Google Phone rumours won't go away

Posted by Hitarth Jani | 6:36 PM | 2 comments »

The internet is abuzz with speculation that Google will soon launch the "Google Phone" (or "GPhone"), a cheap mobile phone equipped with a Google operating system..

High-tech product specialist blogs Engadget said a Google announcement would come next week, adding that a Google operating system would be tailor-made for the new mobile phone.

According to another blog, CrunchGear, "Google is currently assessing over twenty (of Taiwan's) HTC models" and plans to launch its mobile phone between January and 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 $US100.

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 rumours.

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 mobile 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 rumours 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 ($US500-$US600 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.

AFP

2 comments

  1. Urvish // September 4, 2007 at 4:41 PM  

    is it true for sur tht gphone r to b launched....??

    n ya if the r launchin in few weks in europe n all , wht r t chnces of it to cm in india? hmm

  2. Angel Eyes // September 8, 2007 at 3:14 AM  

    I think anything that comes in Western world comes after 8-10 months in the East...

    Iphone is due to launch here in Australia in Feb 2008...

    So for India i guess.. you need to wait for atleast 1 year from the launch of Gphone in the West.... lets see how it goes... :)