Google Phone – the real gPhone?

Simeon Simeonov of Polaris Ventures offers inside scoop on the Google gPhone…

"Andy Rubin has a team of about 100 people at Google working on the Google Phone. So people have been paying attention. Andy was the founder of Danger and later Android, which he sold to Google in August of 2005. Andy is a systems guy and so it’s a good bet that he’s working on an OS for the famed Google Phone.

To help the cause, in July 2005 Google also acquired Reqwireless, a mobile applications company that has apparently played a role in developing the suite of Google mobile apps.

What is more or less unknown is that later in 2005, Google bought Skia. (That acquisition is not part of even the Wikipedia list of Google acquisitions and there is very little information about this on the Net.) Skia was founded by Mike Reed, a device software guru who’d built a very tight vector-based presentation engine. I looked the company as a potential investment in August 2005, a few months before Google got them. The demos I saw were pretty compelling given the early stage of the technology at the time and Mike certainly knew what he was doing."

And Charles Ying who downloaded the Skia code that Google open-sourced… and then saw Google remove the code… wonders what is the legal status of the Skia code he has now…

Last year, Google open sourced the Skia vector graphics engine and placed the code up on Google Code under an Apache license. I heard about it through the grapevine (not from Mike) and downloaded a copy to take a peek. Shortly thereafter, the code disappeared.

So a Google Phone leveraging a SVG / Flash-lite rendering engine optimized for Java on C++ that will be running Google Apps and VoIP (Gtalk or Skype?) with Google marketing the phone/services and carriers fulfulling behind the scenes for a slice of the revenue.

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