Do not believe TechCrunch, there is no Google phone

Last night Michael Arrington from TechCrunch posted an article claiming that he has some magical inside knowledge about an upcoming Google Android phone. He believes that Google will make their own mobile device, with their own Google branding, but that it will be built either by Samsung or LG. Google will then sell this device as something they’ve created. When is this mythical creature supposed to be announced? January.

The same incorrect information was released by Ashok Kumar, an analyst with Northeast Securities, and published by Scott Moritz from The Street, almost a month ago. I had this to say about the Google phone rumour:

“Google would never, ever, make an Android device. That would hurt their relationships with current vendors, it requires a completely different skill set than what any Google employee currently has, and most importantly it would tarnish the image of Android since all other devices would be compared to Google’s hypothetical ultimate smartphone.”

A few days after that article on The Street hit the net, Tom Krazit from C|Net had a chance to speak to Andy Rubin, Vice President of Engineering for Android at Google. He confirmed my sneaking suspicion that Google would never hurt their partners:

“We’re not making hardware, we’re enabling other people to build hardware.”

And he later added Google does not want to “compete with its customers”.

So I’m sorry Michael Arrington, but you’re wrong.

Update: Michael responded to this article on TechCrunch. He says that it’s possible the Google phone is IP only and will work via voice over IP. I still don’t buy it.

  • HereAndNow

    I tend to agree.

    I’m sure Google is actively working with hardware vendors & operators because:
    1. they need to make sure Android supports the hardware designs & service strategies.
    2. they may have design ideas that they would like to see implemented in products.

    All this interaction may lead some to believe that Google is doing more than they are.

    Besides, “Google Experience” smartphones already have “Google” on them, so why risk alienating partners, just to have the name on the front, instead of the back?

  • Justa Notherguy

    Personally, I think Google won’t make a unique, ‘official’ gPhone. At least, not anytime soon. Mid-year ’10 is another matter, altogether. After hearing HTC’s CEO pointedly declare that there would be no Android-powered HD2 (!), I’d bet more than a few Googlers would have voted for the start of an in-house project, stat.

    However, I disagree with your reasoning. I doubt such a move would cause major problems among Google’s partners. After all, they still get free licensing of Android. And, thus far, Google has given Android no obviously preferential treatment…note the recent Google Earth upfdate, for iPhone, only.

    As to your claim that they haven’t the necessary expertise, that’s ridiculous. Do you really think they couldn’t round up enough talent? Not even with Scott Rubin and Co.? (Maybe you’ve rifled through their employee records?) What about 3rd party firms? Surely, there’s no shortage of consultants in that sector.

    Meanwhile, if it turns out I’m wrong I sure hope they turn out one hell of a handset. For one thing, I want to see Android perform at its best. Plus, frankly, I’d love to see the iPhone loudmouths swallow their tongues. :-)

  • Justa Notherguy

    Whoops! Meant to type ‘Andy Rubin’. I accidentally mashed his name with Scott Johnston, Google’s PM for Sites.

    Sorry about that.

  • Joaquin

    The Google phone exists, has been already spotted on the Google campus.
    The question that remains is, whether it’s IP-Only or not

  • Kryptoze

    You have been Pwned by TechCrunch!

  • Rob

    lol – FAIL!

    I love how bloggers think of themselves as business analysts. You’re not. Stick to blogging about the here and now and avoid trying to predict the future of a very profitable company.

  • infernofalcon

    Hah….*golf clap*

  • Jason Cotton

    A few months later and the so-called “Analysts” are eating crow. You need a little salt and pepper with this post there bud?

  • xOuchxBurnx

    “Google would never, ever, make an Android device. That would hurt their relationships with current vendors, it requires a completely different skill set than what any Google employee currently has, and most importantly it would tarnish the image of Android since all other devices would be compared to Google’s hypothetical ultimate smartphone.” -someone who cannot see into the future, and whose head is so far up his a$$ wouldn't want to.

  • Stefan Constantinescu

    I’d like to see you walk down a street having a VoIP call on today’s networks and not have your call dropped.

  • prmd142

    How about on LTE or 4G networks… heard they are just around the corner. A VOIP phone suits Google’s model the best. Data only services are the future of mobile networks. If Google leaves the adoption of such phones to the mercy of phone manufacturers or network operators, that day may never come. Networks refuse to become just dumbpipes for data. Google is not entering hardware business nor are they competing with phone manufactuters. As Rubin said they are just enabling them to make hardware – in this case a VOIP only phone. Just as they worked closely (& secretly) with HTC & Motorola now they are working with someother partner for this device. No surprises there.

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