Gphone? The Google Phone Timeline
Rumor after rumor after rumor keeps appearing that Google is to release its
own mobile phone, the Gphone. In April 2007, we originally compiled all these
Google Phone rumors into a timeline view. Since then, we’ve continued to update
the list, so that the confused, perplexed or just plain curious can keep track
of what’s come out when. Enjoy!
NOTE (Nov. 5, 2007): Google’s Android Arrives: Not Gphone But An Open Source Mobile Platform covers the actually announcement that all these rumors have led up to.
- December 2004 – Too Many Fragmented Devices: Google VP Urs Hoelzle
of mobile growth being stalled because of too much fragmentation. "What’s
holding back the big revolution is that every device is different. There is
software out there for at least 300 different platforms and that’s not a good
situation and that will prevent the emergence of widely used applications," he
said. That prompted
here) to wonder if Google would look at doing their own phone.
- August 2005 – Google Buys Phone Software Company & Operating System
News emerged that Google had purchased Android in July 2005. Android was a
start-up focused on making software for mobile phones, including a rumored
mobile operating system. Could this be a precursor to Google offering its own
phone, some wondered?
- January 2006 – Google Gets CDMA Patent:
Google gains a patent to make CDMA data transfers happen at a faster speed.
The patent was requested way back in 2001, however.
- November 2006 – Schmidt Says Phones Should Be Free: Google CEO Eric
Reuters that "Your mobile phone should be free" with ads subsidizing the cost.
However, he says Google has no plans to directly give away phones.
- December 2006 – Rumor Of Google Working With HTC & Orange On Phone:
reports news that Google is talking with Orange about a revolutionary
"Google phone" made by HTC.
Google & Orange
Talking Google Mobile Phone? from me covers more about how it seemed like
this would really be more about a bundling and branding deal than some radical
- January 2007 – Picture Of Google-Samsung "Switch" Phone: Engadget
runs with a tip of a Samsung-Google backed phone named "Switch." The tip
comes complete with a picture. Google had just signed a bundling deal with
Samsung (more below), but this rumor would go beyond that.
- February 2007 Google Goes After Airwaves:
Microsoft, Google &
Others To Build New Wireless Device? from us covers how Google is one of
several companies looking to make a wireless device that uses radio spectrum
opened up at TV stations go digital.
- March 6, 2007 – Renewed Speculation Off Analysis Of Rumors & Tips :
More Google Phone
Rumors from us covers how Simeon Simeonov
speculated on what a Google Phone might have, including a Linux-based
operating system, based on looking at various developments and rumors. His
post now appears gone, but you can see the speculation it kicked off
- March 13, 2007 – New Picture & Info Of Google-Samsung Device (Again):
More Pictures Of
Possible Google Phone? from us provides yet another picture of a rumored
Google phone, which most believe is something completely made-up. The picture,
that is. The rumor of the device itself comes off a survey someone says they
took part in, which asked about a Google phone that would be designed by
- March 16, 2007 – Exec Confirms Wireless Device Activity:
Google Phone Has Been
Confirmed By Google Exec from us covers how Google’s chief in Spain and
Portugal confirms that Google is working on some type of a wireless device.
- March 21, 2007 – No Phone, Just Software (Sort Of Again):
No Google Phone But
Instead Mobile Software, Says Google from us covers Google spinning back
the statement of March 16, saying there is no phone coming, that the company
is staying software focused.
- March 21, 2007 – Talking With O2 About Gphone: More
this time off a Guardian
saying that Google is talking with O2 about making a "Gphone" and having hired
the team that created T-Mobile’s popular Sidekick.
- March 22, 2007 – More Patents Emerge:
New Google Mobile
Phone Search Patent Applications from us covers more patents relating to
mobile from Google.
- March 28, 2007 – More Partnerships:
Google Partners With
LG & Mobile Handset Maker Deal Chart from us covers the various
partnerships Google’s had with handset makers, including Samsung, and how so
far these are tied mainly to preloading applications.
- April 18, 2007 – HTC Making Google Handsets (Again): DigiTimes
that HTC was making Google handsets that will ship at the end of 2007: "The
Google handset will support Texas Instruments’ (TI) 3G platform and EDGE,
pointed out the makers. The handset, however, will not feature GPS
functionality. The device will also feature built-in G-mail and Google
search." Orange was said to be the first partner for the Google branded phone,
but other carriers might also offer it.
Mad4MobilePhones also had some coverage. The reports are similar to what
came out in December 2006.
- May 3, 2007 – Google Goes After Different Airwaves:
Wireless Challenge Against Broadband Incumbents covers how Google starts
lobbying for the FCC to make a government auction of radio spectrum to be
freed up for up-and-comers looking to provide new services. It seems a natural
way for Google to get wireless devices into the hands of people without having
to worry about "incumbent" cell phone companies.
- May 21, 2007: Google Talking With O2 (Again):
More Rumors: Yahoo
After Bebo? Google Launching Phone Service? covers TechCrunch hearing that
Google will strike a deal with O2 to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator
(MVNO). Google is not expected to sell the service via physical stores, but
rather online only. Nokia handsets with Google software preloaded would be
- June 1, 2007: It’s An Operating System, Stupid (Again):
Google Provides More
Hints On Mobile Phone Rumors covers the latest rumors, which go back to
stuff we’d heard before already, that Google’s focusing on applications for
various phone systems as well as its own mobile phone operating system.
- July 3, 2007: No GPhone, But How About A YouPhone?:
LG To Create A YouTube
Mobile Phone covers how LG is expected to launch a phone, well anytime
now, in Europe allowing for recording, uploading and watching video on YouTube.
- July 25, 2007: The Google Mobile Phone Network?:
What’s Google Doing At
An MVNO Show? covers Google showing up (along with Yahoo) at a show for
those running "virtual" mobile networks that piggyback on the mobile networks
of others. Google says it’s there just to talk to vendors, not to launch its
- July 26, 2007: Google & Sprint Partner:
Sprint Announces WiMax
Partnership With Google covers Google partnering with Sprint on a new
national broadband network that Sprint is constructing.
- August 1, 2007: Setback On Those Different Airwaves:
Google Gets Some Of
What It Wanted From The FCC covers the FCC not agreeing to all Google
hoped for in the upcoming auction of airwaves. Darn!
- August 2, 2007: It’s An Operating System, Stupid (Again, Again):
Wall Street Journal:
Google Phone In Development covers the WSJ saying Google is talking to a
wide-range of mobile companies in the US and Europe about a phone designed to
run its applications, either through a set of standard specifications.
- August 6, 2007: Setback On Those Original Airwaves:
Suffer Setback On ‘White Space’ Internet Access Plan covers that cool,
stealthy device that was supposed to make use of unused airwaves. The FCC
didn’t think it worked so well.
Microsoft And ‘White
Space’ Coalition To Try Again On Internet Access Plan covers how the group
will be trying again, as does
Google Explains The
‘White Space Coalition’ And Its Push For Unused TV Spectrum Internet Access.
- August 24, 2007: Two Weeks To Gphone Day!:
Is A Google Phone ‘A
Fortnight Away’? covers how the Business Standard says a Gphone will be
coming within two weeks to launch within the US, Europe and India.
- August 27, 2007: There Really Is A Gphone Thingamajig, Promise!:
that that an internal contact confirms there is some type of Gphone device
using Linux and GPS, similar to what we heard back in March.
- August 27, 2007: HTC Is Making It (Again, Again): CrunchGear
posts that an HTC insider confirms there’s a Gphone coming that HTC is
producing, expected to be released in the first quarter of 2008. This is
similar to rumors we had in December 2006 and April 2007.
- August 28, 2007: It’s An Operating System, Stupid (Again, Again,
Again): Remember back in August 2005 when it was rumored Google was
working on a mobile operating system? And then we had more rumors saying this.
says they’ve heard that Google’s working on, um, a mobile operating
system. They also report hearing some type of news will come out next week.
Confused? Let A
Hundred Google Phones Bloom gives you some perspective on the timeline, as
of August 28, 2007.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
The best news in mobile marketing every Thursday.