Google To Launch Its Owns Android Phone?

Speculation over a Google smartphone was first reported by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, who said that the news was "absolutely confirmed" by a reliable source. Arrington said that the new Google branded phone, which would be sold directly and through retailers, was initially slated to be released during the holiday season but was postponed until early 2010. Subsequently, Google will be making a massive advertising push in January as it revs up for the impending launch, according to the report.

The Google phone, which would run on Google's mobile operating system Android, would be manufactured by a third party, possibly HTC, LG or Samsung, but would retain the Google branding, according to Arrington.

Like the Apple iPhone, Google's anticipated Android smartphone would give the search engine giant comprehensive control of both the software and device in which it resides, giving it a competitive edge over competing manufacturers.

"There won't be any negotiation or compromise over the phone's design of features—Google is dictating every last piece of it. No splintering of the Android OS that makes some applications unusable. Like the iPhone for Apple, this phone will be Google's pure vision of what a phone should be," Arrington said.

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In the past, Google executives have denied that the company would make inroads into hardware.

However, critics have noted that Google's impending forays into the hardware space will inevitably burn bridges with partnering manufacturers Motorola and HTC, which currently utilize the Android mobile software for their existing smartphones.

Google first launched its open source mobile operating system Android in November 2007. The Android platform currently occupies a small fraction of the market share, but could likely grow over the next few years as Google develops and expands its presences in the mobile hardware space.

"We don't' yet know what the device will look like, how big it will be, or even if it has a physical keyboard," Arrington said. "But we do know that Google is getting into the phone building business directly, and doesn't seem too concerned about competing with all the other device manufacturers building Android phones."