Will Google launch a mobile phone?

Written by Brett Thomas

March 20, 2007 | 07:56

Tags: #cell-phone #cellular

Companies: #google

Ahh, Spring is in the air (at least in this half of the world). The grass, the budding trees, the rumours...Yep, it's time to play the industry's favourite game, "Guess what Google will do!" And this year's winner is interesting - rumours are flying that the search giant may be looking to make a mobile phone.

Google has done a few applications for mobile phones, including search engine tools on the go. However, the new rumour isn't about software - it's about the phone itself. With the countdown to Apple's iPhone ticking down, Google may be making one of its own. The news might just be in time to make Steve Ballmer sound a bit daft, but we're pretty used to that part.

The rumour mill has had this one churning for a while, but it's started to pick up steam recently. First, there was a blog post (since removed) by an employee at Polaris Venture Partners detailing that Google is working on one. Then, just last weekend news slipped that a Google employee commented in Spain that they are actively working on hardware. All of this along with Google's recent partnership announcements with Samsung points toward some interesting possibilities, to be sure.

Of course, the rumours have already filled in the possibility, too. Steve Jobs and company can rest easy, the target market is apparently not the $500 high-rollers that the iPhone is targeted at. Instead, the Google version is supposedly targeted at the opposite consumer - the developing world. Though the US and many parts of the EU have their markets fairly saturated, countries that are newer to the online world receive much of their internet access through mobile phones - they're cheaper than computers. That said, Google would carry a strong brand recognition for an internet-optimised experience.

Of course, Google has remained quite mum on the issue. "Mobile is an important area for Google and we remain focused on creating applications and establishing and growing partnerships with industry leaders to develop innovative services for users worldwide. However, we have nothing further to announce," the company said in an email.

Do you have a thought on the latest rumour? Would Google be a good addition to the mobile phone line-up, or is the market too heavy already? Tell us your thoughts in our forums.
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