Report: Google Phone Is For Real, Really


Thanks to Gizmodo and TechCrunch, rumors of a Google smartphone simply refuse to go away. But there's good reason for that: A Google-branded smartphone makes sense.

Google Android is the fall's hottest mobile OS and the guts of many of the season's top new handheld devices. If Google has its own phone on deck, it'll be exploiting the Android buzz at exactly the right time.

Gizmodo on Monday became the latest tech news site to fan the flames of Google phone speculation. The site cited what it described as a trusted source "who's seen it with their own eyes" and went on to tell Gizmodo the following:

"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."

The Gizmodo rumors follow a report two weeks ago from TechCrunch, whose Michael Arrington stated that the Google phone was not only on the way but will be sold direct from Google and through various retailers. TechCrunch's report also suggested that the Google phone was supposed to be ready for the 2009 holiday shopping season but was delayed until 2010 so Google could ready a massive marketing blitz for January.

The TechCrunch report further described how Google most likely will not be the manufacturer but that the branding on the phone -- which some past rumors have said will be called GPhone -- will be all Google.

The timing is right for Google's branded phone. Throughout 2009, Google has been rapidly ramping up its communications strategy. Some of the key launches around that strategy, such as Google Android and Google's Skype competitor, Google Voice, were among the most important stories in networking and communications this year. Does anyone really think that Google isn't eyeballing the smartphone market and getting ready to be as disruptive as possible?