Is A Google Phone ‘A Fortnight Away’?

India’s cites unnamed sources to assert that a Google-branded phone may be “a fortnight away” (two weeks). There have been lots of rumors about a “GPhone” for months. They run the gamut from specialized software development, to a Google MVNO to a Google handset.

Here’s what the Rediff article contends:

Sources close to the development said a simultaneous launch across the US and Europe is expected, and announcements would be sent to media firms in India and other parts of the world. US regulatory approval, which is expected soon, is the only hurdle that Google is waiting to cross, they added. Google plans to invest $7-8 billion for its global telephony foray.

What is clear is that Google is being extremely aggressive in mobile and the company is not going to stay where it is. I would be quite surprised if Google were to present itself as an MVNO, however. Unless such a service were totally or almost totally ad-subsidized (something CEO Eric Schmidt has suggested is possible) few people are likely to switch carriers. But such a move has a high probably of failure for numerous reasons.

While more Google software for mobile devices is a given, it’s possible that some version of a Google-branded phone will appear. It’s also possible that Google will pursue multiple strategies in parallel.

Like many others, Google recognizes that the thing standing between it and mobile ad revenue is a generally bad user experience and the way that holds back user adoption of mobile data (beyond text). That recognition is partly what motivated GOOG411, the company’s free directory assistance alternative.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Mobile


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Corey

    I think Google needs to do a few things. First, buy Facebook. Bear with me. Then, they need to bid on the wireless spectrum and create their own cell network. Now, they need to combine all of their services into one. By this I mean, my text messages, voicemails, Facebook, Gmail, etc are all integrated somehow. If someone calls my phone and leaves me a voicemail, I have the option of listening to it, reading it on my phone via text, or on my computer through a new and improved Facebook that has my cell phone intergrated into it. My contact list would be amazing. The cell phone its self would have a special software that would integrate all of Google and Facebook’s services. It would be awesome! MVNO’s are ok, but you are still paying another cell company to use their network. I hate ATT, Verizon is ok but would be expensive(Amp’d was a Verizon MVNO and is dead). Google needs to use the 700mhz spectrum and create an awesome GSM network. I love cdma, but gsm would allow users to use different handsets by swapping the sim cards. Will be interesting to see what they do!

  • Webgyan

    Rediff is not direct source for this news. Business Standard published this article here:

  • David

    Whatever happens I hope it’s soon!

    This will be the ultimate business tool for me Docs, Mail the lot on a GPhone….

    I held off on the iPhone in anticipation of this coming sooner rather than later

    psstt: When is SEL going to have a forum Danny???

  • victorcab

    Don’t forget how the Sprint deal factors into this. It will play a much bigger role than you might expect. Also Sprint and Comcast are partners on several levels.

  • BiCultural Surfin’ Mama

    Hi Danny,

    Still a regular listener and amateur SEO (for my own sites) so far. Using comments to ask a question, sorry.

    You may have covered books on SEO elsewhere on the site but I’d love to ask you the question directly, given your unique approach to the matter.

    Is there a book that will give me a wide angle view of SEO, ie, that will cover the principles, but also train me on all the technical aspects of how the web works (servers and the like), in a fun, smart, enjoyable reading format?

    I bet you could write that book for us! ;-)

    in the south of France

  • Silver

    At least based on other indicators, I don’t believe the Gphone would be released quite this early.

    As I reported, Google’s only recently hired on a browser security expert, and I think that he was likely assigned to vet the mobile browser they’re apparently working upon in their Boston facility.

    For anyone interested in what sorts of UI features the proposed Gphone would have, I suggest looking at the iPhone, since Google’s VP of Search Products & User Experience, Marissa Mayer, essentially endorsed the iPhone at the SES Conference this week, highlighting a number of the interface features she admired about the device. Of course, Google provided a couple of the top button accessible applications on the iPhone – Maps & YouTube Video.

  • Edward Lewis

    Will believe it when I see it. Most google stuff is amazing, but I’m not confident that their take on a mobile phone would be that great….

    who knows? might look back on this post in 6 months and wish I hadn’t written it!

    hmmmm… iphone anyone?

  • Danny Sullivan

    David, we have a forum at

  • Wyhnkala

    I haven’t been following this subject until I was brought in by the SiteProNews newsletter, so I’m trying to imagine how a ‘free’ cell phone service could work. Is it like that “Please enjoy the music while your party is found” thing that cell phones already do, but instead it would say, Thank you for using G-Phone, your call will be connected after a brief word from our sponsor.. 15 seconds later (after the ad) your call goes through.
    And customers have the option to upgrade via a paid service to avoid the ads?
    Sounds like it should be a screaming success if that is how it works….

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