Google is developing its own mobile phone, according to
industry insiders and analysts.
A Google official in Spain last week acknowledged the
company is "investigating" such a project, Reuters
Google isn't commenting directly on leaks from Europe and
the United States which describe a low-cost,
Internet-connected phone with a color, wide-screen design.
Newspaper and blog reports in recent months have Google
shopping its phone design to potential mobile phone
manufacturing partners in Asia.
Gadget enthusiasts who only two months ago were obsessed
with the potential revolutionary impact on the phone
industry of Apple's iPhone device -- due out in June and
at prices starting at $500 -- have shifted their attention
to whether Google is developing an even lower-cost phone.
To be sure, feverish speculation about Google products has
been wrong before. Google was widely reported to be
building its own line of PCs a year ago. What in fact
materialized was a set of free software programs designed
to make any existing Windows PCs easier to use.
But Richard Windsor, a phone analyst with brokerage Nomura
in London, told clients late last week that unspecified
Google representatives at a major European conference in
Germany had confirmed the company is working on its own
Simeon Simeonov, a Boston-based venture capitalist with
Polaris Venture Partners, said in a March 4 blog post
http://tinyurl.com/2z23o7 that an "inside source close to
the company" had informed him that Google was developing a
"Blackberry-like, slick device."
The device Simeonov describes could handle voice over
Internet phone-calling. He said it is being developed
within a 100-person mobile phone group at Google that
includes Andy Rubin, the creator of Sidekick, a popular
phone/Internet device that he developed at a prior company
he founded, Danger Inc.
Lending further clues, Isabel Aguilera, head of Google's
Iberian operations, was quoted last week in Spanish news
site Noticias.com as acknowledging the existence of a
part-time project by some Google engineers to develop a
In her interview at http://tinyurl.com/2feypv/ (in
Spanish), the Google executive said her company "has been
investigating" developing a mobile phone that works both
as an Internet access device and as a way to extend
Internet use to emerging markets customers.