back to article Google builds own phone

Looks like Google is again trying pull US telcos round to its way of thinking, this time with plans underway for a handset optimized for its online services. The precocious Silicon Valley company has reportedly spent hundreds of millions of dollars prototyping cell phones tailored to its search, email and a planned new browser …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Apple and Google should merge.

    MSFT would absolutely sh1t itself, worth it for the comedy value of Balmer's reaction alone!

  2. Lexx Greatrex

    Google, I will buy your phone on the condition you....

    Wish 1: Please try to be as open as possible; not just in aspects of the phone design but also in choice of carriers as well as your billing and ancillary services. This gives your customers more freedoms and will cut the costs of ownership. While other companies may see giving customers freedom of choice as a threat; you might see this as an opportunity to win a great deal more business through customer satisfaction and loyalty than your competitors will ever have through control and manipulation.

    Wish 2. Whatever the interface you select for the phone, please keep it simple and clean. For example, don't make me tap 5 times to send a single SMS message. Give me the same freedoms and simplicity we are accustomed to with the Web. We don't expect your phone to look or feel like an operating system or anything other than an easy-to-use phone.

    Wish 3. Make your phone capable of connecting at 3G or better speeds. You can not hope to provide a media rich platform for services like YouTube, while at the same time forcing your users to connect at modem speeds. This will be seen by some as a deliberate limitation built in to force people to upgrade before they truly need to.

    Wish 4. Allow your phone to connect to WiFi networks for surfing and even for calls when WiFi is available. That way your end users will benefit from cheap or free service while they are at work, at home or near a hotspot. Surely this kind of thing will force the carriers to adopt better pricing for their networks; and will ultimately benefit you by making your services easier and cheaper to access by all.

    Wish 5. Please do not make 'DRM' media mandatory; and if you do support DRM, allow the user a range of choices rather than locking them in to a proprietary service, say “gTunes”, for example. People will slowly wise up to this approach and grow to resent having to re-purchase media they already paid for if they choose to move computer platforms or phones at some future point.

    Wish 6. Allow the phone to sync with contacts, calenders and offline files, as well as connect to other devices. You will probably want it to sync with your own services, but please keep it open enough to connect with services and devices that are in popular usage. This will reduce the cost to us of changing to your services and will result in more sales for you.

    Wish 7. Consider other countries and other markets in your rollout of your services. Appreciating you are a US-based corporation, the true marketplace for your services is global. Lack of adoption of universal standards and short-sited tactics like regional lock-ins will only create inertia and damage the credibility of your offering.

    Wish 8. Keep it simple. Simplicity reduces price, size and battery consumption. Complex systems are hard to use, slow and more prone to security problems.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Post net-neutrality

    "Post net-neutrality era"

    Sends a shiver down my spine hearing that phrase for the first time. So it really is going to happen? The wonderfully anarchic World Wide Web/Internet system that developed while the corporates were sleeping will come under their control as they would have always preferred it to be? Say it aint so, ElReg.

  4. Jack

    Too Much Info

    Soo.... let me get this right...

    Google already knows what you search for, what links you click on, who you email, what you email them about. With it's other addons, it knows about your photos, your public opinions, your meetings schedule... and now... now... it will know where you are and who you call?

    I wonder how long before they introduce extra helpful services like online banking, house-sitting and online storage of your medical records and biometric data.

  5. Julian Bond

    Open SDK

    And please make it a fully open SDK so we can write apps for it. Not the half-assed fake SDK that Apple has on the iPhone.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In Bed with .mobi tld

    Is this Google's plan to seperate the net into two ? Default their phones to .mobi extension ? Imagine a device that's content is dictated by google's mobile serach engine.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not again


    My vote is for Gphone, or perhaps gPhone. Googleociter. In my heart I would love it to be "The Google Telephone" but it will not be so. Googlebox? Perhaps they will create a new brand, with a cute / sickening name, with a quasi-African sound.

    There is also the possibility of a tie-in with G-funk. G-Phune? Googlephattphone?

    Pimpin' Daddy G-Phone?

  8. Rob

    Can't see it being a success/profitable

    Surely we can't fit another phone brand into the market, it's squeezed tight enough as it is, who's going to be the first casualty?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The correct words to use when describing the G$$gle mindset are gauche and hubristic.

  10. Nathanael Bastone

    I wanna gPhone!

    Normally, I'm an apple supporter, but apple really made a hash of the iPhone, so I'm going with the other company I support. I want this in the UK, and I want the option to have it PAYG since some people don't like monthly plans. Infact, i'd like to buy a handset with Google branding and no SIM or network lock, so I'd be able to use my own SIM card in it, so I don't even have to change my number or operator. I also don't want to have to pay over the odds for it, so no more than £150 ideally, but I would go some bit higher if it would include all the following: 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, Good camera with Recording function, Touch-screen (optional but really boost sales), Movie storage and playback, Googles apps like calender, spreadsheet and document, 4GB or more inbuilt memory and/or the option to add an SD/other portable card that is 4GB or more, USB connection so I can connect it to both my computer and an external HDD and access files stored on that and access an external DVD drive (so I can play full length movies), good speakers, Open Source part, so developers can write google gadgets for use on it, AND store them on the phone and maybe write whole new apps for the phone. Phew, long list, thank you if you took the time to read it. I know I'm optimistic and there are more features i'd like, but I don't want to kill anyone.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google Terror

    So Google is going to archive your phone calls now? Soon Google knows absolutely everything about you. They have your Usenet posts, your email, your searches, whatnot. Just waiting when they start abusing all that.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Will it be a typical Google product - perpetually in beta in order to get round any troublesome expectation or delivery issues?

    Not the sort of thing you want to see in a phone...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Controlled networks...

    are something that is good for making money. For finding information many people would just choose the free networks. If companies won't provide them then the people would. By using mesh networking the whole system could easily get out of the control of telco companies or governments or anyone who wishes to regulate it.

  14. Gaines

    Come join us in discussing the upcoming release of the Google Phone!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google already providing in house ISP access using the existing tubes....

    Check out this article from, uh, early april:


  16. Francis Fish

    How many keys and how small?

    Phones are crap for browsing t'internet. I occasionally use the Google maps Java app 'cos typing in a postcode isn't too painful on your 12 key pad. Otherwise I'd die of boredom.

    Anything else I can't be bothered. Got a perfectly good laptop with WiFi - if they were looking at WiFi everywhere - rather than phones - that'd be interesting. I s'pose some kind of thing along the lines of a Frog Pad might work - I'd like to see that in a phone - that might even be useful, particularly if you could make a frogpad phone into a keyboard when you weren't using it as a phone.

    Now I've confused everyone I'll go back to eating my lunch.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yippeee an Ad phone

    Cool do we get a fee SMS txt message telling me that I could of bought a round of drinks off eBay?

    Or maybe that they can get me a better deal if I get a goldfish credit card...

    Just remeber they will store every txt for a million years, or until the EU threaten to sue the arse off them...

  18. Matt Kimber


    So the two companies with the most aggressive cult followings go head to head? What's going to happen there, then?

    Every discussion forum, everywhere, swamped by incredibly vehement iPhone vs. gPhone arguments? Or will they all just buy both?

    Never underestimate the ability of object-fixated geeks to have a keyboard fight, after all :)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Bloody hell Nathaneal, the only thing you've missed off there is the Moon on a stick!

    With that feature list and that price of course it would sell. Funnily enough, they'd sell a lot more Rolls-Royces if they were, say, £5000 each..........


  20. A J Stiles

    Coming soon: Phone Adverts

    Mobile telephones aren't circuit-switched like the old-style tethered telephones used to be. This means that the two parties can be disconnected from one another and force-fed advertisements, most probably based on location and things they said, at anytime during the conversation. You won't be able to shout over the advert because you'll have been disconnected from the other party. And hanging up won't help; they'll know you were trying to evade the adverts, and just force you to listen to even more advertisements before you can dial another number.

    "And now, we interrupt this conversation to bring you a word from our sponsors. You used the word 'Holiday'. New Age Travel Agency are the specialists in arranging trips. Press 'one' now to be connected now. Press the 'comment' key to repeat this message. Press 'nine' to return to your call. Press 'two' to hear another exciting advertisement!"

    "And now, we interrupt this conversation to bring you a word from our sponsors. You used the word 'Taxi'. Freewheel Taxis get YOU from A to B. Press 'four' now to be connected now. Press 'six' for another carefully-selected advertisement. Press the 'star' key to repeat this message. Or press 'five' to return to your call."

    It's all very well (well, no, not really; actually it's terrible) until they get the context seriously wrong.

    "And now, we interrupt this conversation to bring you a word from our sponsors. You used the word 'Rape'. Chesterman and Sons are the East Midlands and East Anglia's leading suppliers of all varieties of oil seed crops. Press 'three' to be connected now. Press 'two' to return to your call. Press 'zero' to repeat this message. Press 'eight' for another advertisement."

  21. Phil Standen


    Would the Wi-Fi enabled places be called gSpots? (and the little Wi-Fi strength indicators be gStop finders)

    Those silly tassels you can buy for your phone be called gStrings?

    (too hot for a coat I'm afraid)

  22. Mike

    Don't hold your breath for Verizon

    If they do offer a gPhone, it will probably be like every other phone I've had from them, hobbled by "custom software" that essentially disables every neat feature that you thought you bought the phone for, except those they can monetize at absurd rates, of course.

  23. A. Merkin

    @Google Terror

    "So Google is going to archive your phone calls now? ... Just waiting when they start abusing all that."

    Prolly already happened. Trolling GMail, GoogleDocs and Usenet posts may just be the "Other undislosed monitoring programs" recently hinted at by the US attorney general.

    @US Secret Police: Really guys, just an intelligent guess, please don't put me on "vacation"...

  24. Dillon Pyron

    Archived data and ads

    You don't think AT&T, Orange, Virgin, T-Mobile, etc don't keep your phone records and text messages?

    If they want to send me ads, they had better pay for them. My broadband effectively makes the transmission of those ads "free" and there's enough real estate on my monitor to ignore them. But I'm paying by the KB for data on a phone, or by the message. And the screen is small enough that I can't ignore the ad. If this is Google's business model for the mobile business, I give them two years.

    In the US, 3G, two carriers. GSM, two carriers. And only one does both. And they already have a premium glamor phone.

  25. Phillistine


    Thank you for making my friday. The thought just cracked me up, Google-Apple Merger. I don't mean that it is impossible or ridiculous, but I'd love to be a fly in Steve Ballmer's Office if and when such a thing were to happen.

    Do you suppose he will throw more than a chair ?

    At Whom ?

  26. Morely Dotes

    The Google Phone name

    Let's see...

    Well, firstly, if it doesn't do voice dialing, it's crap. Does the iPhone do voice dialing? No. It's a $600 turd.

    Now, this one: Will it be the gPhone? The GooMoPhone? The GooPhone? How about the GummiPhone? Or, since it's ad-supported, the GadPhone?

  27. Coleman Foley

    good news

    I'm looking forward to the gPhone.

  28. Daniel Bennett


    This should hit the Hiphop/rap/R&B Fans easy.

    I wonder what the phone would look like...

    Please also let us change the damn cover on the phone - Whatever happened to us being able to do that nowadays...

    I miss my Nokia 3310 w/ Snake II <3

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