For years there was speculation about Google making a smartphone, but when it did eventually launch into the sector the decision was to provide software not hardware. But could that all be about to change?
Over the weekend (allegedly credible) shots emerged of the first official Google mobile phone courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. According to the EXIF data on the photos it is called the 'Nexus One', though the Bladerunner reference could simply be a codename. It is also made by HTC and looks darn similar to the HTC Passion which surfaced last week.
Nothing is nailed down about the specs either, with talk of a 3.7in AMOLED display with support for multi-touch, a 1GHz Snapdragon chipset and a five megapixel camera all widely discussed. There is no physical keyboard. A build of Android 2.1 is said to be used for Nexus One testing, while Google apparently gave the handset to a number of its staff for internal testing on 10 December.
As for availability January is the month so-called 'insiders' claim the Nexus One will go on sale with Google selling it directly as a sim free model as well as subsidised on networks. No mention of a wider European or Global launch has been mentioned.
What do we think? It's possible and Google may well want a 'signature' series for Android to preserve the integrity of its platform. After all it is known that the search giant isn't overly pleased with manufacturers who have heavily customised the OS or tried to add in their own proprietary app stores. The response to this up to now was simply to remove the 'Google' branding from the hardware, but a Google phone would be the strongest rebuttal yet. It would also make OTA upgrading to each new version of Android simple by taking it out the hands of manufacturers and networks.
That said, this could simply be an internal model used for Android testing or just complete nonsense. After all, any move into the hardest market would likely see Google alienate its partners by competing with them directly. That is the reason you don't see Microsoft making an official Windows laptop or desktop...
In short: this one is too tight to call...
via the WSJ