For the best part of the last decade Google has been rumored to be developing a fabled Google Phone, and a new report claims that phone may be on its way.
The Street claims that Google is working with a smartphone manufacturer to have a Google-branded phone available this year through retailers and not through telcos. The report goes on to say that “The move would fulfill Google’s pledge to bring a new generation of open-standard mobile Internet devices to consumers. By bypassing the carriers, who keep tight controls over the features and applications that are allowed on phones, Google will presumably offer a device that lets users determine the functions.”
Notably the report comes from the same analyst who also said that the iPhone wasn’t selling well in China, despite it not having gone on sale when the claim was made.
It’s not impossible that Google may be working on a Google Phone, but it would be surprising. Google has been taking a more hands on approach with phone makers who are using Google’s Android Operating System, notably working with Verizon and Motorola in the development of the Droid. That they’d then turn around and offer a phone that competes with their partners would be more than a little interesting, and a departure from their current strategy of offering the OS, not the handset.