Speculation is mounting that Google is set to go it alone with the search Company close to launching their own Google branded mobile phone that will deliver free calls in several Countries. It will also be twice as fast as the current iPhone.
Currently Qualcomm is working on the processor for the new phone with speculation mounting that the device could actually be demonstrated at the 2010 CES show in Las Vegas when Dr. Paul E. Jacobs Qualcomm Chairman and CEO s set to make a keynote presentation.
ChannelNews has been told that manufacturers in Asia including current partner HTC have already held discussions with Google re their new smartphone, which is set to incorporate a new Android operating system specifically designed for content delivery, gaming and navigation.
The phone will primarily be sold via retailers say analysts as opposed to carriers who could lose large slabs of data and voice traffic. This will allow consumers to simply switch their current SIM card to the new Google phone.
Manufacturers say that Google is setting themselves up for an all out assault on the Smartphone market with a device that has a large screen for video playback, a processor that is twice as fast the current processor used in the Apple iPhone and a brand new application store.
Currently Google is working on an expanded Android operating system codenamed Flan. This system will allow content to be downloaded from YouTube in a compressed form and unloaded as consumers start to view content. Users will also be able to play 3D games as well as access games from leading developers like Activsion Blizzard and Electronic Arts.
Insiders say that the biggest benefit of the new phone will be its ability to deliver free Internet based calls and a Skype video conferencing service due in part to the expansion of Google’s Voice service.
Currently Google Voice provides US with a free phone number. This allows them to make free calls to anywhere in the world including landline and mobile.
Google Voice uses voice recognition technology to turn voicemails into emails. It can block telemarketing calls automatically and offers free text messaging.
In Australia one of Google’s challenges will be to link the phone to mobile networks so that the company’s services can be offered not just over Wi-Fi-connected broadband, but also over a 3G link to the internet, resulting in a real call-from-anywhere device.
One way that this may be facilitated is via the sale of advertising messages on the phone which will pay for access to carrier networks say analysts.
According to Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Northeast Securities, a financial services firm, the Google-branded phone will be built by a third-party supplier, like HTC and go on sale in 2010.
In an effort to facilitate services on the new phone Google has started acquiring Companies who can provide core services for their phone offering. Earlier this month they acquired Gizmo5, who had developed technology to connect Google Voice with voice-over-internet (VoIP) networks such as Skype.
Google could also antagonise the networks by selling its mobile phone directly to customers and inviting them to use their existing Sim cards, whatever network they are on. “Google wants the new Google phone to be carrier-agnostic,” Kumar told the Guardian newspaper in the UK recently.
“We’ve never had this situation, where a single vendor controls the entire stack, from the operating system right up to Google’s cloud services,” says Kumar. “It changes the competitive and bargaining dynamics like never before.”