Google phone revealed (don't call Nexus One an iPhone killer)

Google employees are running around with test phone handsets, made by HTC, the 'Nexus One'. Predictably, this has sparked off another wave of speculation about Google launching a gPhone in its own right. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers utter a Passion-ate Bravo.

By Richi Jennings. December 14, 2009.


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Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention stupid customers...

    Philip Elmer-DeWitt speculates:

Google ... has given employees around the world free handsets running its Android mobile operating system. The idea ... is to have Google's own people test various advanced features and offer feedback to the company's designers ... [by] dogfooding.


Not surprisingly, given Google's financial clout and the power it wields over the Internet, the experiment has launched a storm of speculation about what it mean.

Michael Arrington "confirms" some rumors:

The next “super” Android device will almost certainly be a HTC phone that’s much thinner than even the Droid or iPhone. ... This is the phone the senior Android guys at Google are now carrying around and testing. ... Way more interesting are the rumors we’ve been hearing for months.


We have absolutely confirmed [that] Google is building their own branded phone that they’ll sell directly and through retailers. They were long planning to have the phone be available by the holidays, but it has now slipped to early 2010. The phone will be produced by a major phone manufacturer but will only have Google branding.

Jack Schofield has an idea:

The idea is that the Gphone will be sold direct to consumers, not via a network contract. This could make it look expensive, because the hardware will not be subsidised by overcharging for mobile phone calls. ... network operators will be able to get around this problem very easily by offering contracts with discounted minutes on "Bring your own Gphone" deals.


There could also be plenty of money-making opportunities in location-based services, such as directing users to the nearest eatery, bank, or whatever. It would be interesting to know what the lifetime value of a Gphone user might be. ... It is starting to look as though Google might be serious.

Seth Weintraub says why it matters:

As more and more information and pictures of the Google Phone or Nexus 1 leak out, I am convinced that this is a game-changing event.  But probably not for the reasons you are expecting. ... It isn't hardware, and it isn't software.


The monumental difference is that the Google Phone is going carrier-less and they have a monster VoIP plan to back it up. ... Google's alliances with Verizon and Tmobile are all smoke and mirrors. They really just want the telcos to turn into dumb pipes as soon as possible. ... Google Voice blows away any telco in voice message functionality and also kills them on price. ... Google has purchased a full, big VoIP provider. ... All they have to do is scale up Gizmo5's VoIP technology so that it can handle the massive switching from Internet to POTS calls.

Scott Webster admits ignorance:

We still don’t know when launch is expected, what will the price be, [if] this be directly sold through Google, ... will Google Voice be integrated? ... What do other members of the Open Handset Alliance think of this? Did they even know about it?


Why would a carrier like T-Mobile even want to get involved with Google over this? It’s simple – their no contract plans are perfect for people who buy them. T-Mobile never loses a penny in having to subsidize the handset. And maybe more importantly, they know how big this could be for them. Why not be the carrier that embraces the move?

But has Andy Dawson lost the plot?

What do you get if you cross the iPhone with mid 1990’s rap fad G-Funk? You get the FunkPhone of course. Or the gPhone, which is what we’re calling the new handset that is due from Google in 2010.

Google's Leslie Hawthorn blabs (and possibly breaks the law):

Stuck in mass of traffic leaving work post last all hands of 2009. ZOMG we had fireworks and we all got the new Google phone. It's beautiful.

So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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