The rumor mill continues to churn regarding Google’s venture into the mobile phone market. We’ve heard it called the GooglePhone, the Google Switch, and the GPhone. There have been rumors of Google partnerships with Sony, Nokia, and Samsung and of carrier releationships with Verizon, Cingular/AT&T, and T-Mobile. As time goes by, the likelihood of some of these rumors becoming a reality is increasing.
The most recent evidence points directly to a partnership between Google and Samsung. Google already has an existing relationship with Samsung, the world’s largest mobile device manufacturer, offering many Google mobile services on existing Samsung phones. Recently, via mobileburn forums, pictures have surfaces from a consumer survey site which offer the latest possible rendering of the Google Phone.
The marketing mockup from which the artist’s rendering of the Google Phone hails indicates the following specs for the GPhone, Google Switch, Google Phone, or whatever you want to call it: 2 megapixel camera, 3G, Wi-Fi, and a sliding QWERTY keyboard. This is a bit of a departure from earlier rumors, which suggested the Google Phone would be primarly a touch screen device like the iPhone. The phone, of course, comes loaded with all of Google’s services – Google search, Google news, Blogger, Google Maps, GMail, etc. The survey also suggested a retail price of around $100 (USD) with contract, which some considering shockingly low.
The question from our camp is: do iPhone hopefuls care? Is the Google Phone a competitor in the iPhone market? After all – the Google Phone is suprisingly cheap compared to the iPhone, offers 3G connectivity, and is rumored to not be restricted to one particular
carrier – rather the phone will be available for use on any network. These are certainly attractive options when compared to the iPhone. However, with the Google Phone geared more towards productivity and less towards multimedia – how big is the market overlap with the iPhone?