Although the idea is nothing we haven’t heard before, TechCrunch is reporting that a phone developed by Google and produced by a third party company will be released sometime early next year. Any guesses on the device’s OS?
One insider that leaked some information to TechCrunch claimed that HTC was working with Google to create a Google-branded smartphone. As Microsoft outsourced hardware development of the Zune, Google will be relying on an outside manufacturer to produce the device. Despite the inside source suggesting HTC as the hardware manufacturer, TechCrunch seems to think LG coincides with other rumors they’ve heard. Like Apple, the phone is rumored to be solely Google’s vision of what a cell phone should be. Google likes free, right?
They say the phone will be sold only through retailers and Google. No carriers means no subsidies. With the development of Google Voice aiming to eliminate some of the outrageous carrier charges, they probably don’t stand a chance getting the device backed by any carrier. If there’s no partnership with cell carriers, the device will probably be sold unlocked, without contract, and with GSM hardware for worldwide compatibility.
Obviously the first thing we want to know is the release date. Originally, the device was supposed to be ready for the holidays but was delayed into early 2010 for unknown reasons. Expect a huge advertising push come January. Everything else is unknown. By everything else, I mean nearly everything about the device. They know it’s coming and they’ve got an estimated launch. TechCrunch seems to have an awful lot of insiders at Google lately. I wonder if it has anything to do with the soon to be released CrunchPad and Google’s Chrome OS…