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Google Working on a Mobile Phone? 118

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-don't-see-how-they-could-not-be dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Are the boys from Mountain View planning a move into mobile hardware? silicon.com has been encouraging analysts to dissect rumours that the search giant has designs on building a mobile. It says 'If Google were to get into the device game, it would be more likely to concentrate on the wi-fi side of things — perhaps a single-mode VoIP phone optimised for Google services such as Gmail.'"
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Google Working on a Mobile Phone?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:54AM (#18346517)
    how will it work? They'll be attached. They'll call it G-string voice transmission technology and patent it.
  • Well if they can give me a phone that lets me easily remember which girls name and number is which from my phone book I might be interested... all that search experiance has to be good for something!!
    • by daeg (828071) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:08AM (#18346699)
      Future /. search queries:

      [+bjs -herpes +catholic type:girl_______]

      Your search did not match any users.

      [+cheapdate -herpes type:girl___________]

      Your search did not match any users.

      [type:girl______________________________]

      Your search did not match any users. Did you mean type:guy?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rblancarte (213492)
      Come on, how hard can MOM and SIS be?

      RonB
      • by pixolet (950800)
        uh, they shouldn't be hard. is there something we missed, like a sex change, perhaps?
    • by danpsmith (922127)

      Well if they can give me a phone that lets me easily remember which girls name and number is which from my phone book I might be interested... all that search experiance has to be good for something!!

      Someone does need to solve this problem. I remember when I was single I once had three versions of the name Tara in my phone and couldn't recall any girls named Tara at all.

      • I saw a phone, when I was deciding which to get, that allowed you to put a picture in the phone book with the name. It also had a camera on it, like most modern phones.
        • by simm1701 (835424)
          I know I SHOULD do that - but you rarely remember to

          What would be nice is matching to photo to their profile photo using the search of their name, email address and phone number that you do have stored - now that would be useful!
          • by dthable (163749)
            If it also displayed the excuse I used last night to hide another date, that would be awesome.
  • Pure Data Phone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by proc_tarry (704097) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:55AM (#18346539)
    It's about time someone develops a pure data phone for GSM, and not sell it through one of the carriers. But instead sell it independently, and have the users get their own SIM through a carrier and sign up for a data only plan. Then have VoIP, or whatever, I'm not a techie, but someone could figure it out.

    Why phones remain tethered to carriers is beyond me. They give away the phones so they can ream you with the monthly charge. I got pay-as-you-go via t-mobile & I pay much less, and without a contract, than a monthly plan.
    • Re:Pure Data Phone (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DJ Paradox (219601) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:05AM (#18346649)
      I'm imagining a phone optimized for ALL the Google apps. Think Google Earth with built GPS receiver in the phone! Think Google Mail and Calendar all integrated with your phone - online storage and low bandwidth front end, etc, etc. Think Google Youtube with the ability to send an MMS to upload movies you've shot with your Google phone.

      Wicked! I'll take two!
      • Re:Pure Data Phone (Score:4, Insightful)

        by marcello_dl (667940) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:21AM (#18346889) Homepage Journal
        Think a single company having control on your email and phone conversation, your position and your internet browsing. I don't assert they're particularly evil (i use gmail too) but I don't feel comfortable anyway.
        • by HUADPE (903765)
          Then don't buy it. Much as slashdotters may not like to admit it, there is a good amount of competition in the US mobile phone market. This sort of a thing would be particularly useful for those of us stuck in very cold countries with sub-optimal mobile service. *makes rude gesture at Rogers.*
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Um, it is already this way for some people with those omnipresent telecoms like AT&T and Verizon; so, how is this any different?
          • > Um, it is already this way for some people with those omnipresent telecoms like AT&T and Verizon

            You have a point, as even here in Italy with all the supposed competition the physical lines still mostly belong to the old state carrier. I don't feel comfortable with that either.
      • Think Google Earth with built GPS receiver

        Yes, yes, yes, yes. I would buy this device in a second. I can't understand why no one has done something like this yet. Even if it's just Google Maps with just the map view (no satellite) for bandwidth considerations, this would be a killer app. Every new phone for years has had a GPS chip in them for 911, the phone companies just don't want to give users access to them. On one of my old phones I was able to get my coordinates using an undocumented administrative

      • by Tmack (593755)

        .... Think Google Earth with built GPS receiver in the phone! Think Google Mail and Calendar all integrated with your phone ...

        Think ad sponsored applications! Working along with Google Earth and that GPS receiver such that all the businesses around you start spamming your phone as you walk by, or they all pop up as soon as you open Google Earth, with pinpoints showing where they are. Think of Google scanning your calendar and calling you to remind you of a meeting thats X distance away, will take you Y minutes to get there, and here are directions to it from where you are now, along with places you might want to stop and shop a

    • They do it because it is an economic model that works here in the states. Phones themselves haven't become the commodity as they have in other markets (I believe that Japan is such a market). I think that it is possible that if a phone like this did come out that you could see a shift. If that is the case, then you would see a major change in contracts etc. Personally, I would be all for this too.

      It is too bad that Apple missed the boat with the iPhone. I get there is short term gain to be had in signi
    • by lintux (125434)
      > But instead sell it independently, and have the users get their own SIM through a carrier and sign up for a data only plan.

      Move to Europe. America seems to be about the only place where this is still impossible. :-)
    • It's about time someone develops a pure data phone for GSM, and not sell it through one of the carriers. But instead sell it independently, and have the users get their own SIM through a carrier and sign up for a data only plan. Then have VoIP, or whatever, I'm not a techie, but someone could figure it out.

      Why phones remain tethered to carriers is beyond me. They give away the phones so they can ream you with the monthly charge. I got pay-as-you-go via t-mobile & I pay much less, and without a contract, than a monthly plan.

      USA != World. In Europe you can buy mobiles without having them locked to any carrier. Then you can also buy phones from carriers for cheaper prices. Here in Italy, you actually want to, because only one carrier effectively apply the vendor lock-in to phones.

  • by multipartmixed (163409) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:56AM (#18346545) Homepage
    I don't know why everybody wants phones so bad. I hate phones, but I love mobile devices.

    What I want is a mobile device about the size of a credit card and as thick as a CD jewel case. You unfold it two or four times (depending on how much screen real estate you need ATM), and rubber keys magically inflate to give it some tactile feedback goodness.

    Inside this device a radio for every cellular network on the continent, and the ability to go looking for open wifi.

    It can run a full embedded browser (for gmail) and ssh. The screen resolution is around 72 dpi. Oh, and it has a plug for a USB keyboard.

    Finally, the battery lasts for a month in standby mode, or 12 hours of actual use.

    And the device costs less than $500 with monthly plans for unlimited use in the in the $100 range.
    • by aslate (675607) <planetexpress@NospAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:59AM (#18346577) Homepage
      "What I want is a mobile device about the size of a credit card and as thick as a CD jewel case. You unfold it two or four times (depending on how much screen real estate you need ATM), and rubber keys magically inflate to give it some tactile feedback goodness."

      Where do you plan on keeping the electronics and battery!? Or is it "Magic powered" and needs a recharge from a magician every 12 hours?
      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        And if it is a Japanese magician, this recharge can last 24 hours. Seriously though, without radio emission, you need far more less power and volume, look at the iPod nano.
      • Re:VOIP phone? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Silverstrike (170889) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:46AM (#18347269)
        I know you were being funny, but in all seriousness, its not an absurd idea.

        Go back to 1950 and ask the IBM engineers if they thought that in 2007 we'd have terabyte storage systems on our desks with over 3 Ghz processors.

        Remember, anything that you don't understand, is by default magic.
      • by monotony (999416)
        it's about time someone start opening up the job market for magicians. just because magic is legacy technology doesn't mean it's useless =P
    • What I want is a mobile device about the size of a credit card and as thick as a CD jewel case. You unfold it two or four times (depending on how much screen real estate you need ATM), and rubber keys magically inflate to give it some tactile feedback goodness. Inside this device a radio for every cellular network on the continent, and the ability to go looking for open wifi. It can run a full embedded browser (for gmail) and ssh. The screen resolution is around 72 dpi. Oh, and it has a plug for a USB keybo
      • > Wow. And I suppose you want a pony too.

        You're a lot more likely to get a pony if you want one, and ask for one, than if you remain silent and keep riding the family dog.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Billosaur (927319) *

      What, no coffee maker?

    • Heck, even an expensive unlimited data-only plan (i.e. tethered computer at Cingular) is only $60/mo. Having a phone like this on the market would certainly get their panies in a wad!
  • hooray! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TinBromide (921574) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:06AM (#18346677)
    Hooray for gPhone!!!

    I wonder who has that trademark?

    However, i can understand the need for a fully searchable sms archive and address book (oh goodness! how will i ever find out which girls sent me a message "u r a qt"!?), and i also understand google's impulse to get a phone into the market before microsoft, I'd prefer to let them do what they do best - Create really nifty and usable online apps that cease to work when you can't get online. I don't use vonage for my phone line because i can't fathom my voice communications being dependent on my online connectivity and not the other way around. I've seen dsl not work but still be able to take/make calls, but never vice versa. So, unless the gphone works on mobile carriers (good) and internet access through that way, I'm not sure it'll do very well.

    For the record: Competing with iphone = good. Competing with vonage? Redundant and i'm not sure how google can improve an internet phone in any useful way unless they roll out a phone over internet service to compete on a full scale.
    • by pravuil (975319)
      Then all you will have to do then is find the elusive Google hotspots (gSpot for short) for the gPhone to work.
  • by certel (849946)
    If Google were to make a phone, I would say go with VOIP with some WiFi. Would be nice around the house.
    • by Equis (723653)
      WiFi on my phone/PDA *is* nice around the house, thanks for asking. I use it very often, but not for VOIP, though, because I can conveniently call people using the phone function. I think Skype has a mobile version available for my phone, but I guess I just don't get using VOIP when I have a perfectly good phone.
  • beta (Score:4, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:08AM (#18346693)
    Will there be a reduced service price while it's still in the beta stage?
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:08AM (#18346703) Journal
    Google is a web service company. Branching out into electrnics makes no sense. I could imagine them banching into mobile services, and maybe even partnering with an exisiting company to make a specialised handset, but making a mobile phone? It doesn't mnake sense.
    • by Billosaur (927319) *

      Exactly. And let's not forget people have been going on and on about Google building it's own computers, operating systems, etc., and yet none of these things has appeared. I doubt it makes any kind of sense for them to get into hardware, given the supply issues, production costs, and other associated hangups. As long as they remain service-oriented, all they have to worry about is being able to get their content out to users and keeping them happy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jackbird (721605)
        And let's not forget people have been going on and on about Google building it's own computers, operating systems, etc., and yet none of these things has appeared.

        What's the Google Box [google.com], then?

        • by AndrewRUK (543993)

          And let's not forget people have been going on and on about Google building it's own computers, operating systems, etc., and yet none of these things has appeared.

          What's the Google Box [google.com], then?

          It's a search engine in a box. Whilst that box is, obviously, a computer which is running an operating system and Google software, what you are buying with those devices is not a general-purpose computer or OS, it is black (blue/yellow) box that provides you with search functionality for your systems.

    • by altoz (653655) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:38AM (#18347161)
      Contextual Ads, my man. Think about it, you're in some city and are walking to meet a friend (stored on google calendar, of course). The gPhone GPS gives you a contextual ad showing that there's a new cafe about 2 blocks away with exact directions on how to get there. There's also a new movie playing at the movie theater you guys are going to anyway, and of course, you can order the tickets direct without having to stand in line. And by the way, the restaurant near by also would like your attention. Maybe you can even pay for the meal with your google checkout account and receive a $10 discount. The possibilities are endless. The thing that a phone gives google is the ability to be where the user is at.

      Organizing information is their thing. It's much more useful if the information is there at your fingertips.
      • by MosesJones (55544)
        And out of interest why can't they do that by just writing a Java midlet that uses the Location API to connect from any phone and provide exactly the same functionality but without the cost and risk of building their own hardware. That way they would have a larger addressable market (anyone with a compatible Java phone) and thus much greater potential revenue. Its stunning how people can't separate applications and software from hardware platforms.
        • by jackbird (721605)
          Because the carriers currently control the platform, and charge so much that there are very few adopters (which leaves the 'potential' revenue forever potential). For example, Verizon's navigator service looks useful, but damned if I'm going to pay $144/year for mapquest on my phone. An ad-supported google maps on a phone that they don't charge end-users for would be very popular, and they could charge business users for fancier functionality like ACT synchronization, Nextel-style employee tracking, etc.
        • by treyb (9452)
          If Google builds the phone (or just the software stack), they can use your entire browsing history from the phone for ad targeting. No longer would they have to limit themselves to your Google search history (and perhaps gmail contents). They would have deep, coherent data set to mine, tying your on-line and physical worlds together in real (or near real) time. If they sold such a phone at or near hardware cost they could probably give the service away for the increased ad revenue.
      • by 91degrees (207121)
        Certainly an excellent concept, but surely it would be better if Google provided the spec, and let the established mobilephone makers design phones that fit the spec. Google can then do what they do best - provide the mobile service.
    • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:59AM (#18347479) Homepage Journal

      Google is a web service company.


      Is it? It wasn't so long ago, after all, that it was a search engine company.

      One of the interesting things about Google is the options that its enormous technology assets give it. Google maps and Google mail are in a sense a side effect of Google's technological capability of handling massive amounts of data and requests for that data.

      One mysterious thing they have been doing is buying/leasing lots of dark fiber. Dark fiber is capacity that was added when long distance cables were laid, because the marginal cost of adding capacity was negligible compared to the cost of running the cable. 97% of the fiber in the US is "dark".

      Possibly a web services company might by some dark fiber to link its data centers together, but reports are that Google is investing as much as 1.25 billion dollars. That's a lot of dough to spend on something you don't have explicit plans to use.

      Cringley thinks they are preparing for the time in the not too distant future that video brings the Internet to its knees, in which case they will step in and offer a solution -- for a price. Given the YouTube acquisition, it seems plausible that they're thinking in that direction.

      But one thing that is clear is that while they are not a communications company like Sprint is today, they are at least keeping the option to do something that involves moving tons of data around. If they do, those companies already in the business aren't going to be happy. If they were preparing an entry into wireless services -- well, that's a market that's begging to be shook up. If you've ever used TCP/IP over a cell phone, and needed to call support, you'll know that wireless companies are really ambivalent about it. They don't want to become pushers of commodity bandwidth.

      Maybe Google is contemplating an end run around the net neutrality debate. Wireless companies are the poster children for the evils of non-net-neutrality. If the move towards wireless skews the market toward the current wireless providers, the Internet will be balkanized into a bunch of minimally connected proprietary AOLs. This would be bad for Google, which mostly makes it money off of people accessing data held by third parties. On the theory that the best defense is a good offense, the best time to react to that is now when they have the cash.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by jhjessup (936580)

        Google is a web service company.

        Is it? It wasn't so long ago, after all, that it was a search engine company.

        Actually, it is and always has been an advertising company. Their revenue comes from advertising - their business plan is advertising, their research is focused around advertising. By knowing more about a person, they can deliver more effective advertisements. If they know when you're making phone calls regularly, they know what your hours are. If they know where you're calling frequently, they kno

    • by HungSoLow (809760)
      Knowing their track-record for making things simplistic (or minimalist if you will), and focusing on content rather than flashy gimicks (Google Search Engine, Gmail, Google Maps, etc..) I would love to see a phone from Google. I'm so sick of these phones with exponentially increasing features, costing hundreds of dollars... I'd like a phone that has the single feature of acting like a regular phone! And the cost should reflect the features.
      • by dthable (163749)
        The costs do reflect the features. Why do you think manufactures are putting in more flashy features, like cameras. The key demographic that buys the phones (I'm thinking teens) are willing to get the features even if the phone sucks in terms of quality. Many of them are just going to get a new one in a year or two.

        It's like dining out. They give you more food so they can charge more not because you need to eat more.
    • XBox, XBox360, Zune.
    • by altek (119814)
      Microsoft used to be an operating system software company.

      Then they were a software company.

      Then they were also a video game hardware company.

      Then they were also a music player hardware company.

      Catch my drift?
      • by 91degrees (207121)
        Catch my drift?

        Uhm... No.

        Microsoft went from a software company, to a more general software company, using a lot of the same basic techniqures and distribution channels. They then expanded that software to support games, and started working with 3D hardware manufacturers and game developers. At the same time, they realised that they had a good brand name and could use the same channels to sell hardware to the same customers who bought their software. They used their links to the games and 3D indust
        • by altek (119814)
          Sorry dude, but you're missing a large part of what Google does. Their phone will be tied to user locations (GPS), advertising revenue (location based), maps, targeted ads (it's 12:00 and you're near a McDonald's, etc), social networks (you're near LonelyGirl69, would you like to text her?), etc etc.

          Among other things, these are the "in-betweens" that allow them to make a jump like this. It's not, as you are suggesting, such a large leap.

          Don't forget they do sell hardware already too, their search appliance
    • by rtb61 (674572)
      They are a corporation, branching out into any area, as long as they are generating an effective return makes sense. Even creating companies and then selling them off makes sense.

      With their current stock valuation failing to expand their profit base beyond searching and marketing would be crazy. At any time user conditions can change and search habits can diversify, and then where will they be.

      Sure they can target yellow and white pages but after that where will they go, the video market is becoming pro

      • by 91degrees (207121)
        Certainly it is common for businesses to branch out, but usually there's at least a foothold in other markets. I've seen software companies become training companies but that was as a nautural offshoot of training for their own product. Even large leaps such as Apple's iPod use similar distribution channels to their exisitng products. And while people like Richard Branson will open a series of completely differnt businesses, that's the wexcpetion rather than the rule.

        If google were to start manufactu
        • by rtb61 (674572)
          Just like notebooks and ODM, google doesn't have to manufacture a single phone to design, brand and sell them. It has more to do with the blurring of the PDA, mobile phone, music player and remote control (from garage door to TV and anything in between).
  • by LoudMusic (199347) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:08AM (#18346709)
    Is there a phone that is just a phone? Designed to have a respectable life span for the phone itself and the battery? A phone that isn't also a camera, PDA, and now web surfing device. Just a phone.

    I'm excited about cool mobile hand held devices, but sometimes people just need a reliable phone.

    Oh, but are there any phone currently that synchronize with gmail and the Google calendar?
    • Is there a phone that is just a phone? Designed to have a respectable life span for the phone itself and the battery? A phone that isn't also a camera, PDA, and now web surfing device. Just a phone.

      sure [motorola.com]
    • by eldimo (140734)
      Check out the Motofone from Motorola: http://www.motorola.com/motoinfo/product/details.j sp?globalObjectId=164 [motorola.com]

      It's a very simple phone, with plenty of battery power and no gimmicks.... Unfortunately, it won't be marketed in the US since the customer "doesn't want that"... :(
    • by GundamFan (848341)
      Look at phones designed for businesses... many have intentionally limited feature sets and tend to be more reliable to boot.
    • by scrm (185355)
      Is there a phone that is just a phone? Designed to have a respectable life span for the phone itself and the battery? A phone that isn't also a camera, PDA, and now web surfing device. Just a phone.

      I'm excited about cool mobile hand held devices, but sometimes people just need a reliable phone.

      Oh, but are there any phone currently that synchronize with gmail and the Google calendar?


      The Nokia 6300 [nokia.com] ticks all the boxes for core functionalities (including camera) and does it all in a pretty, small package with
      • Yea, but unfortunately gmail for mobile really, really sucks. Both the mobile web layout and the Java VM app suck. Fortunately, if you go directly to "http://mail.google.com/mail/h/" you can use the full gmail interface on almost any mobile browser and it won't try to auto-redirect you to their mobile interface (like the main site does). Ever notice that a lot of the useful (and distinctive) quirks of Google's search don't work on the pda view of their default page (things like unit and currency conversi
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Every bloody article about phones and some wanker who can not be arsed to look at *any* of the fucking mobile phone manufacturers posts this.

      Yes "simple" mobile phones still fucking exist you twat.
    • by emilv (847905)
      I got an SonyEricsson J100i [sonyericsson.com] from my mobile service provider for $10 (no hidden fees and no monthly fee) here in Sweden. You can call and text people from it. Simple as that.
    • by 91degrees (207121)
      I use a Nokia 3510. It's starting to feel a bit old and heavy though. When it wears out I'll probably replace is with something almost identical but more compact.
    • Is there a phone that is just a phone?

      How hard did you look? The 'free' phones Verizon gives away with the lowest cost plans are basic LG phones.

      Every phone I've ever had has had a simple address book and stupid games, even mid 90's. If you just want a keypad bolted to a radio that might be hard to come by.
  • by MosesJones (55544) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:11AM (#18346751) Homepage
    Okay so they are getting into mobile hardware, but why stop there lets add other things to "consider" that will generate more buzz

    1) Google are getting into the MP3 player market, it will have a 1TB disk hence Google's search dominance will be critical
    2) Google are going to buy Garmin and merge GPS with Google Earth over WiFi and 3G connections
    3) Google are going to develop snowboards with integrated messaging and mapping to help you get the best tracks

    There must be a load more wild speculations that we can add in, something around them buying Sony & Viacom & lots of other media companies to make sure they don't get sued.

    Google truly are the new apple, they can generate news on what people think they might do, not just what they say they will do (Microsoft) or have done (IBM).
    • 1) Google will be buying Slashdot. G-Dot's search technology will make finding dupes a snap!
      2) Google will be buying Ubuntu. GUbuntu will be setup to use GMail as the default mail client and Google Docs will be available from the Applications menu.
      3) Google will by buying PornoTube. Finding porn has never been easier!
    • Good start but you don't go far enough. Google is working on the gCar. Just look at the facts...

      1) Ford / GM / etc is slashing US workers
      2) Huge factories are left vacant, tens of thousands of workers ready to work for less money
      3) Google tracks and records not only every page, but also every search and has stated it wants to record all knowledge
      4) The Pizza driver doesn't ever remember the quick way to my house
      5) Won't somebody think of the children?

      Google will buy out Ford and other US automakers. They
  • by eyefish (324893) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:12AM (#18346759)
    For more info about the Google "gPhone" you might want to visit the following URL, it's an analysis of the whole gPhone topic (this is just the latest in long list of articles on that site predicting things) http://eliax.com/index.php?/archives/2434-Google-a -lanzar-gPhone-para-redes-VoIP.html [eliax.com]

    It's in spanish, but here's a translation from Google Language: http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F %2Feliax.com%2Findex.php%3F%2Farchives%2F2434-Goog le-a-lanzar-gPhone-para-redes-VoIP.html&langpair=e s%7Cen&hl=en&safe=off&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Fla nguage_tools [google.com]
  • I wonder how they will call access points for this kind of wireless service... hmmm it should start with a G... how about G-spot? ;-)
    • I wonder how they will call access points for this kind of wireless service... hmmm it should start with a G... how about G-spot? ;-)
      I hope not, it'd be impossible to ever find one.
  • by goldaryn (834427)
    Google Working on a Mobile Phone?

    It's been working on mine for years. *badum-tish*
  • It sure as hell doesn't work on mine.

    Oh, shit, wait...
  • Google working on a phone? What's next? McDonalds working on the spaceshuttle? Sony designing bridges? Bombardier designing networking gear?

    Hey google, stick to your "evil empire of data acquisition" plans and leave the hardware for the rest.

  • Doubt it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iabervon (1971) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:51AM (#18347351) Homepage Journal
    So far, Google hasn't made any physical products. They haven't sold anything to consumers (except for Google Earth Plus, which Keyhold was already selling when they bought them). They haven't designed or produced any custom hardware.

    Google is almost certainly working on mobile phone stuff, because, by policy, people work on random stuff part of the time, and mobile phones aren't quite so uninteresting that nobody at Google would care about them at all. But they don't have the right skill set to be trying to make their own phone. I'd say what this is about is trying to make a standard Google Talk program for a range of phones. And I could see them doing something where you can link your Google Talk account to your cell phone so your contacts can start a voice call on your phone by selecting your Google account.
  • Just think of the cognitive dissonance generated when people are forced to pick which company has the better product: Apple, or Google? I suppose it would be whatever company has more of their unquestioning loyalty, but still, what a sight to see.
  • As the article says they'd be outsourcing the manufacture to HTC. And Google has already moved into wireless hardware deployment remember - there free muni wireless plans? What about the Google Search Appliance? I'm no expert, but these days you can probably design your own mobile phone (in fact I know someone who did, that little Kid's one called Firefly), without being a EE major.

    Yahoo has also moved into the mobile field, although mainly by building a small suite to go on various platform/carrier combina
  • Apple? Trolltech? And now, Google?

    Seriously, is anyone else tired of all these random companies entering into the cell phone design/manufacturing industry? I'm fairly certain that all the available phones have more than enough features for everyday users. I'm one of few people I know that even cares about changing ring-tones, much less browsing web, etc.

    What we need is not more phones, but rather better cell services. If we get services that allow customers to cheaply use features available on the exist
  • I have been waiting for this for awhile, Google has at least two initiatives involving Cellphones. Gmail currently uses sms auth, to create accounts, giving google a nice database of phone numbers tied to gmail addresses. They also have the dodgeball service that they quietly purchased a year or so ago.
  • i need only one thing from google that is mobile: a small tablet like device, big screen, keyboard. Not bigger than the standard blackberry. maybe thinner ( hate bulges ). It needs EDGE/3g, and wifi. no voice functionality. When i need to know something, i pull it out, key the search, get the answer(s). Done. make it 100% worldwide compatible and let me decide where do i get my connectivity.

    Oh. and it needs a "Don't Panic" button too.
  • User interfaces gonna need a little work.
  • Google bought Reqwireless [reqwireless.com] in 2005, which is based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where I live.

    This FAQ says that their original products are no longer available [reqwireless.com].

    Meanwhile, they post jobs occasionally, such as this product manager position in Waterloo [google.com].

    So, they must be doing something ... Is it a mobile phone? Maybe not. But it sure has something to do with them.

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