Google will unveil its much-awaited mobile phone plans as early as Monday, ending two years of speculation, according to recent media reports. Sprint and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile are likely to be the first two to sign-on to Google-powered phones. The new Google mobile OS will utilize the company's search, G-Mail, Google Maps, and YouTube, while allowing developers to build their own applications; a stark departure from the proprietary platforms that now rule the industry. Other rumored apps include location-aware services that automatically link users to reviews of nearby restaurants, instant photo sharing with a user's entire address book, and yet-unparalleled levels of customization. Multiplayer gaming and high-def TV are also potential apps which are currently scarce in the U.S. Google's plan includes opening cellphones' architecture "right down to the OS" in an effort to rally developers previously discouraged by the hassle of custom developing mobile apps for multiple carriers, sources say. Google's announcement is likely to ignite a race among software developers, long shut out of the wireless industry. Last week, Google announced an open source alliance for developing services for social networks (full story), prompting some developers to wonder if mobile apps were around the corner: "It seems like a natural progression," one developer said. A deal with Sprint will give Google access to its 50 million-plus user base, while giving Sprint, the number-three U.S. wireless provider, a much needed boost to help it increase stagnant subscription growth. "Any device Google brings would be a big positive for the entire wireless industry," said Robert Laikin, CEO of wireless distribution company Brightpoint.
Commentary: Sprint Needs Something Big: It's GPhone Or Bust • Google's Revolutionary Phone Nearing Reality • Where is All the Money Going?
Stocks to watch: GOOG, S, DT. Competitors: MSFT, RIMM, AAPL
Earnings call transcript: Google Q3 2007, Sprint Nextel Q3 2007, Deutsche Telekom AG Q2 2007
Seeking Alpha's news briefs are combined into a pre-market summary called Wall Street Breakfast. Get Wall Street Breakfast by email -- it's free and takes only seconds to sign up.