As much of the tech world prepares for a mysterious iPhone announcement, speculation has started to swirl regarding a possible Google phone built by HTC with service provided by Orange. According to a report released today by The Observer, Orange executives recently made a trip to the Googleplex to start hammering out details of the jointly branded device.
Their plans centre on a branded Google phone, which would probably also carry Orange’s logo. The device would not be revolutionary: manufactured by HTC, a Taiwanese firm specialising in smart phones and Personal Data Assistants (PDAs), it might have a screen similar to a video iPod. But it would have built-in Google software which would dramatically improve on the slow and cumbersome experience of surfing the web from a mobile handset.
So essentially, if the report rings true, the pair are planning a relatively vanilla handset. I think, however, that holds some significance. While us tech nerds love devices that have gobs of features, regular consumers want simple, usable functionality—not oppressively complicated technology. It’s a model that has benefited Google immensely in its eight years of existence, and I don’t see why mobile technologies should be any different.
The article sets a 2008 time frame device’s release, so there is still quite a bit of time for the product to develop and information to change. That is, of course, if there is any salt to it at all.