Last year, when announcing its Android mobile operating system, Google said it wouldn’t release an own-brand handset, but would instead develop software for ‘thousands of Google Phones’.
Robert X Cringely, better known as US tech journalist Mark Stephens, writes on his blog that Google is planning two Google Phone handsets. Both will reportedly run the Android platform and bear Google’s name. According to the blog post, the handsets will be released later this year and during the first quarter of 2009.
One of the rumoured handsets will be a smartphone, Cringely claims, while the other will be a humbler, lower-end offering.
“Here is what little I know, dropped in my lap this week by a loyal reader (you know who you are). There are two gPhones slated for release with the first coming in September and the second probably not appearing until after Christmas," Cringley writes.
"Given that the first is the high-end model and the second is cheaper, Google will probably expect to make as much money as possible on the higher-margin units at Christmas before revealing the budget model even exists. How Apple-like, eh?”
Wi-Fi enabled handsets
Both handsets will reportedly be Wi-Fi-enabled, and will possibly also feature a VoIP application. Samsung has been named as the manufacturer.
“The high-end phone will look somewhat like a Blackberry Pearl, but the screen flips up and there is a keyboard for texting. No word on pricing for the high-end phone, but the second model is intended to be less than $100 - AFTER Christmas,” said Cringely.
A Google press officer told TechRadar there are no plans for a Google-branded handset, but that the first Android-powered phones are still on course for later this year.