Rumors of a Google Mobile Phone Swirl

Google Maps and applications could find their way onto your next mobile phone.

If Google plans to unleash a mobile phone, industry analysts agree it wont be a solo effort, but a collaboration with multiple hardware and software vendors.

Rumors have abounded since a blogger for CrunchGear reported August 27 that Google is working on mobile-tailored versions of Google Maps (with built-in GPS), Gmail, Google Talk and Calendar, and possibly a mobile operating system.

A Google spokesperson told eWEEK that the company wont comment on rumor or speculation, but industry analysts seem to agree that the search engine and software maker is not building its own phone in an attempt to compete with market leaders such as Nokia and Research in Motion.

Read more here about the reports that a Google phone is in the works.

Ken Dulaney, an analyst who covers the mobile market for Gartner, said the so-called Google Phone will most likely be manufactured by a company that will bake special Google functions into the gadget, noting that Google is unlikely to release a phone aimed at competing with phones from market leader Nokia.

Nokia phones employ the Symbian OS, which boasts a robust 71 percent placement on the worlds smart phones.

"There is a very important distinction," Dulaney said. "To build a phone you need lots of experience. Phone code is some of the most complicated per line of code there is. Google will likely experience performance problems if they do the whole thing themselves."

Evidence seems to favor Dulaneys theory that Google is teaming up with hardware makers. Gadget blog site Gizmodo on August 28 offered this picture of a Google phone, allegedly developed by HTC.

ABI Research analyst Stuart Carlaw said HTC would be ideal for Google to partner with, but added that Ubiquisys could be another partner in this race.

Ubiquisys, based in Swindon, U.K., is the maker of ZoneGate, a small device that enables users to enjoy 3G wireless services in the home without disruption. Google, incidentally, participated in a $25 million investment round for Ubiquisys in July.

Next page: Google Mobile Software in the Works?