Google employees who asked not to be identified confirmed recently that the company was indeed developing new hardware and software for Android phones and coming up with new ways to get those phones into the hands of consumers, but they would not give more details. One Google employee said the new phone, which is being made by HTC, a major Taiwanese cellphone maker, was designed from the ground up by Google.
The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site late Saturday that Google would sell the phone directly to consumers rather than through carriers, which sell the bulk of mobile phones in the United States.
The move, if confirmed, would signal a more aggressive effort by Google to become a force in mobile devices. Google has long insisted that it is not interested in building or selling phones, saying it prefers to rely on hardware partners and wireless carriers to flood the market with a wide variety of Android-powered phones.
Google is playing its “partners” (i.e. Verizon Wireless and Motorola) for chumps. While Verizon has spent millions over-marketing a phone that runs Google's spyware-laden mobile operating system (the “Droid Does” campaign) Google has been quietly readying its own mobile device, which Verizon won't be able to cash in on. As far as Google is concerned, why should there be a middleman?
The Monster of Mountain View clearly envies Apple, Inc. and the success the Cupertino based company has had with the iPhone. It was really only a matter of time before the “GooglePhone” went from mythical device to reality.
Expect Google to increasingly begin competing with other tech companies that sell hardware in the months and years to come. It may choose U.S.-based “partners” at first, but as the likes of Dell and HP will ultimately learn, Google wants control, and to get that control, it will cut them out and do business directly with the Asian-based companies that manufacture components for phones, laptops, and desktops.