gPhone, gPhone, gPhone


How many times does the distinction between an Android enabled phone and a gPhone need to be made before people get the hint? We’ve been through this before… but yet again, unfounded and baseless rumors about an apparent “gPhone” – a physical Google branded piece of hardware – have escaped the mouths of those who should know better.

Let me explain it to you:

When Google announced Android they said they were NOT announcing a gPhone but rather a device that would allow for hundreds of different gPhones meaning any hardware running Android could essentially be called a gPhone.

It is entirely within the realm of possibilities that Google will one day release HARDWARE called the gPhone, but any rumors you hear about that now are nothing more than confusions. Take for example the most recent suggestion that a gPhone is in the works:

Dan Cox of the Hollywood Reporter wrote an article saying, ““The trio of Google execs also used the opportunity to talk about the inroads the company is making with its own branded mobile phone as a replacement for the iPhone.”

Google branded mobile phone? Google branded mobile phone. Google branded mobile phone.

That is the only thing many people read/heard and they immediately pointed to this as juicy evidence that Google was in fact plotting to take over the world with a phone of their own! Its not so… folks… at least not yet. This is a simple misunderstanding of one reporter trying to explain Android phones, slipping up the semantics and everyone else reading between the lines that don’t exist.

So now you’ve got the spark for a rumor fire and TechCrunch poured on a couple barrels of gasoline, saying they have a reliable source who swears Google IS developing a gPhone and that it is being developed by Ammunition Group. TechCrunch is an incredibly reliable source themselves and Arrington and his gang get the rumors right more often than not, which explains the storm of “The gPhone Lives!” posts made around the world shortly after.

Phandroid is here to tell you that you should NOT expect a gPhone anytime soon and we have an incredibly reliable source named LOGIC.

Google wants desperately for Android to become a success and to make this happen they MUST have the support of their OHA partners. There is no WAY that Google would release a Google Branded gPhone, stealing the spotlight of the OHA whom Google would begin competing with directly.

Hate to tell ya, Betty but it ain’t gonna happen.

Apple building the iPhone was not a stretch… it was a shift into a very similar, parallel market. They already built hardware. They begun dominating consumer electronics with their MP3 player. The iPhone was the logical next step.

Google doesn’t do hardware… Google does software. That’s why Android was the next, logical step – it makes perfect sense. Plus, Google wouldn’t actually be MAKING their own gPhone, would they? Nope. That’s why the Ammunition Group rumors seem somewhat logical. Much like Garmin is contracting a seperate company to create their upcoming phone – the Garmin Nuvifone – Google would be doing the same.

So whats the point? Is it really a gPhone if someone else is making it? Uhhh, thats what an Android phone is anyways, what is the point in branding the hardware as Google’s when we know Google doesn’t make it? Would Google design it? This is all getting very confusing…

Google COULD release a gPhone, sure. But what would be the motivation? Competing in the hardware business seems like much too far of a stretch in and of itself, at least in the short term. How would releasing a phone align with Google’s current strengths and goals?

Google’s current model seems to be providing products and services for free and monetizing the usage with targeted and relevant advertising. So what if Google had a company like Ammunition Group create a gPhone, customers would pay for it but service was 100% free and subsidized by built-in advertising?

THAT would align with Google’s core goals MUCH better than these other rumors. I doubt Google has much intentions of making 1 gPhone device to go head to head with the iPhone when not only do they have NO experience with hardware, but their much more experienced OHA brothers and sisters have had a difficult time competing with the iPhone as well.

Who really knows what will happen and if/when an actual gPhone will surface? Regardless, that shouldn’t be the focus… for us OR Google. The focus should be making sure Android -as a PLATFORM – is successful. And after that, perhaps discussion about some kind of gPhone will have merit.

But until we have something more decisive and Android is actually on the market, can we please put these gPhone rumors to rest? Afterall we still don’t have any real information on the HTC Dream gPhone which is supposed to be the first gPhone.

Wait, did I just say gPhone? Oops.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. So Ammunition Group is making a phone running the Google Android OS, that doesn’t mean that Google is going to be the company actuallz developping the phone and selling it. With the Android project, Google is working on hardware, thez are working with Motorola, with Samsung, with HTC, with Marvell, with Texas Instruments, NTT Docomo, China Mobile and many other hardware manufacturers. Google has some of the worlds most talented hardware people on their Android team, the fact that Google is helping all those hardware companies successfully launch gPhones doesn’t mean that Google is directly going to be selling and branding all the phones.

  2. I think google would be better off teaming up with one (or more) of their hardware vendors and releasing a gPhone branded phone. At a minimum they should rename Android to gPhone OS. The fact is that gPhone is just a better name than Android. If I ever mention Android when talking to people i just get confused looks but if I say gPhone then everyone seems to know what I’m talking about.

  3. You hit the nail on the head with this one as most people are confused to what Android really is, but essentially any phone that has Android installed on it would essentially be a GPhone.

    I posted about this as well today at http://www.googleandblog.com/hollywood-dont-know-googily-about-android/314/

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