With LG’s KE850 already riding high on the wave of touch screen based phone publicity generated by Apple’s iPhone rumours are now circulating that Google is also about to test the water.
Conveniently blurry/‘Leaked’ photos of the search giant’s first entry into the hardware world began to appear at the pints and footy end of last week. Apparently codenamed ‘Switch’ it is the offshoot of a partnership with Samsung and has a firm focus on communication rather than multimedia.
At the heart of the device is reported to be an enhanced version of Gtalk which will organise contacts and handle instant messaging. Gmail and Google Maps will – naturally – be fully integrated and a virtual keyboard will pop up to enable typing.
Interestingly, it is said that the Google Switch will feature no onboard storage instead bringing applications to the handset directly through a web interface. This is surely the way mobile software will be heading, but in 2007 – where network coverage can still be patchy and data access speeds erratic - I’m not sure how practical this would be. London Underground, anyone?
Either way, Google – which tends to respond to most speculation with an official denial – is likely to pipe up about the Switch sooner or later so expect a swift rebuttal at any moment… not that it means anything.