branded smartphone.  Citing a source who claims to have seen the device in person, the Google Phone is already being dubbed a sure thing, with company wide testing expected to commence in the next few weeks.

Over the next few weeks, Google Phones (most probably in early, prototype form) will flood the Mountain View campus. They’ll don large LCDs while running a new version of Android—either Flan or the version of Android beyond it—which our source spotted running on Google’s handset as well as a laptop. (Whatever the software was, it most certainly wasn’t Chrome OS, we were assured.)

Gizmodo writes that the most intriguing aspect of the rumored Google Phone is that it’ll be running the “real” version of Android.  Hmm, is Google saving the best for last?  Will this supposed “real” Android OS be exclusive to Google hardware?  A lot of important questions hang in the balance.

2 weeks ago, Michael Arrington wrote that Google’s skunkworks-developed phone will embody “Google’s pure vision of what a phone should be”, and that its features will be entirely dictated, with no room for negotiation, by Google.

This is certainly an interesting twist in the ongoing battle for smartphone supremacy, but as we’ve written previously, Android is still far from a mature platform, and there’s still a lot of room for Google’s mobile OS to grow before it comes out with a smartphone of its own and begins competing with its partners.  Besides, Google’s head of Android development, Andy Rubin, stated about a month ago that Google had no intentions of getting into the hardware business.  “We’re enabling other people to build hardware,” Rubin stated.


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