News ▶ Handsets & Devices

Now even the WSJ is reporting the Googlephone as almost certain, so it looks like all the rumours surrounding this seismic event are true. They even have a name for the Android device they plan to sell to consumers directly but without a cariier deal: the Nexus One. You'll forgive us if we skip a picture of it and the specs - will a HTC logo do? - because that's who the big G has partnered with to manufacture it. Prototypes have been handed out to employees at the Googleplex, and it's supposed to be available as soon as next year.

 

 

If people thought Android itself was disruptive to the mobile world, then this represents something more like Krakatoa. Not only are they parking their tanks on the lawns of the partners they'e been carefully nurturing throughout Androids first baby years, but also the lifeblood every mobile handset owes its very existence to: the carriers. Whilst they might not - yet - plan to offer their own transmission services directly, the idea of turning the airways into a data-only dumb pipe is exactly what the carriers have been fighting tooth and nail against ever since it became clear handsets could do more than voice.

In a blog post yesterday, Google wrote that it was sharing a new device running its Android operating system with employees to "experiment with new mobile features and capabilities."

Could this be the reason Google "held back" on the full on marketing assault many industry watchers had assumed we'd see? Even ordinary members of the public now know what "there's an app for that" is all about. Google, the worlds largest advertising agency, hasn't run a single ad itself for Android.

In any case, there is too much evidence now to dismiss this as just another rumour. Another blogpost read "At Google, we are constantly experimenting with new products and technologies, and often ask employees to test these products for quick feedback and suggestions for improvements in a process we call dogfooding (from "eating your own dogfood"). Well this holiday season, we are taking dogfooding to a new level.".

CNet TV associate producer Jason Howell claims the device runs Android 2.1, codename "Flan".

Real or not - even the rumours of Google also controlling the hardware ala Apple, along with the "free calls" service from Google Voice, is enough to give a whole new meaning to the phrase "iPhone killer".