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Tweets leaked revealing Google was crafting a new phone.  (Source: Gizmodo)

A leaked pic shows a curvy phone similar to the iPhone or a curvier HTC Hero.  (Source: Boy Genius Report)

Another leaked picture shows the GPhone. With hardware by HTC and software/OS by Google, the phone will feature a fast Snapdragon processor, GSM, and retail unlocked. It is reportedly named the Nexus One.  (Source: The Unlocked)
Company has given its employees "GPhones" to test drive

When Google announced that it was getting into the phone business, many expected that it was going to release the long rumored "GPhone", a high-tech smart phone akin to the iPhone.  The company surprised everyone when it instead released a smart phone operating system, Android.

Now knee-deep in the smart phone industry, Google has gained much in terms of experience.  While the first implementations of Android saw some mild enthusiasm, multi-touch ready Android 2.0 handsets like the Motorola Droid, available on Verizon in the U.S., are gaining even more traction.  One key to why Google's experiment has worked -- somewhat -- is that most of the hardware it uses is high-end enough so that cross-platform apps are feasible.

However, in a surprising decision the company is reportedly preparing to complete a complete 180, returning to the original rumored "GPhone" and looking to make it the foundation of its smart phone business.  The pivotal difference is that with the GPhone Google looks to write the majority of the software and tune the phone's experience, not just make the OS, as it has previously done. 

Rumors first cropped up when some loose-lipped Google engineers spilled the beans on Twitter.  Writes Google employee with Twitter s/n "identica", "Stuck in mass traffic leaving work post last all hands of 2009.  ZOMG we all had fireworks and we all got the new Google phone.  Its beautiful."

The phones handed out were reportedly unlocked.  A friend of another Googler, going by the s/n "GreatWhiteShark" chimes in, "A friend from Google showed me the Android 2.1 phone from HTC coming out in Jan.  A sexy beast.  Like an iPhone on beautifying steroids."

Google confirmed the reports, writing in its mobile blog that it was following an "eating your own dogfood" approach and testing "a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe.

Now more details are spilling out about what may be a huge launch for Google.  The new phone is reportedly named Nexus One.  Photos have leaked courtesy of Boy Genius Report and The Unlocked.  They show a curvaceous phone with one large button (similar to the iPhone's) and four smaller buttons in the screen margin.  The phone basically looks like a cross between an iPhone and a more curvy HTC Hero.

Reportedly the phone is powered by a Snapdragon processor.  Developed by Qualcomm, demoed chips featured speeds of 1 GHz or faster.  The latest chip, the QSD8672 featured dual cores running at 1.5 GHz with integrated HSPA+, GPS, Bluetooth, high definition video recording and playback, Wi-Fi and mobile TV technologies (MediaFLO, DVB-H and ISDB-T).  It is unknown which variant of Snapdragon Google will use (the Toshiba TG01 smart phone was the first mobile phone to use the 1 GHz variant).  The GPhone is also rumored to be packed with a OLED touchscreen (no keyboard) and dual mics for killing background noise.

The phone will feature GSM -- meaning it will work with AT&T or T-Mobile networks in the U.S.  Reportedly the phone will only be retailing unlocked, setting a tough standard that may give Apple, and others who have opted for an exclusive carrier, a headache.

Reportedly the phone will also get an even-more-refined version Google's voice-driven search, one of the hottest features on the Droid phone.  Google is eager to get users searching on Android handsets as more and more traffic shifts online.  The foundation of Google's business is advertising, and with mobile phones becoming increasing ad-ready Google feels the time is now to strike. 

In November Google purchased AdMob Inc., a mobile advertising firm.  Google hopes that its hardware and software efforts will give it a unique edge in a market that's expected to reach $2-3B USD by 2009.

A Google phone could come at a pivotal time for the company's mobile efforts.  Microsoft, struggling in the mobile industry, will soon launch its own first-party phones, dubbed "Pink".  And a summer iPhone refresh Apple seems like a safe bet.  Can Google crash these competitors' parties with a GPhone?  That remains to be seen, but we're sure watching carefully to see how this one develops.



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RE: Yea.
By Spuke on 12/14/2009 12:39:46 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
Because they are making a phone that can be used around the world.
I don't live around the world, I live in the US and would like to use the Gphone. I guess the Droid is it (not dissin Droid BTW, I like it).


RE: Yea.
By heffeque on 12/14/2009 12:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
The rest of the world lives in the rest of the world and they'd love to use the phone too. There ARE people living outside the US, you know, right?


RE: Yea.
By Spuke on 12/14/2009 3:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There ARE people living outside the US, you know, right?
Sigh. Look, I would like to use this phone but it looks like it's only designed for one carrier in the US. I don't care if you guys can use it. I am not YOU and vice versa! Why can't Google with all of their billions market a phone EVERYWHERE in the world? Is there a need to limit ANY paying customer?

See my point?

What the hell is up with DTers and their incessant bashing of Americans? Even the American DTers bash themselves. LOL! It's ridiculous. Some of you launch various accusations and make assumptions like you are God. You and I are equal. No one is better than the other. Get over yourselves.


RE: Yea.
By Alexstarfire on 12/14/2009 3:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
If you and I are equal then why are you complaining about not getting CDMA? The rest of the world is a bigger market than the CDMA carriers in the US. Seems pretty logical to make something that works for most of the market. They probably just wouldn't profit very much from either a) putting CDMA into the phones since most won't be on CDMA networks, or b) from making a CDMA variant of the phone.

They are about profit, not what you think you are entitled to just because you live in the US. Not to mention that many of us have no problems with AT&T at all, like myself. That said, I don't plan on getting this phone regardless of what network it functions on.


RE: Yea.
By Chaser on 12/14/09, Rating: 0
RE: Yea.
By Alexstarfire on 12/14/2009 4:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
And in what way was I narrow minded? Oh wait, you don't know do you. That's cause I wasn't.


RE: Yea.
By chick0n on 12/14/09, Rating: 0
RE: Yea.
By ebakke on 12/14/2009 1:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, the other 6.3 BILLION people in the world don't give a damn that you live in the US or that you want this phone. And for that matter, neither does Google. GSM is clearly the best decision when you want a phone that you can sell worldwide.


RE: Yea.
By Keeir on 12/14/2009 2:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
Although I don't disagree. Your taking it a bit too fair.

The US isn't the only nation that uses CDMA technology, nor are there GSM phones packing 3g that give similar coverage on 3g as the Quad Band GSM Phones did for 2g.

http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/GSM_WorldPoster200...
Doesn't look to me like it covers all 6.3 Billion people, especially not the 3G coverage (Let alone that we know coverage areas on the US at least are... conviently interuptered)

What is clear to me, Europe and Asia are the main markets for Unlocked Cell Phones as these areas tend (more often) to purchase phone and plan seperately. If your not getting a carrier deal, its not worthwhile to tailor a phone to meet the US CDMA standards.


RE: Yea.
By DLeRium on 12/15/2009 1:18:48 PM , Rating: 2
which is why the great phones go to the rest of the world.

- Samsung Omnia HD
- Nokia N95 (N95-3 didn't come till so long)
- Samsung Omnia II
- HTC Touch HD
- HTC Touch HD2
- Sony Ericsson Satio/Idou
- LG Arena
and the list goes on....

People in the US need to get over stupid carrier subsidized phones and realize that phones on their own cost a lot. We end up paying carriers to subsidize the phone. It's kinda dumb. All that money should go into network improvements instead. That's why you get AT&T's quality of network...


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