Most of the news regarding a possible Google Phone is unconfirmed or based on rumors. However, there are some things we know for sure. Whether or not they point to the existence of a phone remains to be seen. Here are some points of interest to consider.
Also in 2005, Google purchased Skia, a small company that focused on development of 2D graphics for mobile devices. Skia previously made a product called SGL, which is a "portable graphics engine" specializing in 2D graphics for mobile devices and other electronics.
Motorola has signed on, too. They made plans to offer devices with a Google icon that would allow users to "connect directly to Google" for "personalized search services." Handsets were intended to be available in early 2006, but no distribution has happened so far.
Just a few months after Samsung's announcement, LG jumped on the bandwagon as well. A press release reports, "LG and Google will jointly market LG-Google handsets, then further extend their collaboration to develop [a] digitized home in the future."
In 2006, Google was awarded a patent for technology designed to make data on CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) systems move faster. In other words, they have technology to speed up data on phones and other mobile devices.
Another patent involves serving advertising on mobile devices. The filing describes a technology that would put ads on mobile phones. These ads, when activated, could make a phone call instead of directing the user to a new page.
In April 2006, Google was granted a patent for voice-enabled search. That means users would be able to say out loud what they are looking for instead of typing it in. This functionality was tested for the PC in Google Labs, but the potential for the application points towards mobile use.
There aren't a lot of reports that negate rumors about specifics of the phone. There are, however, a few naysayers out there. Here's what they have to say.
Vinton Cerf noted that it would be out of character for Google to take on a mobile device, asserting, "Becoming an equipment manufacturer is pretty far from our business model." However, critics might argue that becoming an advertising giant is out of line for a software company as well.
Senior Vice President of R&D at Google, Alan Eustace, shot down rumors of a phone, saying specifically, "We're not doing a mobile phone." Rather, Eustace expressed a hope to do something "broader…than yet another mobile device," and noted that Google is thinking about ways to reach users and deploy applications in the mobile sector.
There is information out there that's intriguing, but can't be confirmed. In spite of reports that a Google phone is not real, these speculations abound. What's real or not, only Google knows for sure.
Venture capitalist Simeon Simeonov cites an inside source, who reports the Switch will be "Blackberry-like," with a "C++ core," "optimized Java, [and] vector-based presentation," as well as VoIP and other services.
It sounds like Google is up to something big, even if it isn't a mobile device. Perhaps they'll come up with a new solution that no one's even thought of, or maybe they'll just continue to move their applications into the mobile sector. No matter what the outcome is, it's certainly fun to keep an eye on the latest news and speculation about what Google has on tap. Here are some links to check out:
Interest and general speculation
Google's job search
Manufacturing the Google phone
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