The Observer of London is reporting that Google might be working with HTC and mobile/telecom giant Orange to build a Google Mobile Phone, which could possibly have Google software inside the device, and would be able to do many of the web tasks smartly. The device, article speculates, could go on sale in 2008. (Of course, we would all have forgotten by then… if it doesn’t happen.) Orange and Google, both declined to comment.
Their plans centre on a branded Google phone, which would probably also carry Orange’s logo. The device would not be revolutionary: manufactured by HTC, a Taiwanese firm specialising in smart phones and Personal Data Assistants (PDAs), it might have a screen similar to a video iPod. But it would have built-in Google software which would dramatically improve on the slow and cumbersome experience of surfing the web from a mobile handset.
It would be interesting to see if this comes to fruition. Google, in recent months has become increasingly aggressive about its mobile ambitions, and is pushing into the carrier space, though there have been some snags.
Google Phone, if you think about it is a reasonable speculation. Google has been aggressive in developing location based services, has amp-ed up its local search and mapping services. In addition, it has also been mobilizing its applications such as GTalk and GMail. YouTube, the video arm of Google, is beginning to embrace the mobile ecosystem.
Normally, one would not spend too much energy on this bit of news. However, presence of Andy Rubin on Google campus gives us a reason to pause.
Who is Rubin? He was one of the co-founders of Danger, the company that makes the Sidekick devices. He sold his last company, Android to Google for an undisclosed amount of money, and he has been holed up in Mountain View, California campus of Google, doing something.
No one knows what, but since Android was focusing on mobile, it is safe to assume that he just might be involved in Android. Danger, as you might know has become a multimillion dollar business based off the “compress web and take it mobile” technology developed by Rubin and others. Businessweek had reported that Android was working on a cell phone operating system.
One source familiar with the company says Android had at one point been working on a software operating system for cell phones. …. In a 2003 interview with BusinessWeek, just two months before incorporating Android, Rubin said there was tremendous potential in developing smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner’s location and preferences. “If people are smart, that information starts getting aggregated into consumer products,” said Rubin.
For Orange, this could be a valuable asset in its triple play ambitions. The company owns broadband businesses across Europe, and has access to 3G networks, and is owned by France Telecom. It could use Google’s web expertise to take on its rivals, by offering web-mobile hybrid phones, and at the same time get a slice of mobile advertising revenues. I know, sounds far fetched, but not out of the real of possiblity.
143 thoughts on “Forget iPhone, Think Google Phone”
the writing is on the wall. goog wants to own you and your communications end to end and it makes perfect sense for them. why? efficiency and control. if they own the device you use(phone, pc, whatever they give you), the transport and transit networks your data rides on the machines where your http request was directed(gmail, chat, webpage, hosted app, search, whatever) and voila;
google owns you and your ability to interact with almost everything and everyone except those things and/or people for which you have first person contact.
free connectivity sounds great when i use my definition of ‘free’: one way exchange of good or services where one person or group is the beneficiary. nothing is free and google is a business that generates billions in revenue and subsequent profit. if giving away anything would bring harm to google or its shareholders by hurting the bootom line, it won’t happen.
Om, Whatcha thinking? Are these the early signs of the makings of another opportunity to rollup the small wifi isp’s similar to what Verio did to local ISPs in the 90’s?
Not to forget that Fance Telecom is one of the main investors behind Jabber Inc. and Orange is already running XMPP servers…
Anti Skype move 😉
A google phone? Wouldn’t this only mean a device that scraps the operator branded mobile internet in favour for the Google search and application or mail protocol?
I don’t think its unrealistic – but I think that “our expectations” might be bigger than the “real” thing.
The slow and cumbersome experience of browsing the web from a mobile handset is not going to be solved by Google, no matter how good their software may be. The issue is ergonomics – today’s web is not designed for tiny screens, even good tiny screens like the video iPod.
Most websites contain all kinds of content which is not scalable or lends itself to being rendered on a mobile phone’s screen. Even using PDAs with 640×480 screen resolution is not very comfortable.
Why don’t we just abandon the pretense that mobile phones have to be able to browse the web like a desktop, and limit ourselves to what most people today are doing, which is check mobile-designed sites, or maybe read a blog or two? Email and IM are great on a mobile though, maybe they could do something on that front.
i think HTC is the best
HTC is also the manufacturer of SoftBank’s (JP) new smart phone, X01HT.
I have just landed in Moscow and I’m reading this catching up on my Techmeme. On my mobile phone. Where Google already rules: Gmail, local, search. What is missing now is docs amd a ten times longer battery life. If they could pull that off I would switch in an instant.
Apples and oranges. It’s not comparable to a iPhone, hardware and software designed from the ground up. It would just be a business cross-promotional tie-up along the lines of Yahoo Japan and Softbank Mobile.
Sounds more than reasonable, if we remember that Windows for Mobile was predicted to reach ~50% of smart phones market share around 2008-2009.
MS will likely integrate their live search feature to the OS, so google might also be preparing itself to a possible emerging search battlefield.
One where google has less advantage than MS at the mo…
Google already rules on mobile.
.Google Maps (although missing gps link..)
.Gmail (through web interface or midlet)
.Google itself (you know.. the search engine!)
But there is a lot of room for improvement. For instance a carrier subscription with unlimited data transfer, and preinstalled Google applications. This would immediately take the mobile world by storm.
But I doubt that companies like France Telecom have the vision it takes for it. Historically, they’ve never chosen to compete, and much of their effort goes into slowing down tech acceptance (and keep high prices…)
It was the case with RTC modem access to the internet, with ADSL etc..
The bulk of Orange revenues comes from uninformed customers who get basic landline sercvice from “the historic phone operator” (france telecom) and who end up paying pay twice the price for everything else.
Oh… the joy of captive customers.. it sure does not take its root in innovation! 🙂
I think the writing has been on the wall for a GPhone for sometime now. I wrote about it back a year or so ago when Google first released Gtalk on the open Jabber platform.
My guess was that our mobile phone numbers will soon become to look like email@example.com, and our email contacts will sync with our email contacts eventually.
My initial estimate was that they would just release a purely wifi phone, but perhaps they will partner with a carrier to cover both wifi and cell until wifi becomes a bit more ubiquitous.
While Rubin is interesting, the very smart mind at Danger was Travis Geiselbrecht, one of the kernel gurus behind BeOS – you know, that OS that Apple almost bought instead of BSD? Travis decided to not follow Rubin to Google and has wound up at Apple. So tell me, what is Apple really up to?
Google is the new Microsoft 🙂
I wouldn’t mind a free subsidized Google phone in exchange with being forced to see ads.
Wasn’t Yahoo doing a Y UMPC?
Why would Google want to make hardware?
Apple and Google are undoubtably working together on iTV so that Google can send all that YouTube stuff through the Television and ramp up their video ad sales.
It would follow they are also working with Apple to provide all their mobile apps listed above (maps, etc.) on the iPhone. The iPhone is going to be a lot about mobile video ( especially video conferencing ) and that is also a great place to show YouTube video.
I love these comparisons of unannounced produce versus another. People are so authoritative, and after a few posts, we just all seem to conspire to agree to forget that we’re all just making it up.
If these kinds of rampant expectations had been dogging Apple 5 1/2 years ago, then when they introduced the 1G iPod 5 years ago, people would have been disappointed it wasn’t more like the 5G one they had in mind. Wait, scratch that. More like the 6G iPod, since we still can fantasize about that one without realistic constraints.
p.s. my make-believe dad can beat up your make-believe dad any day!!
that should of course be “unannounced PRODUCT”
(many shameful apologizements 🙂 )
they should have slimpim build it…
We are seeing now that in some cases Google in not an inovator but rather a me-2 copycat.
Makes sense to me: a device that knows where you are, is seamlessly integrated with your newsreader, your email, your calendar, and your documents. Its searches are contextually relevant and it browses faster than other devices as top sites are optimized and cached (like Danger’s Sidekick.)
The pieces all exist today and are deployed in one way or another. The project with Orange looks to me like a way to get them all together and deeply integrate them with the handset.
But why stop at a phone when you’re building municipal WiFi? More here: http://twofones.typepad.com/twofones/2006/12/google_mobile.html
Cripes! At least Google is being friendly with MNOs. I was expecting something more drastic.
Google Phone is a good idea if applied in detail. MediaVidea writes more:
I don’t really care about the “google phone” as long as google releases the apps for the general public, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t. They have already released google maps and gmail apps. All they need do now is release a google calendar and I will be happy.
Is there any chance that I do not need to memorize phone numbers anymore (after all, Google also sells domains), instead I just call a certain domain (not a click to call fashion, but the characters of the main domain) and that’s it? 🙂
God bless Orange’s SV office, they keep releasing confidential information about their company.
The local CEO, George something, who thinks knows everything about the tech industry, was giving me advice a couple of weeks ago how to run my business. Pretty funny stuff he had to say, and I sounded as interested as possible without laughing too hard. But god bless him, as long as we feed his ego, he can feed us great gosip.
I really really want one, right now 🙂
Forget the google phone. The iPhone is here and it’s got Google on it.
Kya hain ye !! Google cant own and cant win everything on the surface of the world. I don’t think this idea of google to launch a GPhone is going to click.
Google is in the position to knock a couple of punches to both apple and MS with a slick gPhone! Since the keyboard would be a HUGE issue, google would do well and trounce others if it uses an advance keyboard like MessagEase (www.exideas.com) instead of limiting itself to only QWERTY
won’t good buddy apple get angry at google if they make a phone?
Whilist we are on the subject of a google phone, haven’t they tried already…
I see the only way Google winning this battle is for them to purchase Palm OS, re-brand as Google OS and beat out Windows Mobile. They are in for a big battle, because everyone knows how to use a PC, so they choose Windows Mobile… I think as we move forward the operating system should become less important, succeeded by the tools, connectivity and functionality that these devices provide.
I agree that the iPhone is the gPhone. Google is on the board of Apple because this gives them a leg up over competitors in development on the iPhone platform. The partnership allows each player to do what it does best: Apple hardware and OS knowhow complimented by Google mobile internet enabled apps.
Google will have a chance to compete with MS on even ground on the iPhone platform once there are as many iPhones as there are Windows Mobile devices. Through the Safari browser you have access to a powerful suite of applications, including office apps, you should have anywhere access to. This partnership will showcase the power of collaboration with Google Apps.
I look forward to Apple plus Google user friendly collaboration on calendars, docs, spreadsheets, and more. I’ve been furiously looking for information on Docs to Go and the iPhone. I am starting to let go of the desktop convention and imagining a web 2.0 enabled mobile software wonderland that is at my fingertips; thanks to my iPhone.
More leaked pictures????????
I think the gPhone is definitely a real possibility. It all depends if Google thinks it is worth it to invest in a hardware device of their own, or if they would be content just supplying the apps to an existing device, such as Apple’s iPhone.
I think Google’s relationships that have been discussed, including those with Orange, HTC Taiwan (PDA maker and possible hardware supplier), and China Mobile (should be very interesting to see what these two will cook up), show potential for Google to make a serious attempt at dominating the future mobile arena.
Especially in light of the convergence of gps navigation and mobile handsets (as displayed by nokia recently at the 3gsm conference in barcelona), and the emergence of location-based social networking, the functionality offered by google maps and google local information could make for a compelling reason for them to enter this space.
But I think that even if they don’t come out with a handset, their applications will still make it onto the devices of the companies that do.
Orange, Oh Combien merveilleuse!!
The possible Gphone is a great opportunity for Orange to enter the American market via a new type of joint ventures. The Gphone is a great alliane between both companies. Google has estbalished its footprint and is looking to grow into a world class company, and Orange is seeking to introduce its self as a new service provider in the US. Orange uses GSM technology,unlike American companies, which uses CDMA technology, Orange and has a wide range of plans suited to everyone.
GOOGLE PHONE!! OH MY GOSH!!!! I LOVE GOODLE. I LIVE AND BREATH GOODLE. A PHONE WOULD BE WONDERFUL, I’M SO EXCITED. YES, PLEASE GET A PHONE, GOOGLE. I LOVE IT.
I think the overall readership may have missed the hidden message on the Google Mobile Phone.
Read into the messaging, and I paraphrase the quotes “.. targeting the masses … not connected to PC and then internet”
Here’s the feeling we are about to see for the search engine visionaries (http://blogs.globalcrossing.com/google20 )
Very clear to me, not about iphone competition, it’s about Google 2.0.
My gut says that in 18 months we’ll all talking blogging to what I am saying – this evening.
Cheers,and I’ll see you for my toast on this prediction! September 2008 😉
What services already exist for Google that can be easily transmuted for the cell phone experience?
If it’s introduced, it will be after the phone is released and becomes popular and will be viral in nature. To get paid to listen to ads before placing a call or texting.
GPS will give us maps and directions
Our email, alerts and everything
News updates tuned to your PC searching and reading of articles
Not only do they own blogspot/blogger.com but their blog search covers hundreds of blogs and blogging services
Talk to your mates! What else?
Google Business News
They’ve got that for PC why not for a cell phone?
It will probably be marketed as YouTube for recognitions sake.
Imagine being able to cost compare while in the shopping mall? You’re not “held hostage” as some like to say by the retailers with large overhead and insurance to pay for.
Forget an important statistic or selling point on the way to a sales call? Check it on your collaborated works page!
Even if Google didn’t implement it’s internet search engine(which it will)there is more than enough Google content to overwhelm the average cell phone user. It can also be worked from the ground up to be displayed on a cell phone since Google has all the raw information. This isn’t about “bringing the internet to you” this is about “Bringing you to Google” which isn’t a bad thing! Now imagine them tracking people and recording “popular places” for statistics. you walk past a BestBuy and moments later get a text with the latest sales from that particular store(lets hope their instore site tells the same story…har har). Google has been good about privacy but with a simple GPS tracking phone, the statistics they can garner almost make the need to subsidize the phone useless, they just sell the information on where 10,000,000 million nameless faces have been in the past 6 weeks.
Apple is the “Gay Fashion” industry of the computer world. Hight price, excellent quality, marketed to fan boys.
I dont think any Iphone of GooglePhone will be a popular as everyone thinks. It will be very popular with the fan boys, and school girls.
For me, I will never buy one, I have no need for a 1k phone. I play PC games and do sofware development, I would never waste upwards of 1k for something as simple as a cell phone with internet access. Shit I could get a really nice motherboard and video card for that!
Looks like the former CEO of Symbian beat Google to it! AQA launches aFone – instant answers, presence, contact look up through network, and subsidised by the operators to retail at £1! http://www.63336.com
When I first heard about the Apple iPhone, I was not very interested. This sounds very interesting. If they capitalize on the short commings of the iPhone, they could quite possibly dethrone Apple. If anyone can do it, Google can.
Take a look at Gpn (Global Phone Number) at http://www.watt.co.nz and you will undersatand that it is only a matter of time before an email address will be also your network phone number and that Google can either lead or follow.
Linking this story on http://www.bestofindya.com
It is said that the Google Phone will be produced by the manufacturer HTC in Taiwan. Market start will be before Christmas this year – and they start with one million units.
With everthing happening so fast Google Phone A await for the results this year cant wait to try it out
The google phone should be loaded with the Phraze-It Keyboard. The Phraze-It Keyboard is a productivity software application for a uniquely innovative on-screen keyboard with large finger typing keys for touch screen phones and PDAs. The Phraze-It ® Keyboard allows users to type with their index fingers directly on the screen of touch screen phones in full sentences, including punctuation, to create complete emails, text messages and documents while on the go.
YES. Thank you Google, You rock. I hope the google phone is as feature packed as the HTC Kaiser, as simple to use as the iPhone, and as open and fast as google and Wikipedia.
I would spend upwards of $1000 for such a device though I suspect google, in addition to the above three goals also will make the phone cheap and affordable for all.
There is a new info on this phone and it seems that a prototype has been shown to some carriers.
the model of gphone is sexy
i hope it will be reasonable so that ican buy it
i loved it very much
waiting for the Gphone to come out in the market
i will never give up my iphone. google can do what it wants – you will only take my iphone away when you pry it from my cold dead hands.
PC people just don’t get it.
I need this phone i waiting anyone tell launch date?
i think all internet users will use this phone,this mean all the world will use it,what nokia will do then?
all people love to use these new things
specially from google:)
who wouldn’t want to switch to a phone that can make free call whenever a network is available? that alone will make people to switch. Available network are only going to get bigger and better. with displays like vuzix and powerful PDA’s, Telcos business will follow the likes of typewriter etc.
Power to the people.
The idea of a GPhone (Google Phone) looks good on paper but not in reality. It would be interesting to see the revenue model Google has planned for itself and the service fees for the end user.
Apple & Google … 😀 two superforces connecting to an almighty gigaforce 😀
Will be the gPhone-OS the new Symbian or Windows Mobile?
So i-phone has come and broken the business model of commodity “minutes and texts” that mobile operators have been competing in for many many years. The i-Phone (for nearly the price of a laptop!) offers content (i-tunes plus free wireless and data usage under O2)
Mobile operators have started to look at the ways and reasons people communicate. People are involved in social networks (twitter, facebook, myspace etc) and also spend a lot of time listening to music perhaps more than video messaging (what a waste of time that was!)or viewing/taking pictures & video.
I expect to see mobile companies teaming up with with Napster & other digital content providers.
Google have some of this already (you tube for example) they also have mobile applications (may appeal to business customers) they have google maps (add location based services or GPS to the handset) they have g-mail and g-talk and also get a better click through rate from mobile devices when using google search.
All makes perfect sense to me! the G-Phone will break the mobile business model once again.
Has anybody here actually used the Window Pocket PC? SUCKS! I was very happy when I bought my phone from Verizon, for about a week. WinOS on my phone, wow i can now develop for mobile on a platform i know! oh it sucks no support for anything useful!
MS really dropped the ball.
Have you tried looking at youtube vids? oh sorry, no support for flash built in.
Have you tried to listen to Howard Stern online with winpocketpc? oh SORRY AGAIN… errors.
Eventually i learned that i could download the opera browser and now i had support for the scripting languages, the ability to view full pages rather than being forced to use the sucky mobile versions. But still no support for flash vids… and the battery dies out in like 10 min of opera usage. Good try opera.
i guess i could try to find a download for flash but now i have to buy more memory because the device comes with a little bit of bytes.
Apple dropped the ball.
when the iPhone came out, WOW it can do flash vids, scripting languages, and it can even stream Howard Stern Online.. woohoo! looks nice! cool touch screen! good amount of memory!… oh wait, slow internet, no physical qwerty, only on AT&T, top this off recently with no support for third party apps! apple cannot supply every app i want! and i cannot develop for it unless my users hack into their phones!
What are all these people thinking, i am a lowly little mexican and i know people dont want mediocre products and/or restrictions! Am I better qualified to be the CEO of these companies?!?! One could argue that its more profitable for them for certain reasons to be mediocre but that is no way to treat your customers.
But wait! a gPhone? GOOG has a history of making innovation happen, through free api access and a bunch of useful services. MS had mapping software, it used to cost $6000 for a developer’s tool kit. not anymore. why? cause GOOGMaps is free. MS Hotmail used to only allow 1 gb of free space, it has increased. why? cause gMail has more memory.
Power to GOOG! don’t screw up mighty tool for the masses and the developers of things for the masses and Robin Hood of software! GodSpeed GOOG, GodSpeed!
When does it come out?
G PHONE IS A FAKE!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!! LOOK AT THIS WEBSITE http://www.newsweek.com/ then on it youll see a thing about google!….. I REPEAT THE GPHONE IS A FAKE
@victor on November 5th, 2007 at 7:34 pm
“G PHONE IS A FAKE!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!! “
Recent clarification that the gPhone will not be a gPhone but rather a mobile OS is even better news!
Think about it, do we want google to produce 3 or 4 phones for us to choose from? No. We want them to create a standard free based OS for all the phone manufacturers to implement. This would give us a vast amount of phones to choose from, and since the phone makers want their phone to sell, they will compete against each other to provide the best, cheapest phone.
This is why google stock is $700 a share. Even though the only products or services from them that have had a big impact on our lives are the search engine and gMaps to a certain extent, they have extreme power over helping capitalism thrive. And they do, rather than horde all the power for themselves, like Microsoft used to do. Since Google is in business to make money, these products and ideas are centered around making them more ad money in the long run.
Believe me, we dont want google to have a monopoly over our phones, we dont want ANYBODY to have a monopoly over anything important in our lives. See, Apple has a monopoly over the iPhone, and they are exercising their tyranny. That’s why they sold us a bunch of expensive phones and when we figured out how to get more value out of them, they “patched” our freedom.
I am worried about one partner in this consortium though, Motorola, their OSs suck! From phones to DVRs, these guys make many things, and when they put their OS on it, it becomes a sluggish, ugly interface.
Google will make all mobile web-sites go through google search but will also limit search to only companies who use google ads, potentially monopolizing the online mobile advertising market, forever. Also, It’s not a phone but software that will track everyone that uses it in the numerous different phones being made with the new software. Unlike the i-phone, google is just creating the software, not the phone.
Does anyone know what this google phone is going to look like? I’m curious to see how it’s appearance compares with other phones on the market right now.
doesnt the iphone already do everything that the google phone is supposed to be able to do? oh yeah and if it doesnt, it gets free upgrades with every update…….. so who wants a google phone not “i”
besides not sucking
try the ability to capture video
my husband is programing on android for the Google phone yes its real and its going to pummel the iphone! Google is doing this to allow every one to be able to make some decent $$ to from the mobile world and not just the corporations. Google has a few programing competitions going on right now for programs for the phone. this first one that is over next weekend will give the top 50 programmers $25,000. these 50 people than have 4 more weeks to completely finish their product and re submit it. now 10 of these people are going to receive $175,000 and the top 10 are going to get $275,000 for a grand total of over $5 million. they are doing this twice once before the phone gets released and once after it gets released. they are giving out over $10 million to help these people start their own company’s and get their dreams and lives where they want them. so have some respect people. Google also treats their employees way better than almost every other company on this planet!
oh yeah the phone is touch screen like the iphone. look up the Android emulator to see what it looks like. thats what everyone is using to make and test out their programs for the Google phone.
Almost two years later and there is still no google phone but the latest release of the iPhone. June, I´m excited what your husband created there. When will it be released? Any info on that? Thx
Yes, This phone will compete with iPhone. People who wants more features than brand will choose Google phone over iPhone.
“Yes, This phone will compete with iPhone. People who wants more features than brand will choose Google phone over iPhone”.
179$ – not bad… nice price. T-Mobile Brand.
Hello and good day,
I am fed up with the best mobile phones. Iphone, Blackberry, Google, whatever are toys for adults. I am able to make a call and I can write short messages. I do not listen to music, because I have an Ipod. I do not take pictures, because I have a very good camera.
If i want to get “online” I`ll switch on my Notebook- who needs a cellphone which is connected to the world wide web???
I hope that there are some people left who share my opinion!!!
Thanky you very much and have a nice day 🙂
What a change blackberry has done to coporate emailing systems. The use of browser on a phone has helped sales through online networks. I book meetings for my sales team which they see on their BB, plus they have GPS on them so I can show them where they need to be. You can also install Skype on smartphones and use it to make int. calls almost free, so read up on it, it will help you if you know how to use it
i totally agree with ur views .actually these mobile comp. are making a hypothetical atmosphere,that we need a camera,sounds in our mobile phones , but they are of no use
apparently google phone is already available under htc, and nothing is so amazing with it its just a refinement of htc diamond and nothing really is surprising.
Blackberry >> Google Phone << iPhone
which is really amazing..??!!
does it really a great deal for having a google phone..??
i think google is the new microsoft as well. i dont know, if it is good…
I Think google-Phones will not succesfully like Iphones, because there are marketing and image problems.
@Croni: I think you are right! Google on the best to be a new Microsoft!
does it really a great deal for having a google phone..??: Yes i think it ist