Could The GPhone Be Nigh?

gphone.pngTodays completely unsubstantiated rumor comes from Rediff News, a usually well respected source of news based in India. Rediff is reporting that the Google Phone is set to be launched in 2 weeks time! The GPhone is said to simultaneously launch in both Europe and the United States, with the only thing standing in Google’s way being US regulatory approval.

The report goes on to claim that Google is believed to be in talks with a number of Indian telcos.

If speculation is any guidance, the certainty of there being some sort of Google mobile device in development is a given. The Register reported in March that a European Google executive confirmed the existence of the GPhone and other reports go back to 2006; Om Malik reporting in December that a Google phone was being developed for release in 2008. Engadget posted alleged pictures of the GPhone in January 07 (see pic) with notes claiming that the device was a button-less touchscreen phone that came with GPS built-in for pinpoint navigation around Google Maps. ZDNet wrote that the phone was said to be 3G with built in Wifi and was designed by Samsung. The Register again reported in early August that the GPhone would include 3G, Wifi and GPS, and that UK mobile operator Orange was in talks with Google to carry the device.

Google has continued to deny rumors of the phones existence, but has taken a more public interest lately in the mobile phone sector, confirming that it was likely to bid for a slice of the soon to be released 700mhz spectrum in the United States. Google as a mobile phone operator would make a lot more sense if Google were also preparing a GPhone that was automatically fine tuned to work with Google’s variety of applicable services, including Gmail, Maps and Google Docs.

Any Google phone will also be immediately compared to Apple’s iPhone. Whilst the iPhone provides an attractive package, it has so far only taken a small marketshare in the US cellular market, and is yet to have been released anywhere else in the world. A 3G (and therefore quicker) internet focused GPhone with a broad release worldwide could well present a strong competitor to Apple.