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Google phone real, due early 2010?

updated 09:15 am EST, Wed November 18, 2009

Google's own Android phone custom-made

Google's rumored self-developed Android phone is real but has been pushed back, a scoop claimed on late Tuesday. The handset would be built by a third party, most likely LG or Samsung rather than the previously preferred HTC, but would carry only Google's branding and is said by TechCrunch to be designed almost exclusively according to Google's design. It would launch in early 2010 after a delay but would receive heavy marketing as soon as January.

This wouldn't be one of Google's developer phones, such as the Dev Phone 1 or the Ion. Both of these were existing designs with the only change being unrestricted, reference installations of Android.

While these rumors have persisted in the past, Google has publicly denied such rumors by arguing that it doesn't want to compete with its own hardware partners. It has also maintained that what little influence it has had on Android phones' hardware design, such as on the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream), has been more detrimental than helpful. However, it's been asserted in the past that Google has been taking an increasingly hands-on approach and may have heavily influenced the Droid.

The move would pit Google more directly against Apple as it would not only have its own mobile OS but also its own hardware. It may also create a conflict of interest as features like Google Maps Navigation may get preferential treatment.

Regardless, the same sources claim that a third phone, the long rumored HTC Dragon, has already been in late testing at Google for weeks and should be available "very soon." Most expect it to be a spiritual cousin of the Windows Mobile-based HD2 and to center on a large touchscreen with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. As there has been talk of more Android phones at Verizon in the next few weeks, the Dragon may be one of those devices.

by MacNN Staff



  1. timbck2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    CDMA, GSM, or both?

    Which carriers will it operate on? Any clues or guesses?

  1. JohnFromBeyond

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What would be the point?

    This wouldn't help Google integrate the OS with the hardware as they still have several models of "generic" phones out there that they need to support. This would only serve to piss off their hardware partners, and do little to make the OS better. The cat is already out of the bag (licensing out the OS); there is no putting it back in or controlling it.

    The Apple/iPhone model works because Apple can arbitrarily change specifications whenever they please, and they have few hardware models to worry about backward compatibility. Even so, Apple has been careful to maintain the same screen specs, for example. This makes it very easy for developers to support all iphone models with new software. The android world is already splintering the hardware specs, and new models are shipping with different versions of the OS. They are heading down the Windows Mobile path...

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Android = option

    iPhone = no options. Take it how it is or leave it.

    Google didn't brick any of my G1s when I ran non-approved firmwares. The same can't be said of Apple.

    End of story.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: What would be the point

    Well, if you live in your little iPhone world and believe the only point of having a phone is to control it, then, yes, there is no point. However, if you live in the 'real' world, you might think they want their own phone to allow them to get into a new area of business, to show off the best that Android can do, etc.

    And they can make the OS better, by adding features to work on their phone. The only difference would be that others would be able to use the features too. Is that a bad thing? This way, they can help push development and areas to grow, rather than wait for the hardware people to say "We think we want a touch screen" or something.

    Isn't that always the complaint about the Windows/PC world. MS has no control over hardware so there's little innovation, since the hardware people are going to do what they want to do?

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