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.
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.
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."
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
phone could come at a pivotal time for the company's mobile efforts.
in the mobile industry, will soon launch its own first-party
"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.