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Google to offer free ad-based phone service?

updated 04:45 pm EDT, Fri August 3, 2007

Google Free Phone Rumor

Google's reported self-branded phone may be only part of what the company has planned for phone service in the US, says a report from the Wall Street Journal. The company is now purportedly not just designing a phone in a Boston studio to be made by HTC but also has long-term plans for a service of its own; the service would be funded by targeted ads and could offer subscriptions for free, the tip claims.

The suggestion has also been made that Google's increasingly expected bid for the 700MHz band may play a major role in the strategy, as the company could then offer easily available mobile Internet access that supplies the ads alongside a phone signal.

The unnamed sources also claim that Google is developing its own custom web browser for the custom phone that would improve the mobile experience and reflect well on Google's own web apps, which could also be accessible as separate tools from the phone. Even if plans for a stand-alone provider fail, the phone's browser would allow Google to split revenues and either generate extra profit from each handset sold or cut the initial price.

Google has so far neither confirmed nor denied questions about the possibility of either its proprietary phone or a provider. The company would only say that it hopes to "bring its services to users everywhere" by providing Google apps and searching on as many devices as possible, including the Apple iPhone and multiple LG handsets.

by MacNN Staff




  1. e:leaf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just say no

    Although I don't have any real problems with Google, what I don't like is them inventing new spaces to place advertising. I don't want to see an ad on my phone when trying to place or receive a call, even if the service is "free". Not all costs can be measured in dollars, and being subjected to advertising in a space such as my "phone life" is a cost higher than I would like to pay. I would like to keep some of my humanity, thank you.

  1. gaines

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Looking forwardward to it! Keep the news coming.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't see it

    Not being a cell-phone internet browser person, I just don't see how this is going to work. h***, I rarely look at my phone screen at all (who needs to look when you've got speed dialing).

  1. Pismo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    10 Second wait...

    Google will probably be like CNN when they make you wait 10-30 seconds to show an ad before the video want to watch starts playing. Imagine wanting to make a call and having to wait 10-30 seconds for an ad to go away before the number dials (except for 911 calls).

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