Google phone rumours: free VoIP calls

Yesterday we reported that a Google Phone announcement is due within the next couple of weeks. Now, rumours have bubbled up naming a potential manufacturer of the device. reports that Chinese mobile handset manufacturer e28 is going to be a Google Phone handset manufacturer and also provide the software for the handset.

e28? Never heard of them

e28 is reportedly developing a wireless VoIP system that will reshape the entire mobile industry. If this is one of the foundations of Google's phone plans, it would make it a serious rival to the Apple iPhone.

Dig around on the e28 website and you'll see that the company already produces a roster of smartphones. Its quad-band R2821 handset is powered by Linux and features Wi-Fi (802.11b) and a digital camera. It's VoIP-capable and also features GPS functionality, which would be ideal for Google Maps.

The Blackberry-a-like E2881 is another option. Again, it's a Linux-fuelled phone. And while it's not as sexy as the iPhone, it's a quad-band handset, ups the Wi-Fi support to 802.11g and packs in a 2MP camera and that handy GPS.

VoIP is the next big thing

If these rumours have any truth to them it looks like making free or low-cost VoIP calls on your mobile phone (like the new 3 Skypephone, announced earlier this week) could well usher in a mobile revolution.

India Street also reported that an open Linux platform is likely to be added to the Google Phone. This would allow any programmer to develop add-on applications (such as the ones popping up on Facebook) and easily add those to the device.

The report states that e28 is unlikely to get the exclusive manufacturing rights, suggesting that the likes of LG and HTC are also in with a shot.