Google addressed the recent news that Google employees were all given Google Phones, saying that it's actually a part of their product testing program called 'dogfooding' (from eating their own dogfood) that allows Google employees to give feedback and suggestions to Google's own products. In their words: 

We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe. This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it.
 
Unfortunately, because dogfooding is a process exclusively for Google employees, we cannot share specific product details. We hope to share more after our dogfood diet.
Is it foolish to think that Google told their employees to tweet/leak/showoff the mobile labs 'Google Phone' in order to play into our desire for a real-life Googlephone? Or did Google not anticipate this? In any case, reading between the lines of Google's statement, the 'new mobile features and capabilities' must be a data only, VoIP with Google Voice device right?
 
 

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Google Discusses Latest Google Phone News

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This has got to be the biggest "none story" of late 2009. As I recall, everyone ran around saying Google was releasing a phone just before Android 1st came out also. If Google releases a phone I'll eat my MotoDroid on film!

In any case, reading between the lines of Google's statement, the 'new mobile features and capabilities' must be a data only, VoIP with Google Voice device right?

Based on what the Google statement says (and does not say), I'd say it's a bit of a stretch to say it must be a "data only, VoIP with Google Voice device".

I think itd be retarded for google to release a google phone. I mean think about it, google makes its money off of search, so therefore they would want there operating system Android which uses google search to be on as many devices as possible. Alienating other manufactures by making your own phone instead of having it on hundreds of devices and carries is not the best way to do that, it just doesnt make good business sense.

their greediness is gonna be their downfall. buy trying to dip their fingers into multiple markets they are going to lose quality. wait and see.

What? r u guys slow? The iphone makes the most numbers by far using only their device, they would make more if that weren't the case. This is good the (real) Google phone will sell very very well.....maybe even iphone well ,and they can still have other manufacturers use their OS.

FYI I just played with a Google Phone, it is indeed the HTC Passion hardware, its name is the 'Nexus One', it runs Android 2.1, the call interface used Google Voice. It has 5 desktops with hot areas in the bottom corners of the screen to switch back and forth. The Application list looks sort of like a 3d slot machine when you scroll up/down, its like its wrapped around a cylinder. The desktop is 'active', the one I saw had 3dish raindrop ripples when you would push on it. It was running the snapdragon 1ghz processor and an opengl (es?) mobile 2.0 gpu. Looks nice!

Oh and it had 32GB of flash and an expansion slot. There was no voice provisioning from the carrier that I could see, it was data only, with Google Voice as the callout.

More details I remembered, the screen was roughly the same resolution and dpi as the droid, it was not oled. There were no talk/hangup hardware buttons.

lol cj100570 is going to eat their phone on camera. I better see that! The guy is gonna die from metabolizing that...if he manages to digest

Google is moving down in the stack to challenge B2C opponents with an open architecture and new sets of standards. In creating a post-revenue business model, Google can only manage success if consumers accept a co-branding and outsourced manufactured device ... NQ Logic recommends reading about the rest of the new Google's mobile strategy at www.nqlogic.com