back to article Google contradicts self, confirms own Googlephone

Google has designed an Android-based handset that it intends to sell directly to consumers, according to multiple reports. As recently as October 30, Google had flatly denied that it was "making hardware" or that it would "compete with its customers" by offering its own phone. But it would seem the web search outfit/world …


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  1. conwaykram

    Google employee droid phones

    Hopefully the phone the google employees are being issued is better than the HTC droid phone I just bought from Verizon. My HTC phone is the WORST phone I have EVER OWNED. ANd if it were not for the fact that they want to charge me a Restocking fee I would have already returned it.

    The Iphone is MUCH EASIER to use. It takes a least 5 different steps to make ONE CALL on the HTC model! And Contacts are managed in the most unorganized, goofy way I have ever seen.

    The HTC droid phones are a HUGE STEP BACKWARDS in phones and stay away from them is my caution!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      the verizon droid is a motorola phone

    2. Fogcat

      That's a new one...

      If you've bought it I would have thought that a simple glance at the packaging would have told you that the Droid is manufactured by Mororola NOT HTC.

      But maybe the light isn't too good under bridges.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        The Verizon DrOID is both.

        At the Verizon store, when I picked up my Motorola DrOID, I was asked "which DrOID?" did I want. The HTC or the Motorola. After 10 seconds with the HTC, I said: "The Motorola!" Verizon calls all of it's Android phones "DrOID"...

        It is a good phone, not as slick as my 3GS, but then I had to jailbreak the iPhone just to make calls.

    3. Phillip Webster

      5 steps?

      Looking at my Hero here; from any app on the phone I can just hit the "call" button, type the number/first few letters of a contact and hit dial. Oh and when I'm done it will just drop back into whatever app I was using.

      Hardly "5 steps" and the lack of a dedicated phone button on the iPhone would indicate to me that Apple's little box would require more steps. Although I only own an iPod Touch so can't confirm that.

      I do wonder if the phone mentioned in the article might be a re-badged HTC Bravo (due out April next year).

      Nice fast CPU, OLED screen, 5MP camera with flash... Only thing that looks a little dodgy on it is the optical sensor instead of a rollerball.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Welcome to the real world

      @conwaykram: Is it as different as being a PC user and using a MAC and vice versa? Because this is what happens when you move to a different platform.

    5. Dive Fox

      Verizon Droid

      That is not the Droid you're looking for. The phone on Verizon is made by Motorola, not HTC.

    6. OrsonX


      Maybe 5 steps for somebody who can't read...

      Do you see all those letters making up that word on your phone, they spell "Motorola"


    7. Law


      *unlocks hero screen - notes contacts widget with top 5 contacts on there with pics*

      So that's pull down to unlock and one click for my phone, I could also go the usual route of unlock, phone, scroll, tap to call.

      On my iPhone it was slide to unlock, phone app, scroll down or tap favorites-tab, tap contact, tap call. Or you could also buy one of those one-click contact apps too from the app store...

      Its really just a question of how you grow to use your phone, not just crying because it's not the way you want it the second you buy it (if you actually did buy one) especially when the os is as customisable as most modern mobile phones.

  2. Neal 5


    Am I the first to note the similarities betwenn Google and Tyrell Corp. Of course Tyrells Nexus was in fact a "Replicant" or to coin common slang a "skin job", and it was in fact the Nexus mk 6 that spawned the iconic film Blade Runner, one of Ridley Scotts better efforts, and definately one of Harrison Ford's better films.

    May one expect to see Hollywood turning it's copyright vervour upon Mountain View, in the future of course.?

    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Nexus is a word

      Nexus is an actual word..


      "–noun, plural nex⋅us⋅es, nex⋅us.

      1. a means of connection; tie; link.

      2. a connected series or group.

      3. the core or center, as of a matter or situation.

      4. Cell Biology. a specialized area of the cell membrane involved in intercellular communicati"

      As such, even if Hollywood wanted to, it couldn't copyright or trademark the word Nexus..

      1. Hermes Conran

        Yeah, you can't copyright real words..

        like, er... windows?

        1. Oninoshiko

          @Hermes Conran

          "Windows" is not a trademark, but "Microsoft Windows" is a trademark, see the difference? One is a real word and therefor not protected, while the other contains the psudo-word "Microsoft" makeing is subject to trademark protection.

          Flame on!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If the Apple memyself&iPhone is the "Jesusphone", what should Google's be called?

    1. Mike Flugennock

      how about the "Judas Phone"?

      ...seeing as how Google likes to stab us in the back every chance they get.

      1. Kevin Dwyer

        Thirty Bob!

        If they could keep the cost down to thirty pieces of silver they would fly off the shelves.

        Mines the one with the rope in the pocket

    2. c3

      The Terminator Phone

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Google - hiring teens, playing amusement park.

    "Stuck in mass of traffic leaving work post last all hands of 2009. ZOMG we had fireworks and we all got the new Google phone. It's beautiful,"

    This tweet somehow captures the essence of a bubble economy.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Phone or Radio?

    I do not think it will be a conventional GSM phone. I would imagine it will use a different frequency, say 200MHz, and will work on Google's own network, which won't use cells or masts, rather it will use the internet. Google's data centers could handle hundreds of calls at a time, when you consider that a typical 5 minute call only uses about 1GB of data. 1GB x 200MHz = 200GB per second!!! Coincidence? I don't think so!

    1. Emo

      Re: Phone or Radio?

      It will hardly be sampling the voice @ 200Mhz, more likely at ~4khz like every other phone on the planet, and thus very little required to record - before compression.

      Plus your maths are way out. your figures are bonkers.

      Mines the one with the chap nicking your Googlephone.

    2. Il Midga di Macaroni

      High time something like that happened

      The phone companies are charging through the nasal cavity for mobile data services, when really it's no more difficult to provide than a call and SMS service. And then they try to lock us out of VOIP services, the bastards.

      If Google are big and ugly enough to build their own mobile internet infrastructure, and then offer VOIP on it to make it into a phone, I say good luck and please roll the thing out to Australia when you're done killing AT&T, because Telstra and Optus need the same treatment.

      Grenade because I wish I could send a bunch of them to our two biggest telcos as an early Christmas present.

      1. Aspirational

        Try 3

        What do you mean that all providers are locking you out from internet and VOIP. 3 in the UK offer Skype free to all phones that can handle it. Also unlimited (OK, 1MB) internet for no extra cost on the £15 a month (300 mins, unlimited text) deal & no contract. Support those that are giving the good deals. 3 is available in Oz, so ask them why they can't match the UK deal.

    3. ml100


      Anyone else have any idea what this nutjob is on about?

      A mobile phone is a device with radio(s).

      Any manufacturer would have to be pretty mental to make a phone for a non standard network that isnt rolled out anywhere.

      Nothing operates at such a low frequency, even crappy old GSM is 850/900 Mhz.

      Google arent in the datacentre business per se.

      No call uses 1GB of data nor would require that data rate, typically we also state in Mbps or Gbps not bytes of any sort.

      Where did the fantasy figures even come from?

    4. truCido

      re: phone or radio by ac

      ROFL 200MHz!!! Do you know how many masts they would need running at 200MHz!?!? Don't be so stupid.

  6. Giles Jones Gold badge

    WIll be interesting..

    Will be interesting to see what it turns out like. Google have no track record of designing consumer products.

    It's a lot easier to write web services than it is to design hardware.

    What are the chances that it will just be a case design and some specs which they will get some far east company to finish for them?

    1. Rob

      You could be right

      I reckon the company might be HTC, hang on a sec and I'll go read the article to see if I'm right!

  7. grunt


    200MHz? c'mon, really? At most the phone will be carrier specific and will use as many 'bands' as possible to cover all carriers. Whats left to be seen is if it will be released worldwide and if google subsdises the hardware costs, which if the software is done right, could be a real possibility.

    I was going to buy a Hero this week. Maybe i'll hold off now :)

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @foghat, @AC, and HTC Droid

    Perhaps you're unaware that Verizon actually offer two phones --- Motorola's is marketed as "Droid" while HTC's lower-priced unit is called "Droid Eris".

    I daresay @conwaykram's phone is the Eris variety of a Droid.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Even so

      The Eris has a call/end call button combo which means making a call is as simple as pressing the call button, selecting a contact and pressing call.

      He's either a troll or has absolutely no idea how to use Android, in which case his post only highlights his limitations and not Androids.

      It's a bit like someone who's gone from Windows, never used a Mac, doesn't know Safari is a browser, and then complaining that Mac's are crap because it doesn't have "the Internet".

  9. Matt Ryan
    Thumb Down

    Droid short for Android?

    In which case a 'droid phone is indeed made by HTC...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Droid short for Android?

      What are you on about? You think because it's an HTC phone because it runs a GOOGLE OS?

      I guess that means that all those WinMo phones out there are made by HTC too...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phoning home?

    I wonder just how much information is being sent back to Google. In view of how eager they are to monitor searches, email, etc. via the internet, are they now going to monitor phone activity? Your contacts? Web sites? Everything?


  11. Daemon ZOGG

    Google's crapy products and their privacy policies... " }:> "

    Considering the comments from Google CEO Eric Schmidt on privacy in The Reg article "Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy"..

    "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place," Schmidt tells CNBC.."

    A google comment reply from Bruce Schneier:

    "This is the loss of freedom we face when our privacy is taken from us. This is life in former East Germany, or life in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. And it's our future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye into our personal, private lives.

    Too many wrongly characterize the debate as "security versus privacy." The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that's why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide."

    I will never buy or use any products from google. Ever. I no longer have any trust for google.

  12. Jeremy Anderson

    Interesting but...

    I'm not sure if I see an inherent contradiction in Google's statements and their actions.

    Once upon a time, I was locked in the basement of a Taiwan mainboard factory. If you ever opened a box on a board and saw wacky English saying "To avoid electron discharge incident, careful inputting happy golden fingers in socket." Yeah, that was probably me getting mine back at the bosses.

    At that time, mainboard manufacturers did not design mainboards from scratch. They would take a "reference design" which had been provided by Intel, Opti, SiS, or whomever the chipset manufacturer of the week was, and would then tweak that design based on what marketing thought would move mainboards.

    Building a concept phone to show off the Android platform makes perfect sense. I'm not exactly sure why Google would be interested in getting into the phone retail business. It seems a lot less profitable than selling advertising.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Quite right

      All the phone manufacturers build prototypes that never see the light, as do their suppliers (I know, I work for one and I have demo boards and prototypes coming out of my ears - some pretty funky stuff too...). Google are just making a reference platform from which others can design from. The company I work for has done the same thing, but we have never had any intention of selling them ourselves.

      Of course, it is entirely possible that this reference design could be modded and then sold on by Google themselves, but I'm not sure I would bother when you have all those other people who will make the phones and take the risk for you. It's not as if there is a lot of money in it.

      Methinks that some of the commentators above need to learn a little more about the industry before opening theirs mouths. Still, that's never stopped them before....

  13. ThomH

    Another notable time that Google has contradicted its future self

    "Do no evil"

    1. Jared Earle

      Do no evil?

      It's "Don't be evil", not "Do no evil".

      1. ThomH


        If you insist on being petty about it, the only reference to evil in Google's corporate information ( is that "You can make money without doing evil". Everything else is an informal variant on that.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Google phone will kill the iPhone ...

    ... Apple will goez out of business, Steve Jobs wil go broke and have to eat baked beanz the rest of his life while living in a cardboard box!! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  15. Dirk Vandenheuvel
    Thumb Down


    Does it display ads when you are calling?

    1. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      Funnily, that was my first thought when reading this article

      Although I suspect it would be more likely to spam you with audio advertising before/after making a call?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evil scheme

    Maybe the plan is to have the Googlephone run a special version of Chrome OS so you can't install any apps and can only access Google's websites online. Because surely Google provide all the internet experience you could need.

  17. lukewarmdog


    The rabidness is disturbing this early on in the week.

    The "tweet" that started it all.. do they *really* talk like that? Is there really that level of worship in the workplace?

  18. Gulfie

    I demand pictures of this alleged Google roll-your-own...

    ... or it didn't happen

  19. Eddie Edwards


    "Too many wrongly characterize the debate as "security versus privacy." The real choice is liberty versus control."

    The real choice is surely "propagandist binary characterization" vs "sensible discussion". I don't want a debate where you choose which opinions are allowed any more than I want a debate where Google does.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    SAR value..

    according to the docs at seem to indicate a SAR value that will fry your head.

    anyone around to interpret these figures..

  21. M Gale

    A title is required.

    --According to the Journal, the device's hardware is being manufactured by Taiwanese handset maker HTC, and Google designed "virtually the entire software experience behind the phone, from the applications that run on it to the look and feel of each screen."--

    So nothing like the original HTC-manufactured Android-powered Googlephone at all?

    Anyway, after comments by Eric Schmidt, I would like an assurance that the phone doesn't come with keyloggers and other spyware pre-installed. Not that I'd touch "unlimited" mobile "broadband" with a large wooden tool traditionally used for pushing canal boats away from canal banks anyway.

  22. hypermark

    Why now? Google has created channel conflict

    The timing of all of this is curious, though. Droid just launched, and both Verizon and Motorola have made a pretty significant bet on Android.

    To have the Google phone drop smack in the middle of Christmas buying season, certainly risks customers holding off on Droid, and waiting to see what Google will come out with for Verizon. Needless to say, the risk of that scenario playing out can't make either Verizon or Motorola too happy right now.

    More to the point, when you position yourself as a platform for handset makers and carriers, and then turn tail and compete with them so early in the ecosystem seeding process, that has to be a wake up call that maybe the enemy of my enemy (Apple) is not my friend after all.

    The reasoning that Google may feel that they need to put destiny into their own hands RIGHT NOW is something that I blogged about in:

    Android’s ‘Inevitability’ and the Missing Leg

    Check it out, if interested.


  23. Daniel Owen

    Who is writting this stuff?

    "Google contradicts self, confirms own Googlephone"

    "Google has designed an Android-based handset that it intends to sell directly to consumers, according to multiple reports."

    So to be clear have Google confirmed it? Or is it just according to multiple reports?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Just because Google will sell the N1 doesn't contradict Andy's statement.

    But then, the people who write this stuff aren't big on details, logic, or even understanding the language are they.

    GOOG wants to ensure than anyone can use the latest Android toy. So in addition to T-Mobile selling a subsidized model they will directly sell and unsubsidized, unlocked model. Nothing really that earth-shattering here. Go to BBY and you can see various unsubsidized, unlocked devices available. The difference here is that both channels will be available at the same time.

    Let's hope this starts a trend away from subsidized devices and we can eventually force the operators where they should be; lowest-cost, race-to-the-bottom, bit pipe providers that one never has to see or deal with beyond a trivial monthly bill.

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