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This picture making the rounds on the Web purports to be a prototype of a Google phone.
Google's designs on the mobile market are becoming increasingly clear.

Anticipation of a mobile phone development projects within Google appears confirmed by a recent job posting at the company's Mountain View, Californa, headquarters.

The Google Jobs Web site currently lists an opening for a "first-rate analog designer with more than 5 years experience," to join an internal effort to create a new mobile communications device. The ad states, that "Google is experimenting with a few wireless communications systems including some completely novel concepts."

The posting goes on to invite applicants to consider joining the company's "small team of top-notch logic designers and analog designers aimed at nothing less than making the entire world's information accessible from anywhere for free."

The statements lay to rest any doubts regarding rumors that Google was actively developing a mobile communications hardware platform, although it remains to be seen whether the final product will bear any resemblance to images published by Web sites such as Gizmodo.com.

The job posting will fuel rampant speculation and lend credence to reports such as the one recently published by venture capitalist Simeon Simeonov of Polaris Venture Partners. In his blog entry this week, Simeonov reports that Google has assembled a group of 100 employees to work on the project under the direction of Andy Rubin, founder of mobile device maker Danger.

Rubin's subsequent startup, Android, was acquired by Google in 2005, along with a mobile applications company Reqwireless. Simeonov also draws a link to Google purchase of Skia that year. The company's flagship product was a portable graphics engine designed for low-end devices, such as mobile phones.

Although Google has announced a partnership with Samsung to embed Google’s mobile services on select Samsung phones, the search engine giant still has not publicly acknowledged plans to develop its own mobile hardware. Google previously partnered with Nokia  to develop a mobile device to communicate over existing wi-fi networks using a mobile version of Google Talk.



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Interface
By Vertigo101 on 3/8/2007 7:28:34 AM , Rating: 4
It's all about the interface. If Google can engineer a UI that's attractive and functional, and put it into a sleek phone that's durable and works well (Good reception is key), they could make a huge splash with a product like this.




RE: Interface
By TomZ on 3/8/2007 11:28:19 AM , Rating: 4
Why would they have any advantage over the hundreds of other companies that could do the same? Google even has to hire a new team for that project, since they don't have it already as a core competence. It takes years to develop a strong capability in a product as complex as a cell phone, and besides, anything google can come up with will be done better by the existing cell phone OEMs and ODMs. That market is super-competitive - I give google no more than 10% chance of success.


RE: Interface
By aos007 on 3/8/2007 1:16:15 PM , Rating: 1
Because they are not approaching the project the same way everyone else (except seemingly Apple) does. They are not aiming to just copy and tweak something that already exists, but rather "shift the paradigm". It wouldn't make any sense otherwise. As you say, their chances would be slim to one. They aren't that stupid to attempt to create yet another "mee too" phone. It's the way you interface with the phone and phone interfaces with the "network" that appears to be novel.


RE: Interface
By TomZ on 3/8/2007 3:04:17 PM , Rating: 4
I think it is kind of a misbelief that someone approaching a particular problem for the first time will be able to come up with an innovative, unique approach. In the case of pure genius, this might be the case, but that talent is rare.

The way that Google can be successful in such an endeavor is to figure out a clever way to leverage a new phone product against their existing services. Even for that, they would IMO have a higher chance of success in partnering with an existing OEM/ODM. Existing companies have many years experience and bringing a product like a cell phone to market is a very complicated undertaking.


RE: Interface
By Pandamonium on 3/8/2007 5:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
Google has the funds to hire a team of "pure genius". I believe there was a thread on AT a few months ago about a Google interview. Years of experience can be trumped by someone with pockets deep enough to shell out for a think-tank .


RE: Interface
By Vertigo101 on 3/9/2007 12:22:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why would they have any advantage over the hundreds of other companies that could do the same?

Does "Cingular Exclusive" or "Edge Phone" ring any bells?

If you actually get some freedom to use the device, instead of being locked in to a particular service provider, (I think the image is clear enough that I don't have to name names) Google could easily overshadow an exclusive competitor.

Your argument could have been made against Google's attempt at a search engine as well, and they're doing pretty well at that.


RE: Interface
By TomZ on 3/9/2007 2:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
The difference with search is that is their core competence. That makes a world of difference.


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