A Google-branded mobile phone running a new version of Android is a “certainty,” a “trusted” source tells Gizmodo.
This is the latest of several reports suggesting that Google is planning to launch a phone sometime with the Google brand the biggest on the box — versus taking a backseat to carrier and manufacturer brands, as Android has done so far. (Think “T-Mobile G1,” Verizon “Droid,” Motorola “CLIQ,” etc.)
Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.
But we still don’t really know what this Google phone is yet. Is it…
- A handset that one carrier will sell exclusively and subsidise?
- A handset that no carrier will sell exclusively, and Google will subsidise?
- A handset that no carrier will sell exclusively, and no one will subsidise? (Making it very expensive and severely limiting sales.)
- A handset running on a “virtual” network that Google controls? (Recall that Google has the ability to buy and re-sell Sprint 3G service via its investment in Clearwire.)
- A handset that one carrier will support? That many will support?
- An iPod touch-like device that’s wi-fi only, supporting VoIP via Google Voice?
Still more questions than answers. And still probably a mistake.