December 22, 2014

Google Working on Their Own Phone for 2009 Release?

gphone_googlephone_againAn “exclusive” article over on TheStreet claims that Google is actually in the hardware business after all.  Yep – according to them, Google has plans to develop their own handset and release it to the masses.

In what is likely to be seen as disruptive to the wireless status quo, Google is working with a smartphone manufacturer to have a Google-branded phone available this year through retailers and not through telcos, according to Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar, who has talked to Google’s design partners about the plan.  If talk of the Google phone plan is true, the entrance of a unlocked, low-cost, Web-friendly touchscreen device will probably undercut other Android phone efforts by players like Motorola, Samsung and Dell.

For nearly two years now, we’ve heard and reported that Google has no plans to get into the hardware game.  With so many partners in the Open Handset Alliance and scores of other companies jumping on the bandwagon, this seems totally unnecessary to us. Why would they want to cut the feet out from under people like Motorola?  Deliberately going after companies looking to Android to completely revitalize their business sounds like shady, “evil” stuff.

We’re hoping that some signals were crossed along the lines.  Perhaps someone was confused with all this recent “Droid” news.  Maybe, just maybe, someone thinks that the Droid is a Google branded phone.  It wouldn’t be the first time people were mixed up.  A year ago, everyone thought the G1 was a Google Phone or that Android was 1 handset.

“It’s a bit of a departure from Google’s strategy, but I think the speculation is valid,” says Michael Cote of the Cote Collaborative. And as for getting the phone to the market quickly, Google “would probably use a partner they are familiar with.”

Let’s assume this is true.  What is your reaction to the news of Google looking to create their own phone?



  • TareX

    If true, I do NOT look forward to this device. It will have cheap hardware, cheap design and a basic Google experience meant to spread, and not to excel. The "everyone's phone"….. HOWEVER, there is a possibility that they produce an iPhone-like sleek device…. in that case, add a qwerty and I'm officially interested…

    • MKJ

      Nice, if it suck – you'll hate it, if it's awesome – you won't. Thanks for sharing!

      Personally I'm excited! Google knows enough about user experience to finally make a handset that doesnt have GLARING usability flaws (like no 3.5mm headphone jack). I hope those rumors are true.

      • TareX

        That wasn't the point I was making. The point was: It will most probably be a cheap "everyman's phone" to get it into as many people's hands as possible.

  • Phillip

    They should´nt shoot for low cost, they should lead the herde with a high quality handset that does everything right. Think iPhone in build quality and with Android os.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jiltedcitizen jiltedcitizen

    Sounds great, Evil? Hell no. Only thing evil is the cellular providers. I agree about the hardware, hopefully something good.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/chuckfalzone Chuck Falzone

    I agree that this is probably a misunderstanding. What with the Droid hubbub and the fact that most Android phones already Do have Google branding on them, I can see how someone unfamiliar with the Android landscape could get confused. And on top of that, you can already buy unlocked Android phones via retail outlets (e.g. Samsung Galaxy at NewEgg).

    Mostly I'm suspicious because of the timeline– available this year? We'd have heard something about it before now.

  • Guest

    If there are a hundred phones coming out next year, why would Google's scare anyone away?

    Dell makes awesome corporate computers — what brand do you have in your home?

    I look forward to Google's phone as the phone that has the least number of weird hardware/software issues. But much as I love Google, I don't see their phone as necessarily having the best UI, or the best looking design, or having the best human factors.

  • Rich

    In a simple "I wonder" mode of thinking, I wonder if de-coupling handset sales from wireless providers might be a good thing for the providers anyway… Consumers won't accept non-subsidized handset pricing from a provider, so providers are compelled to require contracts, which are a huge part of the perception of "evil" carriers. I just wonder if the two were separated if consumer perception of carriers would improve as a result…

  • carig

    first of all, i don't trust TheStreet, have you forgotten about their report that verizon would not be selling the pre?

    anyways a lot of it quite possibly is a misunderstanding, and the idea that this will finally be the "gphone" is likely just a misinterpretation.
    the article specifically mentions that google is working with a smartphone manufacturer. Well here is a statement that BGR made about the Droid:
    "From what we’ve been told, Google had a direct hand in the Motorola Droid. Something to the point of almost dictating every move Motorola made when designing and making the phone."

    So this article may just inadvertently be about the Droid or it may be about some new phone but it's probably just just referring to google working very closely with a manufacturer as it did with the droid (and probably the g1) but not actually designing the phone or laying claim to its design other than putting "with google" on it

    • TareX

      I agree. The "Driod", "with Google" could confuse any reporter into thinking Google is planning a phone of their own with their "Android".

  • http://codeshogun.com/blog lordhong

    yet another android phone to add to the general fragmentation in the android space? OUCH!

  • joey

    While i wouldnt be surprised if google did that, i wouldnt also be surprised if Google went the apple way and included TONS of proprietary "non-open" pieces in there and put a lot of developers out of business. All they have to do is look at the market and figure out the top 20 apps to put in there and built those apps themselves.
    Then they can make sure other providers will not be able to sell many devices by ensuring that those top application are not part of android (just like the gmail and other google-only apps we have seen Cyanogen get in trouble with)

    • http://twitter.com/jt @jt

      Why would they do this? They're goal is to get their services (and thus build their ad-revenue) in front of as many people as they can… are you an Apple fan boy?

      • joey

        anything but an apple fanboy! i am an Android fanboy, but worried about Google dominating the scene by monopolizing it. I would love to see dozens of handset makers thrive on an open platform rather than Google slowly dominating it and pushing out others simply by brand awareness and worse, but building functionality into it in a closed manner.

        I dont see how getting into the handset business is limited to improving just ad-revenue though… i can see how a cheap functonal google phone can not only generate ad-revenue, but also kill Moto and HTC and a dozen others' Android dreams. And once they leave, the game is over for Android.

        Sorry, doomy and gloomy today, i probably don't mean all of the above will happen.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/AndroidNewb AndroidNewb

    Yeah that article looks pretty questionable. Read through some of the comments on The Street site too and not many good things said about the site, the author or the supposed analyst. I would have to say that I think this is a misunderstanding, but an "Exclusive" misunderstanding none the less.

  • Thomas

    Will Google really keep the best for themselves? It's kind of exciting… will a thousand new phones coming out in the coming months, I don't see any difference between all of them except how they look like. Will the Google phone makes a drastic change to this situation?

    BTW, I've heard of a new revolutionary cell phone coming out in 2010. It's called Emblaze (dunno what exactly it is) but my friend who works in IT said it's going to knock your head off in terms of GUI and performance!!! have anyone heard of Emblaze?

  • http://www.newyork-guide.net/ New York

    Yes Google has launched its phone Android last year & it has got a nice welcome by the market.Google has never got any failure in the market because of its quality of product & technology.

  • http://www.newyork-guide.net/ New York

    Google Android has already released & making good business in the market.Still then it has to compete with Apple iphone to make a strong position in the market.

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