Hey Rizzn-ites and gPhone hounds…

Several folks, most notably these guys at DigiTimes, are talking about the gPhone again.

I ran some of the theories past ‘Deep Throat’ over at Google (and remember, you guys named him that, not me). I’m forced to sit on some of the information he gave me for a time being, but I can comment on some of the rumors in broad generalities, as I did on the show last Friday (see episode 135). From the DigiTimes rumors:

Although market rumors previously stated that Google is likely to use an EDGE solution developed by Texas Instruments (TI) for its planned handset, recent developments indicate that Google is also evaluating the possibility of launching a 3G handset initially.

I’m still waiting on confirmation of some information from a certain American carrier regarding their technology platform, but, as I understand it, Google is past the evaluation stage in development for this iteration of the gPhone in terms of which mobile network they’ll use.

Google [may] postpone the launch of the so-called Gphone to the first half of 2008 instead of the latter half of this year as expected due to the change of platform and problems related to licensing…

Obviously nothing is set in stone, as the product is still in late-stage development, but it sounds to me that the product will be released sooner, rather than later. Deep Throat didn’t give me an exact date, but other sources tell me that it will be publicly released (not just demo’ed behind an NDA-wall) between 9/27 and 10/5, and released simultaneously (more or less) world-wide. I’m not dead certain on these dates (as this informant is a newer source for me, but it sounds plausible given what I do know).

High Tech Computer (HTC), meanwhile, is being marked as the manufacturing contractor for the Gphone due to the company’s expertise in ODM and brand business and its mutual cooperation with a number of telecom carriers worldwide, said the sources.

Google may also try to launch a handset running on a self-developed OS, to compete with Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms, the sources speculated.

These things sound congruent with a lot of what I’ve heard, both from the blogosphere as well as Deep Throat. Again, I can’t go into too much detail, but these bits of analysis and rumor seems on the mark. Given the fact that the story and rumors originate from a Taiwanese manufacturer, and HTC is a Taiwan-based company. Just sayin’.

If you like reading about patents, you may wanna check out this article. It’s a bit tedious, but Information Week sees a pattern of patents coming out of Google that definitely signal a move towards the mobile world, too.

Of course, we’ve known about for a while Google’s intention to spend in the neighborhood of $4.6 Billion to move to the 700mhz wireless spectrum. Channel 4 UK talks about what looks like a British bid for the mobile market by Google.

…on Thursday the UK communications regulator Ofcom announced a proposal to take some of the airwaves currently used by O2 and Vodafone and make it available to new bidders.

This remains a remote possibility at this stage, but the idea of a Google-branded mobile service is now a distinct possibility.

And in news that holds tertiary relevance to this (another story we talked a bit about on the show Friday), Google plans to build its own data network are under the Pacific Ocean. This from Mashable:

The project to lay cable, called “Unity,” would involve several other telecommunications companies who would aim to have it operational by 2009. The move would give Google a leg up on other US companies looking to deliver content to Asia, since they would have their own dedicated cable.

I hope it’s becoming clear to those in the network-providing establishment: we will not stand for non-network-neutrality compliance. There are a number of strategic moves contained within all of these moves, but the largest bit of this that can’t be ignored is that Google is moving towards an environment where they don’t have to worry about network neutrality (as I discussed with Greg Blonder last week).

At any rate, stay tuned to this blog and podcast. As soon as I’m released to talk about the details, you’ll definitely want to be here to hear them. They’re juicy. Mighty juicy. It’s killin’ me to sit on ’em.


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