Here we go again. There's whispers going around that the device we've all been waiting for, since even before the existence of Android really, is coming early next year. Yep, the Google Phone, as in the hardware and design and all the little and final decisions that goes into building a phone is made by Google. According to the report, Google will sell the phone directly and through retailers, the Google phone was supposed to come this Holiday season but has been pushed back to early next year, and the phone will be produced by a major phone manufacturer but only carry Google branding.

Basically, it's purported to be Google's vision of what a phone should be and how it should fit with Android. Almost sounds too good to be true. The Google Phone will likely be produced by either LG or Samsung (more likely LG) and there'll be a huge ad push for it.

In theory, it all sounds great. Google gets to deliver a handset that is directly tied to the Android experience, kind of how Apple is the sole provider of the iPhone experience. The problem is, Google for all its talents and genius, has yet to ever prove it can handle hardware (or even design). It's a company filled first and foremost with engineers, albeit engineers with great talents and ideas, but engineers nonetheless. This is the company that leaves its product in Beta for years upon years! Why bother investing in a hardware device that HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG, etc have proven well capable already? Hardware has never been Google's M.O.

And if Google does so happen build a wonderful Google Phone, it'll likely alienate its hardware partners. Why would I buy a Motorola DROID or Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 if I can get an official Google Phone built from the ground up for Android? How will companies feel if the Google Phone launches with 3.0 but every other Android device is stuck at 2.0? Will they continue to make Android devices? Google would be leaving the companies that backed Android from the beginning in the dust. Simply put, the existence of a Google Phone automatically makes third-party Android phones second-tier devices because Google's priority will shift to the Google Phone, all others second.

There's definitely a lot more questions, both good and bad, regarding the Google Phone but if it is true, Android is going to take off. Again. It's going to be an exciting year.

What do you guys think?

[techcrunch]

 
There are 23 comments

Terry says:

Anyone want to buy my Droid? - :P

John S. says:

I pay US$ 40 for this crap

JaimeMex says:

I'll Trade you for my Palm Pre lol...

iphonemilk says:

rofl ^

Anonymous says:

LG google experience phone with is a same thing as Motorola one, isn't it? Might be better...but I doubt there will be phone from google itself. It will be very stupid move from google.

UncleMike says:

The Droid is my first Android phone, and after a brief hiatus, I'm back on Verizon, so I'm still on the high that comes with ditching your old carrier and phone for something shiny and new on a different carrier that MUST be better than your old one.

A carrier-independent device would likely be GSM-based, relegating it to use on AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, leaving it with no carrier support. If it were to get approval for use on Verizon, it would be in the same boat with the Saygus V1 (the what? you say) - leaving the entire support burden on the manufacturer, with Verizon providing no support at all.

I love Google and their products, but if their hardware support is anything like their software support, this is a problem.

Alienation of their hardware partners is also a risk, as stated above.

Adiliyo says:

for the reasons above, and that google to this point has yet to make any hardware of ANY kind (that i know of at least) leads me to believe that unless the android platform starts declining instead of the steady gains its making in smartphone marketshare, i doubt google will come out with their own phone.

there's no real benefit for them really. you don't see microsoft making a smart phone, why? because they're a software company, like google. apple has to make their own phone because that's how they sell things, in a closed, tightly knit ecosystem.

now if android was not in the position to explode next year, i could see google doing something about it to try and increase their share by putting their own hardware.

there's been so many rumors for so many years, and we have yet to see anything materialize. and i personally don't care to own a "google phone"
1. the GPHONE name is TERRIBLE
and
2. stuff like the Droid, the X10, and the Passion are already awesome devices that showcase what the platform is capable of anyways.

Anonymous says:

Microsoft making hardware, completely unheard of right? I mean I'm sure they outsource the actual manufacturing, but they are definitely Microsoft branded, just like this "google phone" would be. Consider, there are Microsoft branded...

Mice, Keyboards, Fingerprint Readers, Webcams (iirc), oh, and also that little thing no one has ever heard of called the Xbox.

Scott says:

Thankfully Android phone is open source so the mobile phone makers will stay on board. Thankfully Google is pushing the mobile market place where it needs to go versus staying staying still and too focused on the bottom line. Thankfully Google has a bigger vision.

ERDude says:

Andy Rubin VP of Google has already responded to this rumor back in early November.

http://droidtalk.net/2009/11/google-is-not-bringing-its-own-phone-to-mar...

"Google VP Andy Rubin stated clearly that his company has no plans for any Android hardware."

Anonymous says:

I don't understand why people still believes stories like this. Google has already stated they won't make any phone. They are in the software/search business not hardware.

Anthony says:

Don't they make some search server thingies and fridges? :P

Dirt Devil says:

I doubt there will be a phone manufactured by google itself

analogs says:

And even if they were, it's pretty obvious that the Google Phone already happened. Perhaps you've heard of it; it's call the G1. Every aspect of the G1 was controlled by Google. They hand picked T-Mobile and HTC because neither would put up much of a fight when it came to executive decisions (HTC had no brand equity to speak of and T-mobile is/was a lowly 2nd tier carrier). Just look at it -- there isn't a hint of the usual carrier branded stuff like icons, apps, colors, logos, etc. There isn't so much as a hint of magenta anywhere on it.

I could certainly understand Google wanting to regain some control now that custom UIs and hardware have taken over. But back in the day, Android was just Android and that's exactly what the G1 was.

And it's called the fucking "G" One for christ's sake! If that wasn't the "Google Phone", I don't know what could possibly be.

Tash says:

I think if I was an android phone manufacturer. I would be upset that google is making handsets now because it could potentially mean that google has added features that will not be usable for others. That what happens when you have a free OS and you jump on board and then the catch comes. I am sure a google phone would be great. Well google should have just came out with their phone to begin with and not have these 3rd party phone manufacturers support the os. Now if google starts to differenciate the os where their phones have the better os with more functionality then tisk tisk manufacturers.

Google might be biting the hand that feeds it.

ambulance says:

It's about pushing things to the next level and giving the consumer the best experience possible. If google wants to try to do that, then I'm on board. Why settle for what's on the market when there is potential to push the envelope? Come on guys stop being so narrow minded.

Thiago Souza says:

Probably will come with a "Google Mobile (beta)" printed on it...

TheFrameGuy says:

"And if Google does so happen build a wonderful Google Phone, it'll likely alienate its hardware partners." Yes, that would be a very interesting situation. I personally think MSFT is going to do the same thing. My prediction: by this time next year there will be a Windows Phone made by MSFT.

Anonymous says:

Michael Arrington must get off making stuff up, because he does it often.

Anonymous says:

Why can't HTC build Googles phone? Honestly, LG sucks. Samsung is okay, but the Touchwiz UI for Android is a big disappointment. Motorola did an excellent job on both the Cliq and the Droid, so they would be a good option. I would LOVE if google built a phone with specs beating everyone else. Android 3.0 should bump up the home screens and widgets like HTC did. I think HTC is spot-on as far as an Android device goes.

Anonymous says:

I still think this is a rumor for the most part. However I could certianly see google working with hardware manufacturers in order to create a "refrence google phone" which google could use to say "This is what android is capable of, and this is how you make hardware to support it". It would be similar to what ATI does with their refrence video cards.

I wouldn't expect google to start selling the phone though. That'd be a certian way to burn all the bridges they've built with all the cell phone manufacturers and would push many to seek out other OS's for their phones.

PortareAF says:

The google phone....again? I am sure at some point, google will get the itch to create its own phone, but with the release of Droid, Eris, etc. I don't think it will be soon. Vzw is dead set on the Droid's success and therefore Google. I don't think they would appreciate their device being trumped so soon after launch. After all Android now has the attention of the largest Carrier in the Us, and are starting to move global. Build your base before you try and expand.

VZW & Google Vs. AT&T & Apple

Taking all bets!