Speculation is mounting that Google is soon to release a mobile phone. Last week, Engadget reported that Google has developed a Linux-based mobile device OS and is "shopping [it] around to handset makers and carriers on the premise of providing a flexible, customizable system." Engadget's "very trustworthy sources" did not indicate that Google is building a handset, but the company is believed to be "working with OEMs and ODMs to get them to put the Gphone OS on upcoming devices." Engadget expects Google to announce its mobile plans some time after Labor Day. On Sunday, the Boston Globe reported that Google does in fact have a mobile phone prototype, and that several people have seen it. Google executive Rich Miner, a co-founder of mobile software company Android (which was bought by Google two years ago), has not confirmed that he is working on a phone, but he is reported to have shown the alleged prototype to "a handful of Boston entrepreneurs and venture capitalists." Dan Roth, president of VoiceSignal, and Mike Phillips, founder of speech-recognition firm Vlingo Inc., are both believed to have seen the phone, but neither will cop to working with Google. One unnamed source who saw the prototype called it "simpler" and less flashy than Apple's iPhone. Google's phone supposedly allows horizontal scrolling and has three-dimensional, animated buttons on the screen as well as a small QWERTY keyboard.
Sources: Boston Globe, Engadget, GigaOM
Commentary: Google Phone Is Now A Reality • Google Getting Serious About Mobile
Stocks/ETFs to watch: GOOG. Competitors: NOK, AAPL, MSFT. ETFs: FDN, FPX, FVI, IAH
Earnings call transcript: Google Q2 2007
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