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GPhone: Fact or Fiction?

GPhone: Fact or Fiction?

Search engines, office suites, maps, and now a new mobile OS. Google looks to take over the software world.

There have been rumours about the GPhone rumbling around the Internet for quite some time. Supposedly, Google has been in the stages of designing a mobile to best all mobiles - even the iPhone. But could all of this be true? According to the NYTimes, it's half right.

Analysts say that while Google has built prototypes of mobiles, the company is not looking to build the latest and greatest gadget on the market but rather building testbeds for a new mobile operating system. The new OS, which is a modified version of Linux, will compete with Microsoft's Windows Mobile.

Expected applications include portable versions of Google Docs, Gmail, Maps, and a bevy of other programs already available from Google. A web browser with Google branding may also make an appearance with the new mobile OS.

Unlike Microsoft, it's expected that Google will not charge mobile manufacturers a licensing fee for the OS. The search giant will instead make money back from advertisements on the mobiles. No details on the advertisement structure are available but will probably use the same methods as other mobile advertising.

The iPhone was a milestone in terms of how people use a mobile device,” said IDC analyst Karsten Weide. “The GPhone, if it does come out, will help Google with distribution for their online services.”

So if an iPhone killing mobile device is out of the question, just why has Google been lobbying rules and possibly vying for the 700MHz frequency spectrum that the FCC will auction off next year? It's actually quite simple, the terms of the auction state that companies must allow open access to devices and software on the frequency. This means that, regardless of which company wins the auction, Google's mobile software will be able to access it.

If you sit back and think about it, it actually makes more sense that Google would be working on a mobile OS rather than trying to develop an iPhone killer. After all, the company has been upping the bar in recently with large corporations migrating to Google Docs from Microsoft Office.

Should Microsoft be worried that Google is starting to close in on a segment of its OS market? Would you be willing to switch over to a Google-based smart phone? Tell us your thoughts over in the forums.

11 Comments

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samkiller42 9th October 2007, 13:15 Quote
While i like google as a search engine, as well as google earth, i think that they maybe getting too big for there own feet. Having said that though, i am interested to see what they can pull out of the bag.

Sam
voidboid 9th October 2007, 13:23 Quote
This is all really good news, i-Phone has led O2 to make its data rates more affordable (and hopefully over time they'll get even better), and now we have a proper choice of platforms:

I love my WM6 phone, but some of the software configuration is pretty clunky, and alternative that was as powerful would be great for me.
Flibblebot 9th October 2007, 14:34 Quote
Not sure I agree with the anaylsy's quote ("The iPhone was a milestone in terms of how people use a mobile device,") though. What can the iPhone do that other phones haven't been able to do for the last few years?

Not sure I'd want to use a gPhone either, tbh, I don't like being tied to one company for everything.
cyrilthefish 9th October 2007, 16:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Not sure I agree with the anaylsy's quote ("The iPhone was a milestone in terms of how people use a mobile device,") though. What can the iPhone do that other phones haven't been able to do for the last few years?

Not sure I'd want to use a gPhone either, tbh, I don't like being tied to one company for everything.
Well in a way you can count the iPhone as a milestone... Not for the iPhone itself, but for the swift kick up the arse it gave the rest of the mobile industry :D Just look at the recent HTC mobiles, they've improved by massive amounts in just a few months

(wouldn't want an iphone even if you paid me though)


Slightly offtopic, saw the new HTC TyTN II in London last week... took great effort not to buy it despite me not really having any spare cash :)
MilkMan5 9th October 2007, 17:20 Quote
Strange – I though I was the only person on earth that did not want an iPhone.

Anyway, I think a GPhone would be great, why not!
It’s competition, which will create choices and better pricing, but more importantly, it will create even more competition within other HTC mobiles products.

I too am interested to see what happens.

Besides, I think the iPhone and iPod needs some good ass kicking...
Breach 10th October 2007, 03:05 Quote
Seems to make more sense that Google would do software and not so much hardware in such a crowded mobile market, iPhone withstanding. Google is good at doing their own thing instead of pulling a Microsoft and showing up late with a "I can do it too" attitude like the Zune.
tranc3 10th October 2007, 05:38 Quote
Google has made some pretty good software (look at sketch up) and they are the best search engine., the most popular at least. It wouldnt surprise me to see Google labs work with a phone company to make a os for a new phone but an actual "Google phone" i just don't see happening. possible, just not likely.
THEkorean 10th October 2007, 05:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tranc3
Google has made some pretty good software (look at sketch up) and they are the best search engine., the most popular at least. It wouldnt surprise me to see Google labs work with a phone company to make a os for a new phone but an actual "Google phone" i just don't see happening. possible, just not likely.

google didnt make sketch up, they bought the company that did.
DougEdey 10th October 2007, 09:46 Quote
This was known about ages ago, the idea was that the phone was free (or heavily subsidised) if it had the Google OS installed and you'd get ads depending on your texts, like Gmail.
completemadness 10th October 2007, 11:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tranc3
.....the best search engine., the most popular at least....
I haven't found any as good as Google - Google usually manage to get you what your looking for in the first link or 2 IMO
thecrownles 11th October 2007, 04:07 Quote
Google will just buy apple and have them make a GPhone.
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