Googlephone on the Way?

A few weeks ago, rumors of a Google browser captured the public's imagination, but that's a rumor that's been going around for a few years.

The latest rekindled rumor, propagated yesterday in a blog post by Engadget's Ryan Block, is that Google is inching ever so closely to announcing the alleged Googlephone.

Few in the blogosphere seem to think this will be a hardware product but rather a Linux-based mobile operating system that would compete with Windows Mobile, Palm OS and Linux platforms such as Symbian.

The notion hews very well to Google's leanings in the wireless space. In addition to a pledge to spend $4.6 billion on 700 MHz wireless spectrum, the company had made it quite clear that it is excited about having its Google Apps platform proliferate on handheld devices.

What better way to do that than to develop a mobile OS from which to launch the Apps? Surely anything Google whipped up behind the scenes would be optimized to run Gmail, Google Talk, etc.

Not only is this another poke in the eye for Microsoft, but it would be a challenge to Apple's iPhone as well. Then again, if you believe the industry analysts who scream that people have been waiting to buy smart phones until Internet applications that run on them are improved, there is plenty of pie for all.

Anyhow, this Googlephone is allegedly coming out some time after Labor Day (September 3rd). Incidentally, Apple is rumored to be planning an iPod announcement for September 5th, so it will be interesting to see how this shakes out. Will Google steal Apple's thunder? Unlikely given the companies publicly amiable relationship.

The situation bears watching.