Google Phone By HTC – Early 2010?


The gPhone is still dead.

Despite two years of fighting off the gphone vs. android phone fallacy, people still didn’t get it. Starting with industry analysts who perpetuated the distant rumors, trickling all the way down to consumers who had no clue what Android was or is but have heard about some sort of Google Phone or gPhone, it was inevitable that we would always arrive at this dead end rumor. And frankly, I grew tiresome of having to re-explain the position every. single. time.

Then I called a couple people idiots.

That’s right – TheStreet.com published an article citing several souces, most notably Ashok Kumar and Michael Cote, both of whom lent their support that an actual Google Phone – the one I had denied for 2 years – was actually coming. Idiots. Not this again. So I did what any irritated blogger would do – I called them idiots.


Suprisingly enough, Michael Cote from The Cote Collaborative himself followed up with me and over the next several weeks we engaged in a number of conversations. I was skeptical/cautious, but I try to keep an open mind… and then he told me a few things in confidence that turned out to be true. He told me that “Droid” would be a family of phones – not just the Motorola Droid. He told me that the HTC Desire would be launching as the “HTC Droid Eris” around the same time as the Motorola Droid. NONE of these things had been published elsewhere yet… and then Engadget broke the news a few days after we spoke.

He was a few days off on the launch date, but unlike other analysts randomly spouting off at the mouth, it was pretty apparent this guy actually knew what he was talking about. We did talk at quite some length about the puported gPhone rumors, and Cote suggested some ideas I had not heard before, but I didn’t feel it appropriate to share them. Not yet at least.

And then yesterday, TechCrunch resurrected the Google Phone.

First let me share you what TechCrunch is saying… and I’ll continue with what I’ve heard and follow up with my own thoughts. The two TechCrunch articles (here is the second) make the following claims:

  • Planned for Holidays 2009, but delayed
  • Launching January 2010
  • Only Google branding… nothing else
  • HTC, LG and Samsung could all be the makers… but they think LG is “the one”
  • Could be data-only VoIP plans… no voice

So what did Michael Cote think about all of this?

  • January is optimistic, “first part of the year” would be more accurate
  • HTC is definitely making a Google Phone at Google’s request
  • Google is assisting and providing input on hardware decisions, but after acknowledging less than perfect hardware decisions on the G1 (which they did dictate) it’s more of a collaborative conversation… with Google merely insisting on certain ideals.
  • He can’t confirm/deny LG and Samsung Google Phones but thinks it unlikely at this point
  • Could eventually alter the economics of the industry

Alright we should pause for a minute here. What in the HECK is going on? Didn’t Andy Rubin SPECIFICALLY say that Google was NOT making hardware and would NOT compete with their customers, quoted directly in a CNET article:

“We’re not making hardware…We’re enabling other people to build hardware,” and “Rubin, vice president of engineering for Android at Google, scoffed at the notion that the company would “compete with its customers” by releasing its own phone.”

These don’t X-out the possibility of a Google Phone. Whereas people first viewed Android as an attack on the mobile hierarchy, we’re now seeing companies like Verizon fully embracing the concept. And that might be at the heart of this “Google Phone” confusion. If Google were to make a Google Phone its pretty obvious they would want to tightly integrate Google Voice. But after AT&T banned Google Voice from the iPhone App Store, Google felt like no carrier would allow them entry and the Google Phone wheels started turning a little faster in Mountain View. The Google Phone would be their way of leveraging Google Voice. It wasn’t until AFTER this that Verizon Wireless and Google entered into their agreement – where Verizon mentioned they would allow Google Voice – and Google was already set on releasing a holiday Google Phone.

Perhaps Andy Rubin is looking at the mobile world differently and honestly believes that a Google Phone is bringing even MORE opportunity to its customers/partners by once again changing the way the industry is perceived, operated and valued. Basically, Andy Rubin could be working with HTC to produce a Google Phone (working with other people to build hardware) with the understanding it wouldn’t compete with current customers but instead provide new opportunities (data contracts).

Well, didn’t HTC CEO Peter Chou recently ridicule Google, calling their practices “destructive” in a recent interview:

“HTC’s loyalty also extends to Google, even amid reports that the search giant is developing its own Android handset. “Google tries to do things differently from the rest of the industry,” Chou notes. While some of Google’s actions can be “destructive,” Chou says, HTC still values the partnership. “We’ve worked with Microsoft for 13 years … I also believe we can work with Google for a long time,” he adds.”

That would lend credibility to a possible Google Phone being created but perhaps NOT by HTC. And oh yeah, another “What the heck?” moment – isn’t this “Michael Cote” guy that I’m now quoting as a source also the same guy that I called an idiot”

“It’s a bit of a departure from Google’s strategy, but I think the speculation is valid,” says Michael Cote of the Cote Collaborative. And as for getting the phone to the market quickly, Google “would probably use a partner they are familiar with.”

Yes, indeed. But just as I call people out, people have the ability to call me out… and I admit when I’m wrong. I’m not ready to full on admit that yes – a Google Phone is coming and I definitely won’t stand by a timeframe of January 2010. But at the same time, from my conversations with Mr. Cote I have to retract that “idiot” statement and it appears I may be making good on a little side bet (see the comments of the idiot article) and acknowledging my own idiocy.

But give me a LITTLE credit here – I have always said that for Google to enter the handset market with their own Google Phone, they would have to do something pretty mind blowing. They would have to deviate from the status quo. And I’m not talking about hardware decisions only… I’m talking about software decisions, distribution agreements, the whole shebang. And perhaps the pieces are now in place to make that happen.

According to another source, Google is not working with any particular carrier on the Google Phone but instead will sell the device through retail channels. A carrier negotiation isn’t out of the question but at this point, isn’t in the cards. In addition to Wi-Fi it will likely have either EDVO Rev A or HSDPA which are the data connections for CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint and GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile (respectively). Representatives from the latter already allow customers to enter into data-only agreements that don’t demand a mobile phone service plan, so the idea is that the Google Phone would use these data connections to send and receive calls (VoIP) isn’t outrageous. In fact, several applications on Android Market do that now already… and I’m sure Google will be leveraging their new acquisitions (Gizmo5 and Admob) in this process.

So theoretically speaking, you could buy the Google Phone from a retailer at an electronics store, activate it on any carrier of your choosing (with regional limitations), enter into a drastically reduced monthly plan that is based ONLY on data connections, and use your phone just like you would your current phone. At home it would make/receive calls through Wi-Fi and on the go through a data connection. Yes… that is the kind of game changing move that might be worthy of a Google Phone and I think Peter Chou would be right to call that “destructive”. But hey, to build a much better bridge sometimes you’ve got to knock over the current one and start from scratch.

But it might not stop there… and please understand that this is PURE speculation on my part – but what if Google were able to really leverage their advertising network and the concept of geographic targeting to integrate a search and advertising solution in the Google Phone that would drive LOTS of revenue. The kind of revenue that makes up the bulk of Google’s profits with their Adwords/Adsense advertising system. Don’t you think that Google themselves might be willing to subsidize these phones considering that, without the subsidies of a mobile carrier, these phones would likely be a bit more expensive? Not that it will happen, but its something I’m sure all the players are thinking about.

Remember how AOL would produce seemingly billions of CD-ROMs and blanket the universe with them? They’re in your mailbox everyday, on every store counter, handed out at concerts – you can’t go anywhere without seeing one! And with every single one, AOL was giving away a free XX hour trial. Why? Because by paying for the CD-ROM manufacturing and giving a free trial, AOL was generating new customers, more eyeballs, more ad dollars, more subscriptions, more everything. That model worked brilliantly… and perhaps Google is going after the FREE mobile internet version of AOL. Only a mobile phone is a really expensive version of a CD-ROM!

I’m not ready to put my full stamp of approval on the Google Phone rumors being true. But I can tell you, if I were a betting man, 2 months ago I would have bet against a Google Phone being launched within the next year. Right now? I wouldn’t make that bet at all… and at this point it wouldn’t even surprise me. In fact, I’m kind of hoping I have to admit I was wrong all along and make that dreaded post because, come on people, there is no way Google would release their own phone if it didn’t absolutely rock.

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. Great article and very intriguing thoughts. I personally would like to see a google phone, but I also don’t work for any of the carriers. I imagine they would hate the idea, but I think there’s a definitive need for change in the way mobile services are provided, so I’m all for this kind of possible radical change.

  2. Damn Rob, that’s a mouthfull. Interesting to see how this plays out. LTE is gonna be VoIP in a couple years anyways. Hmmm…

  3. Honestly, who cares? As long as we continue to get Android powered phones brought to market I couldn’t care less if it’s made by Google, commisioned by Google and made by another manufater, or simply put out by HTC and the other cast of The Usual Suspects. All of this rampant speculation and pontification by supposed experts is counter productive and lends credence to those who say that Google has no idea what they’re doing and that the Android platform is doomed because of it. We should all sit back, enjoy the ride, and see what Android goodness comes out next.

  4. So, is the HTC Passion really the Google phone here? I mean, I thought they were separate but there’s almost an undertone here that they’re one in the same. PLEASE don’t tell me that because I’m hoping for a mid-Dec release of the Passion.

  5. Thanks for this report. Definitely the best I’ve seen so far on the subject. If it’s all true, here’s hoping for EVDO* (also a correction to EDVO).

  6. Please oh please tell me this isn’t going to be the Passion…I’m not wild about the Motorola and the Passion/Dragon has me drooling with anticipation for a Black Friday (okay, probably not) or December release.

  7. Some questions I would have is would the Google phone operating with just VOIP be able to transmit location for things like 911?
    Another problem would be companies limit or dont have tethering because of all the data. So they’re some how going to be able to handle a tidalwave of VOIP users?
    Unless the Passion is really the Google Phone, I dont see HTC making it. Why compete against itself unless they think not enough people have wireless at home ot use a wifi phone.
    What are all these sacrifices Google is supposedly making that they need their own phone? It cant be the changes and UI’s everyone uses because isnt that the point of Android?

  8. So what if Google is your carrier and acts as a sort of MVNO for all of the major carriers? It only operates over data connections and it connects to whichever network has the best speed? Google pays the carriers a portion of the ad revenue the phones generate…everyone wins! I don’t really think they could do something on that scale so quickly, though. And there would have to be A LOT of revenue generated to make up for $60/mo cell phone bill.

  9. If this was the plan wouldn’t Google have VOIP technology ready and waiting? I mean shit…. they just bought Gizmo5 the other day.

    I find it hard to believe that they are piecing together the code of Gizmo5 and GV for a gPhone. I would like to think they planed a little further ahead.

  10. If it exists at all, it could also be something comparable to a Skype phone (i.e. a simple device to access Google services over WiFi). This type of device would not compete directly with mobile handset vendors & operators.

  11. Color me confused. A “Google” phone to me implies it will be manufactured by Google, not HTC. Maybe Google has more input on the hardware, but I’m sure Google had input with the Droid as well. The only way to implement Android OS on any phone is through at least some level of collaboration. Perhaps I am being too literal, but when I think of the iPhone, for example, I think of Apple OS/Apple Hardware….not an iPhone by Motorola, HTC, Samsung, etc. with Apple’s collaboration. Either way, sounds like it’s going to be a great phone. Carrier news would be fantastic.

  12. TLDR, but at first glance it sounds like the Dragon/Passion turned G3 to me… I’m sad to hear that it’s delayed to 2010 if that’s the case.

  13. Whew, awesome article. Amazing work. I never believed in the Google Phone but I really hope it comes to fruition because of the cost savings of a data-only plan with VOIP. Cell phone bills are ridiculous these days and this would change everything. My current cell phone contract runs out in about a month so I’m hoping that more info leaks before I have to decide on a new carrier.

  14. Guys (& girls), do you ever actually read the articles that are linked?


    First thing says the Passion will be out very soon. It then says the passion is not the google phone, and goes on about the google phone.

  15. I really hope this is true. This semi-monopolistic cell phone carrier industry here needs to be shaken up with more competition. Most Americans don’t realize it, but we are way behind most of the rest of the world in the cell phone technology that we are getting, and I think it is definitely due to the carriers lock on the (high end) cell phone distribution with contracts. The carriers think they are helping their businesses by locking customers into contracts, but instead it has held down the industry and caused us to fall behind the rest of the industrialized world in percentage penetration of smartphones. Carriers should be dumb pipes you buy airtime on. Cell phones should be available to be purchased anywhere. I have been in countries where the business is that competitive. Bring on the changes!!

  16. I hope this means that Google Voice is ready for beta in Canada! I got an account but can not use it up here in Canada. :|

  17. Great article Rob.

    It would be *entirely* consistent with Google’s vision for them to launch an “any device, any network” phone, which works exactly as you describe — Google Voice running over WiFi at home, and through a CDMA/GSM data plan when traveling.

    Let’s not forget that Google poured billions into the FCC auction to trigger the open network provision (then backed off and let Verizon take it).

    The future of all communications is *clearly* a voip model, leaving today’s carrier cartel to be little more than wireless internet providers. All their make-believe services will disappear. Text messaging will be as free as it is today with MSN/AOL/Gtalk. It’s invevitable. It just needs someone to set the standard. Enter Google.

    And of course, all of this perfectly fits why HTC would call Google destructive.

  18. From the articles that I’ve read… I never thought it would be release in Jan. ’10 but that the advertising campaign would start late Jan. or Feb… I just hope Google doesn’t wait till the Google I/O in early May…

    I do really hope the manufacturer is HTC & that the phone will have both GSM & WiMax 4G ready @ launch… Since they already own part of the ClearWire WiMax soul…

    HTC is already testing a GSM/4G device over in Russia…


    If it all comes together… HTC Google VoIP GSM+WiMax 4G Android device… This will be a game changer…

  19. rob.

    it will take 2 months to travel from an asian foundry to USA retail outlets so figure out how long it takes to go from zero to sixty and kick them out the doors.

    give me something solid so i can conjure up a 55 gallon barrel to burn wood while waiting in line for one so i can keep my old bones warm.

    in 1984 i bought an untried new model BMW motorcycle, i’m still riding it.

    i get the same feeling about this.

  20. I don’t think Google would design a phone that uses an existing carrier’s data network to make voice calls. If the carriers felt they were losing revenue it would be very easy for them to hobble your data connection so that calls were dropped and quality suffered. Having such a phone and then having to rely on WiFi hotspots is pointless.

    I would put my money on a very cheap, but capable SIM-free handset, with the low price somehow acheived via advertising revenue. Perhaps a phone that received text messages containing ads that could be based on the locality you are currently in. In that model, you would pay very little for the handset, connect to any network you chose and would then automatically start receiving text / MMS / email messages as soon as you active your device.

  21. Although Appple wrote and designed the software and hardware of the iphone, it wasn’t manufactured or built by Apple.It was built in china by another company.

    So technically it can still be a Google phone as long as the OS and hardware is designed by Google.Anyone could be contracted to build it.

    Personally i am in favour of a Google phone. Am eager to see what its gonna look like. Google always think outside the box.

  22. unless this phone is dual band cdma/hspa i don’t see this working…at least in the US…the data coverage in this country is just not up to snuff…i live in florida so i am not to worried (we have great 3g coverage in this state from alomst all the carriers) but large portions of the country do not have 3g coverage not to mention that most of these carriers have been moving at a snails pace in nework upgrades

    still seems really unlikely to me

  23. I guess I am not as excited about Voip as others..but then I don’t even come close to using up all my minutes, and I’m on the lowest level minute plan. Until the data network is as reliable and available as the phone network, it sounds like a risky proposition to only rely on Voip.. and especially if you want to have your cake and eat it too, by having tethering.. There is already the perception that iphone data users are causing people to have dropped calls.. now I know that this is not the reason because the phone calls are not going through the 3G network.. but it could very well be the case if we squeeze everything through the same network.. Just my own thoughts on it.. I think I’ll keep my phone and data separate.

  24. Dennis: That’s exactly why you should be excited about VoIP. I’m a low minute user myself, but a heavy data user. If I can subscribe to a data service and not have to worry about a voice plan, that’s win/win for me. This might not be a good thing for people who are constantly making calls, as wireless data spots can be shoddy on all of the carriers, even Verizon. Heavy voice users will still want a voice plan for the times when they’re in areas with heavy data congestion or bad data connections.

  25. @Rob
    I think the words you used about sometimes needing to tear down the old bridge to build a better bridge is very instructive here. Google is clearly on a mission here. Back to basics: everything revolves around its wish to satisfy its users (consumers), be they the advertizers in Adwords or the end consumer with so many free apps: Gmail, Docs, Books, Scholar, Images, Talk, Voice (in US only currently), Calendar, YouTube, etc, etc. Google is masterful in balancing various interests but clearly its technology is DISTRUPTIVE (emphasis needed)….just ask the PNDs like Garmin and MapQuest, Microsoft (despite appearances), Yahoo, etc. Remember it bid on spectrum last year with the FCC, eventually won by Verizon, with the commitment that all devices could work on this new spectrum?

    Google clearly wants to speed up smartphone adoption where we are holding a powerful PC in our pocket linked ideally to the Google ecosystem. This Android world on mobiles is what Google wants on Chrome OS devices next year. It is seeking to keep things simple for the end user. Listening to the sample responses on this Board to your post, it seems people are excited by a data-centric device with VOIP attached. This will clearly make the end product simpler and CHEAPER, enhancing end user take up. More and more people in more and more situations will find it easy to attach to the Google ecosystem.

    The key question I have is not so much whether Google uses a different distribution channel for this device (if we are correct that it is coming?) like a BestBuy in the US or Curry’s or ASDA type stores in UK, but what push back will the network operators give Google. While this differentiated device should allow the still robust margins on voice and data plans currently, it will still be using a WiFi type network I believe which still puts strains on the networks. And yes I understand that Google’s deal with ClearWire/WiMax allows it to resell network usage, and yes the operators are aiming to deploy LTE which they say will be much cheaper to operate (ie, protecting their margins), there will be huge capital commitments to be made by the Verizons, ATTs, Sprints, Vodafones, etc that this device, if popular will strain in the near term. Will the operators try to object/push back in some way while they try to milk more profits from their existing 3G network? In the UK, fair use restrictions currently cap so called “unlimited data plans”….eg, Vodafone at 500 mb per month. Apple’s iPhone and Android devices already put huge strains on the existing 3G networks data capabilities (not such a problem if it was mainly voice use of course).

    So change is really coming and Google is leading it. But with what kind of push back??


  26. Question is .. would this phone be 4G compatible?

  27. Jerry: My best guess will be yes… Cause of Googles relationship with ClearWire… $500 Mil…


    Google is telling ClearWire… Don’t expect any more cash directly from us… But expect some from out customers… aka… GPhone owners…lol

  28. ClearWire = WiMax = 4G Cell…

    Which is already being tested in a few select markets in the US + Russia…


  29. wonder if this device is why it will cost you double to get out of a DROID contract.

  30. I’m glad I called you out on that post. Hopefully now you won’t be so quick to call names.

    Since I was kind of right I would give some grammatical advice: using caps on a single word for emphasis isn’t professional, either. Use bold or italics.


  31. I really do not see what the big deal is. The phone is going to run android like every other android phone. And 8 months from now there will be a phone that blows it away hardware wise and uses the same OS. The only possible intriguing idea is data only.

  32. An unlocked smartphone that is subsidized by Google ads and can do cdma and gsm could be a very disruptive idea. I don’t know about voip…this is just a phone and voip really depends on the network. But if it is easier to change carriers, we would see a lot more competition.

  33. How is google going to make more add money? Are they going to place adds on the phone dialer or your homescreen or are they just assuming that more phones with good browsers=more google users?

    I guess if it makes switching companies easier then that is a good thing, but in my area at least people don’t really choose a carrier based on price; some people go with t-mobile for the cheapest price, others with AT&T for the iPhone and others with Verizon customers want the best voice and data coverage. Verizon has the highest prices and had the worst phones for years, but they still had the most customers because of their network.

    Now, if phones go all VoiP are you going to want to be on Verizon or AT&T based on network coverage?

  34. Didn’t read all of the comments so please excuse if this has been said.

    Has anyone thought about that rumor of Google opening a music store? Could Google be making an IPod Touch like device that will also have VOIP and its down music store? Would something like this sell if you can’t use it on broadband? Or maybe you can use it on broadband. What is you simply have a data plan say for your computer and you can use your usb broadband modem with the device on any network? I have never used it and don’t know if they block VOIP but its a possibility right? And don’t Sprint and Verizon sell those little wireless broadband routers that you can carry around and connect with any PC over wireless? Or why not just build all the neccesary broadband antennas into the phone to cover all carriers.

    Thats my bet on it when you say “economic changer”. If they produce something its going to be the first phone that will work on virtually ANY network. And with all the carriers moving towards unlimited plans why wouldn’t they allow it? They’ll just up the data plans or make new ones that allow VOIP traffic. The days of a carrier specific phone could come to an end and the markets would immediately be flooded with this VOIP model. It would actually usher in a new age of telecom. Google would love this because it would push almost EVERYONE to move to smartphones where they can up the web traffic they receive.

  35. I trust that Google knows how to deal with ads. It is a big advantage that nobody else has (that’s why AdMob was so important). It probably won’t have the specs of that SonyEricsson but ads would allow it to be a very cheap, if not free phone. That’s the “big deal.”
    Another point: it would be a clearcut android phone. It would be ‘the’ Android platform to develop for. It wouldn’t be another android wannabe phone that takes a million years for the next OS update. It wouldn’t be like all those other phones that try to hide the fact that they use Android or depend on carriers to push it (“we have a Pre and a Blackberry and oh we also have an android phone”).

  36. Brief background on my situation:
    -Verizon customer
    -ne2 up was up in Sept.
    -Waited for the Droid
    -Got it
    -Returned it- didn’t like the weight and physical kboard
    -Excited about Passion/Dragon
    … and now this news…
    I like the coverage/reliability of the Verizon network. Would the gphone’s VoIP be as reliable as the Verizon voice service if I were broken down on the side of a road at 3am in a rural area?
    To get a gphone, would I be able to dump Verizon? Or would I still get the data plan through them? I had my heart set on the Passion/Dragon until I read this post a second ago. What would the Passion/Dragon have as pros over the gphone?
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

  37. Well, I’ll be a broken record here in the hopes that people who influence design decisions will start to pay attention:

    * Make it run standard Android.

    * Make the camera CCD as good as the one in any $250 camera — if it can’t take fast motion pics in good light and still pics in poor light, then it doesn’t deserve to exist in 2009.

    * Make the speakerphone LOUD.

    * Make the microsdhc slot accessible on the OUTSIDE of the phone!!! Its location on the G1 is incredibly stupid, and the droid is much, much worse!

    * Put in an FM tuner. Bonus points if it’s HD.

    * Put an option for voicemail storage ON the phone SD card.

    * Don’t skimp on the hardware buttons.

  38. Google is making all the carriers their bitch. They will release A google phone that operates over voice over ip

    AT&T didn’t ban google voice. Apple did.

  39. Fragmentation is a huge issue and google sees itself heading down the windows mobile route so I wouldn’t doubt it if google phone is coming.

    Think about it from a branding perspective. It’s google droid or droid. Rarely is any phone Refered to as verizon droid or motorola droid. Google is setting the chess pieces in play like they always do. It will probably be voice over ip …but with google ads included for subsidized service prices.

  40. Phil, I like where you are thinking. While reading up on Google’s new Chrome operating system today I realize that a whole lot of people can get by on nothing but web applications …and itunes. That Google has organized and packaged all the other information in the world, their lack of a Gtunes seems like the elephant in the room.

    Because Google already has VOIP service in Google Voice (which Verizon has begrudgingly agreed to allow) I think the rumors are plausible. I think this is especially true if Google can work out some sort of revenue sharing plan to make up for carrier loss of text message plunder.

    Based on their history, I don’t think that Google will side with any one manufacturer over an “Exclusive” Google phone though. If the rumored data only phone does come out, I’d wager that it will just be a promotional event tied to the release of the next Android phone, much like they announced turn by turn navigation for the Droid..and all Android 2.0 phones.

  41. First off this makes no sense at all, Do you know how much phones cost without a carrier picking up the cost of the phone to sell it to people. The droid by moto cost 569.99 full retail, how many user are will to shell out that kinda cash on a phone. And do you not think Verizon put something in the contract about Google not competing against them, Google did grant Verizon a 6 month right to droid 2.0. If anything the phone would be a droid phone and lunch on Verizon because its already clear that Verizon will be the carrier that makes or breaks droid. Do you really think droid would ever become a major platform while only on T-mobile or Sprint? You would need to put them together to get to the size of Verion’s customers base.

  42. The most disruptive thing Google could do would be to offer entirely FREE service. Who cares how much the phone costs, when most of us are paying $100/month?

    Google wouldn’t jump into the hardware game to build a better device (they already work with manufacturers on that) or to try to create something to compete at the iPhone’s price point. The reason Google would jump into the hardware game is to manufacturer something cheaply to give away for free:


  43. Rob Jackson: With all of the HTC Passion/HTC Dragon/Google VoIP Device by HTC rumors from this past months & this past week …. We still seem to not have an answer to a one of the basic ?’s… So I am posting this to all with some source(s) that might be able to get an answer…

    -1. Does the “Game Changer” HTC Dragon = Google VoIP Device by HTC … (I believe it does, or it wouldn’t be a “Game Changer”, enough Android SnapDragon phones as coming out already from other manufacturers but a Data Only Device will be a game changer…)

    –2. Does the Verizon HTC Passion = “Game Changer” HTC Dragon = Google VoIP Device by HTC … (I am divided over this… On the one hand if Google was going to release a Data only device on the current market, Verizon would be the perfect network to release it on, there is a map for that… If what the device needs is data only… Then that map is a must for widespread data connectivity… On the other hand if Google is bypassing the carriers then the HTC Passion is probably just a HTC phone with Sense 2.0 & still needs the voice contract of it for phone calls… So the Passion just might be a 1Ghz HTC Hero with new Sense UI on it & not the HTC Dragon it self… + both seem to have different rumor time of releases… HTC Passion = Mid Dec. ’09 & Google VoIP Device first half of 2010)

    —3. From the different blogger’s with sources on this phone(s)… Can the mix up on carriers or GSM/HSPA vs CDMA stories be related to there being two different devices that are being discuss as one…. This has been my guess for a while… or a device that can do both CDMA & GSM/HSPA on the same device… Even better but less likely..
    What dare say u & u’r sources…???

  44. If this would all be a data plan only then Verizon stands to benefit the most from this device, since they have the largest 3G coverage in the US. It kind of makes you wonder why they have been agressively touting their 3G map against AT&T. I would want to have this phone with a carrier that covers data on the largest scale available. I will probably buy a Droid while all of this plays out but will not enter into any contract agreement, this is game changing and I can see Google/HTC delivering a revolutionary device and service!

  45. I have no doubts, google well be releasing there own phone, but i also believe this is going to be one step to start moving how the whole cell phone industry does business. Why do you have to have a call plan and a data plan when just having a data plan on a internet based phone(netbook,lapotp or any other small device able to communicate through IP) would be enough to have Voip routed to that device to make regular phone calls. At&t always loves to milk as much money from there dying infrastructure till they have to put money in and come up with better stuff. Can’t blame them they see things from a business standpoint to make there inventors happy. But one thing most business don’t see is how to actually start placing new innovations that can reach more of the market. free B!

  46. For those who don’t want to follow my links, here is the quote from the techcrunch article which establishes with relative certainty from a ‘rumor’ perspective that this is not the google phone:

    “The debate over Droid v. iPhone rages on, but lots more Android surprises are on the way. Get ready for the Google Phone. It’s no longer a myth, it’s real.

    The next “super” Android device will almost certainly be a HTC phone that’s much thinner than even the Droid or iPhone – The Dragon/Passion. This is the phone the senior Android guys at Google are now carrying around and testing, at least as of a couple of weeks ago. If you’re willing to give up the Droid’s keyboard, the Dragon/Passion is going to be a really cool phone. It should be fully available very soon.

    But it isn’t the Google Phone. Everything up until now has just been a warm up to the Google Phone.”

  47. wireless internet is simply the best though sometimes the signal fluctuates depending on the weather condition “”

  48. i like wireless internet because you can surf anywhere and you can avoid those ethernet cables ,;,

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