Throughout much of last year, there were rumors the Google intended to release a smartphone, typically called the Gphone. In the fall though, this company announced that it isn’t working on a single mobile device, but is instead leading a group of companies that will release a variety of smartphones running a Linux-based operating system, called Android.
Since that time, a number of companies that specialize in smartphones — like HTC, Samsung, and LG –have announced plans to release Android models, and it has been assumed that Google’s only role would be leading the effort to develop the operating system and attendant software.
Not so, according to technology commentator Robert X. Cringely. He reports being told by an anonymous source that Google will release two Android-powered phones under its own brand name later this year.
How the other companies prepping devices running this operating system will react to having to compete against Google — the company primarily responsible for Android development — is not yet known.
High-End and Entry-Level
At this point, descriptions of Google’s Android models are very sketchy.
The first of these will supposedly be a high-end model that Cringely says "will look somewhat like a Blackberry Pearl, but the screen flips up and there is a keyboard for texting." He doesn’t know exactly what this one will cost.
The second Gphone will reportedly sell for less than $100, and won’t debut until after the holiday shopping season.
Both of these will supposedly include Wi-Fi, and are being manufactured for Google by Samsung.
Cringely says that the search giant is in talks with both T-Mobile and Verizon about offering these devices. If it signs agreements with both companies, then the Gphones will be available for both GSM and CDMA users.
- Samsung, LG, T-Mobile Commit to Releasing Android Smartphones
- Android Prototypes on Display at Mobile World Congress