Google gPhone resurfaces

There’s been lots of chatter and speculation over the past year regarding Google’s gPhone strategy and efforts.  Most see Google pushing a mobile OS a la Android… yet stories of an actual Google phone – a gPhone – continue to emerge.  With Boston being a core site for the Android work, I’ve tried to track the more interesting threads like:

Dell and Google to launch Android Phone

Google, Nuance and the gPhone Mobile Platform

Google acquires Jaiku…

GrandCentral features and gPhone

Google gPhone Development in Boston

Google acquires GrandCentral

Google Phone – the real gPhone

It would seem that the gPhone rumor is resurfacing.  Recently, buried in a post about Microsoft and Yahoo, Robert X. Cringely offers this:

"… a Google-branded gPhone — two of them, actually — is on the way.

Here is what little I know, dropped in my lap this week by a loyal reader (you know who you are). There are two gPhones slated for release with the first coming in September and the second probably not appearing until after Christmas. Given that the first is the high-end model and the second is cheaper, Google will probably expect to make as much money as possible on the higher-margin units at Christmas before revealing the budget model even exists. How Apple-like, eh?

Both will include WiFi, which makes me wonder if a VoIP client will be there, too. The high-end phone will look somewhat like a Blackberry Pearl, but the screen flips up and there is a keyboard for texting. No word on pricing for the high-end phone, but the second model is intended to be less than $100 — AFTER Christmas.

The actual manufacturer of these gPhones will be Samsung (rumors to this point had indicated HTC, so this is a change) and Google is still talking with both T-Mobile and Verizon as potential carriers (rumors also said Verizon had passed — not). That means there are both GSM and W-CDMA versions in the works. Given AT&T’s success with the iPhone I can’t imagine Verizon will let the gPhone pass, but it will be interesting to see if Google will be able go with a nonexclusive deal and get both U.S. carriers.

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