Inside Info on the upcoming Google ‘Super’ Phone, due 2010

By | November 18, 2009

Inside Info on the upcoming Google Super Phone due 2010

The debate over rages on, but lots more Android surprises are on the way. Get ready for the Google Phone. It’s no longer a myth, it’s real.The next “super†Android device will almost certainly be a HTC phone that’s much thinner than even the Droid or iPhone – The . This is the phone the senior Android guys at Google are now carrying around and testing, at least as of a couple of weeks ago. If you’re willing to give up the Droid’s keyboard, the Dragon/Passion is going to be a really cool phone. It should be fully available very soon.

But it isn’t the Google Phone. Everything up until now has just been a warm up to the Google Phone.

Way more interesting are the rumors we’ve been hearing for months about a pure Google-branded phone. Most of our sources have unconfirmed information, which we describe below. But there are a few things we have absolutely confirmed: Google is building their own branded phone that they’ll sell directly and through retailers. They were long planning to have the phone be available by the holidays, but it has now slipped to early 2010. The phone will be produced by a major phone manufacturer but will only have Google branding (Microsoft did the same thing with their first Zunes, which were built by Toshiba).

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.

That’s it for confirmed, super-high confidence information, which frankly isn’t a whole lot more than we all heard back in late October. But we also have a few more details as well that we’ve gathered from a number of sources. Everything that follows we still consider to be just well-sourced rumors:

One source told us that HTC, a Taiwanese company, is building the new Google phone, but we think that information is incorrect. We have some fairly good information that suggests Google is working with a Korean phone manufacturer on the Google phone – LG or Samsung (we earlier this week). Samsung has multiple parts in the iPhone and could be pressured by Apple not to work with Google, which says LG is the more likely partner for Google. So rumors like may be much more important than they first appear. But either way, the best information we have right now points directly at Korea as the birthplace of the Google Phone.

– via TechCrunch

Taking a page out of Apple’s “we control the customer experience” playbook, Google reportedly wants to produce a handset that will be completely dictated by the team in Mountain View. Details about the phone are incredibly thin. There’s no word on what kind of specs the handset would have, but potential manufacturers for the phone, according to Arrington, include LG and Samsung. A major advertising campaign introducing the phone could reportedly start as early as January 2010.

Google will reportedly sell its phone directly to customers as well as through retailers. That suggests the search giant may not have a network partner on board, and would sell unsubsidized phones instead. Phones sold outside of the carrier system means the Google phone could cost as much as $500, and would have to run on a SIM-friendly GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile.

While a carrier-free Google phone would be an unusual move in the age of exclusivity contracts, it’s not unheard of. Handset makers such as RIM and Palm sell unlocked versions of their smartphones through Amazon and other retailers.

The suggestion that the phone will not be tied to a specific carrier, backs up a previous assertion by Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumor who made similar claims last month after Google’s “design partners” filled him about the phone, according to the

– via pcworld

Apple was similarly strict about branding, but was not licensing the core operating system freely to other suppliers. Still, Google so far has crafted an unusual strategy in several ways. It created a new “open” mobile operating system that is available on a “Linux” style licensing model. It is making that operating system available to any manufacturer that wants to use it, as Microsoft did. It has what appears to be an especially close working relationship with Verizon to develop Android devices and applications, similar in some ways the “exclusive” deals hot devices typically have been offered. And it may be crafting a “demonstration” model that resembles the way Apple integrated all elements of the experience in the iPhone, perhaps as a way of spurring such thinking by other Android suppliers. To some extent, though, the move is in one way only a highly-integrated approach to crafting devices with some lead orientation, such as “Twitter” phones, or “navigation” phones or “email” phones or “Skype”  phones. Presumably a Google-branded device would go the furthest yet in optimizing user experience for Google apps.
– via TMCnet
… don’t get too excited just yet, because we’ve heard all this before.  Late last month, Scott Moritz over at reported (based on the word of an analyst at Northeast Securities) pretty much the same thing: that Google was planning to build its own phone with the help of a third-party manufacturer. That rumor was quickly batted down by Google’s own head of Android development, Andy Rubin, who told CNET that “we’re not making hardware … we’re enabling others to build hardware.” There’s also a lot of skepticism about whether Google would run the risk of undercutting its hardware partners—again, like HTC, LG, Samsung, and Motorola—by producing its own, competing branded phone. But who knows? Maybe Google will stay true to its word by not “making hardware,” but go ahead and let another company build an all-Google Android phone.
– via

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