Despite numerous protests that a phone created and sold by Google would upset wireless carriers, Times Online reports that Google in 2010 will launch an advanced smartphone with a larger-than-usual touch screen and a speedy Qualcomm processor that trumps the one powering the iPhone 3GS. Analysts and phone experts eWEEK spoke to are divided on the matter. VOIP consultant Andy Abramson says if Google were to release its own phone with Google Voice it would democratize mobile calling. Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle says the idea of such a Google Phone would be an affront to carriers and handset makers.
If it is possible to will something into existence, a fully integrated,
entirely Google-branded phone
geared to challenge Apple's
phenomenally successful iPhone will hit the market in 2010.
Despite numerous protests
that a phone created and sold by Google
with the help
of a third-party manufacturer would upset wireless carriers, Times Online
reported Nov. 22 that Google in 2010 will launch an advanced smartphone
larger-than-usual touch screen and a speedy Qualcomm processor that trumps the
one powering the iPhone 3GS.
Moreover, the gadget will likely run the as-yet-unseen "Flan"
version of Google's Android operating system and support Google Voice, the
phone management service Google offers free that lets users ring their home,
work and mobile numbers through a special Google number.
Google Voice features text messaging and several voice mailbox features and,
integrated with its newly acquired Gizmo5 assets, could give Google Voice the
endpoint connector it needs to patch calls through to Skype and other VOIP (voice
over IP) services.
The triumvirate of Google Phone, Google Voice and Gizmo5 could give Google the total package
to facilitate calls, potentially
cutting Google's wireless partners, such as Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, out
of voice calling and text messaging data sales.
And if Google chose to sell the phone directly to customers and unlocked
devices by letting users put the SIM (Subscriber
Identity Module) cards from their current handhelds into their Google phones,
it could rob carriers of their power. Carriers neither want to be dumb pipes
The Times report cited financial analyst Ashok Kumar from Northeast
Securities as a source. A Google spokesperson contacted by eWEEK declined to
comment on "market rumor or speculation."
Analysts and phone experts eWEEK spoke to were divided on the matter. VOIP
consultant Andy Abramson said if Google were to release its own phone with
Google Voice it would democratize mobile calling.
"It's going to free you from the handset deal," Abramson said.
"It's going to allow you to pick the carrier you like the best." He
also outlined a scenario in which carriers might find a Google phone