Eldar Murtazin: Google Phone Is Fake, Apple Started Rumors


fake-gphoneEldar Murtazin is not only the editor of Mobile-Review, but also one of the most well respected and best connected tech journalists on the planet. When he weighs in on a rumor, people listen, and he has been right time and time again. Now Murtazin is weighing in on the Google Phone, aka Nexus One, dismissing the development as fake and claiming that the rumor mill may have been started by Apple. Wow.

When the rumors first squirted out and the WSJ published the Nexus One name, the avalanche began. Murtazin was quick to jump on the opposing side, claiming the whole thing just didn’t make sense and/or fit into Google’s strategy as a software company and his conclusion (translated) of the rumors was, “I do not believe in them.” This is what I’ve said all along but as the opposition mounted, I conceded the point that a Google Phone could exist and have jumped right into the rumor train the past few days.

But Murtazin didn’t stop at making a lengthy blog post… he also took to Twitter and began justifying his position.One of his justification seems to come from a conversation he had with a Google employee who said the story is much different than it looks:


Different as in… this is just another Android Phone and not the “Google Phone”? Hmmm… that’s exactly what his follow up tweet seems to indicate. And then his tone takes a turn into a much more, shall we say ominous realization:


Talk about dirty tactics!?!?! That is exactly what Murtazin explains in his article, that a rival company would love to stir up ill-will towards Google by claiming they’re going to begin competing with their own allies and partners in the OHA. But what company would stoop to such a low level?

That’s the exact question that Merajc tweeted to Murtazin and the response could make this whole thing get pretty ugly:


And just for clarifications sake, someone followed up showing him that the Nexus One and Google Phone had been confirmed – how can you argue with that? When a user named VolodymyrQA tweeted an article from PocketGamer with the headline “Google Phone Confirmed” Murtazin simply @replied with this:


All this happened on December 13th and in the past 2 days a lot more has happened. What Murtazin has to say is based on opinion and speculation but he is certainly the type of person that would know. On the other hand, plenty of credible sources have gone along with the rumors which Murtazin says Apple started. Its pretty much impossible to pinpoint who started such rumors especially since these rumors have existed for some time… it would be like trying to find the starter of Apple Tablet rumors or Playstation Phone rumors.

Any way you look at it we’ll find out the truth in the VERY near future as the phone is rumored to begin selling as early as January 5th. There have been SOOOO many articles about the Google Phone and Nexus One that assume truth and fact, I wanted to present this opposing opinion to even things out. If you can remember, I’ve shared the same opinion as Murtazin for quite some time and I’m incredibly eager – as you are – to see where it all heads.

[Original Image via Wired.com]

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. It make sense that Google would provide or subsidize an Android phone available to the employees. What I don’t think makes sense is the rumor that they will sell this phone to the public at this same great deal. But we shall see what happens in the next few days or weeks.

  2. That’s just it…until we get some official documentation on the Google Phone/Nexus One everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt. True with all the pics and FCC filings its hard not to feed into the hype but as of now nothing is really clear cut. We don’t even know the specs of the device yet.

  3. booooo!

  4. Interesting story! I still think that this thing is real but not sure about the Jan release date

  5. Also what if Google made the rumour that Apple started the rumour to let things die down a bit before they confirm it…..just a thought

  6. I guess anything is possible, but the evidence supports the rumors. Or should I say the rumors support the phone.

  7. If this rumor was created by a competitor then I’m not sure it’s having the effect they intended. The fact is it is generating a ton of press about Android and the tech community seems to be very excited about it. Even if it is fake it does seem to indicate a potential market for an unlocked phone that works on both the T-Mobile and ATT 3G networks.

  8. I’ll buy that it’s just a Rumor, but a move by Apple to cause trouble for Google and its partners? In that case Google would have gone on record to the contrary, way beyond the cryptic teasers we’ve seen.

  9. My guess is that if the phone was a fake or somehow an attempt to limit the sale of other Android devices (regardless of manufacturer or carrier), Google would have spoken by now to protect their business interests… I would not understand why you would let ‘rumors’ limit sales of existing hardware.

    Of course, it just may be the update to the G1.

    I’d rather wait for facts rather than wild speculation.

  10. this phone always had the feel of *another Android phone* to me.

    +, it’s waay too ugly for Google to put their name on it.

    but not too ugly for me to sell someone else’s 1st born to get one. :^o

  11. The real question is: Is it really a “Google Phone” or just another Android device released by HTC running Android 2.1 and is the next Dev Phone for Google?

    Clearly Google is ready to make a move with it’s acquisition of Gizmo5 into some serious VOIP services but are they ready to make that move so soon? I’m doubtful.

    Either way, I’m not interested in a phone without a physical keyboard. I’m happy with the Droid, and when a 2.1 update or unofficial download becomes available I’ll grab it and continue to be happy.

    Now when they make a phone that doesn’t require a contract with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc, and provides additional services/features that make it worth while to switch, I’ll make that switch. But right now, making VOIP calls over 3G hasn’t been perfect, so I don’t believe that’s the route they’re going at this time. And therefore I don’t see a compelling reason to ditch my carrier just yet. When I hear a compelling reason, then I’ll ditch em!

  12. Here’s an idea that i’m really surprised no one thought of writing about. I mean…I believe that we can interpret the GPhone thing as a real deal in the following context: This Nexus-One or call it as you will is probably the next Dev Phone (Google phone) which will be sold directly by Google to the customers..(just like with the Dream and Magic Dev phones). Possible? I guess so… More likely than the other bunch of gossips? Yes!

    Any Comment on this?

  13. it all sounded pretty untrue to me! i mean the FCC just cleared the “Nexus One” on Monday but it was given out to employees on Friday the previous week?? Also, why would Google compete against their partners Moto & Samsung? Not a good plan.

    Although selling an unlocked phone is smart because Google would get revenue from outright sales for AT&T users, but there would be little gain since there’s no 3G ability with AT&T service. (didn’t stop me with my iPhone on TMo)

    And last, all the pictures of the different versions of Android I’ve seen Passion Bravo and now Nexus One… all considered the same phone?? not buying it, but i want one

  14. All this hype is lost on me???

    Google currently sell an unlocked android phone direct to the public. It’s called the G1 Developer Phone. They have done this for some time now. It’s getting a bit long in the tooth now and needs an update to handle the newer features. Hence the Nexus One, a better phone which they will also sell direct if anyone wants one.

    What is the big deal, where is the “shiny new thing” here? Other than a nice hardware upgrade.

  15. I think the phone is real. Murtazin has his tinfoil hat on if he thinks Apple started this rumor. Why hasn’t Google denied it? Why hasn’t HTC denied it? Neither company has so much as mentioned anything about the rumors.

    Commentors here posted that they think Google would offer such a phone to employees at a subsidized price. lol. Google doesn’t SELL subsidized phones to its employees.. it GIVES THEM TO THEM FOR FREE!

    And I’m not surprised that nearly all Droid owners find various different faults with the Nexus One (i.e. ugly or no keyboard or voip is unreliable). You just paid $200 for the Droid, signed a 2 year agreement, and may be subject to a $350 ETF. Your skepticism of the Nexus One is to be expected.

    To me this sounds like the perfect companion phone to the G1. if I can buy it for $200, pop my SIM in it whenever I want, and use my G1 whenever I want a phone with a keyboard. Nice.

  16. Dude is very obviously full of crap.

    We’re not talking about rumors anymore, we’re talking about a physical thing. We have photos, and reports from non-Google employees that this thing exists and works. And if it’s in Google’s hands now it’ll be in our hands soon, since no one at this point, not even Google, would spend the millions to fund a hardware prototype without the expectation of being able to mass market it.

    Now, the idea that it will be sold unlocked, or branded only with Google, and so on and so forth are still rumors, but that stuff is of only marginal importance, IMHO. The important fact (and it is quite clearly a FACT) is that this device exists.

  17. WTF? the firmware is running on other phones! That’s a hell of an elaborate rumor!

  18. The phone is DEFINITELY coming, I can confirm that 100%. It’s possible that what he “found out” is just that the rumored business model (Google subsidizing the phones so they’re only $200) is the part that’s not true. It would be a blow to Google if the public found out that they are going to be much more expensive than that after it was rumored that they’ll be super cheap.

  19. PS I don’t actually know if the business model part is true or not — we shall see :-)

  20. just like watching such drama going on and on. No matter what Nexus one still drew every bodies’ eyes. Let’s hope its not fake, and we shall see. just know either Bravo or Nexus one is my next phone

  21. about a week ago we were saying the bravo/passion was going to be released in January, gsm (TMO) early and cdma (verizon) later in the month. Maybe thats what we’re still looking at.

  22. Noah Y, you don’t get it. if it is just another HTC phone for t-mobile then it is not the *Google* phone.

  23. If this was not the Google Phone and the rumors were planted to stir up trouble with other Android phone manufacturers, Google would have issued a press release to clarify. I’ve marked my calendar for Jan 5. – Buy Google Phone for $199.

  24. Remember that Google DID sell Dream/G1 Developer Phones… SO this could be the next Google Dev phone…

  25. He’s probably right. Yeah, there’s a phone, the Nexus One. Yep, passed the FCC but under HTC’s name with T-Mobile bands. Yeah, Google got a phone that looks unbranded, but they’ve gotten dev phones in the past so this is no great indicator of what the consumer version will be. So there’s nothing but rumor to support more than the following: the HTC Nexus One is slated for T-Mobile. Google phone sold and subsidized by Google? In January? RUMOR. Sorry folks.

  26. for a phone thats rumored to be sold as early as jan. 5th and its already in the hands of employees its weird that no specs other then the bands have surfaced….is it that google made their people sign a disclaimer???

  27. I do get it, I just don’t give a shit. What “The Google Phone” means is just a set of conjectures anyway, so whether this or any other phone is “The Google Phone” isn’t even capable of being true or false.

    What I want is a fast, hi-res, 2.x device on T-Mobile, and this looks like it fits the bill. Whether it’s Google-branded or not, sold unlocked or not, sold with data-only plans or not, matter not one tiny little bit.

  28. Google hasn’t denied it, so it’s true.

  29. This always felt like a developer phone to me. It’s too soon for any VOIP game changing phone (3g isn’t prolific enough and is edge even good enough for calls with no drops will maybe also streaming other data?)

    It would probably mean exactly what Biggles said. HTC Nexus One on TMobile, probably in January like rumors pre google phone said. I’m guessing that means you might see Sense 2.1 on this as well.

    I’m just hoping there is still a CDMA verizon version right around the corner. Just announce it already so I don’t have to be lead astray and buy something else verizon you fools!

  30. Why wouldn’t Google just come out and deny it..

  31. I think all the evidence ads up to a Google phone:

    Google’s recent acquisitions of Voip and a mobile ad company, Google Voice (which is only really fully useful as an online service, and which negates the need for airtime minutes in favor of data), companies like at&t and T-mobile opening up (or expressing openness) to data only situations.

    Also, Apple is rumored to be looking into a voip acquisition. What’s up with that except that Apple, too, sees the writing on the wall? And buying lala? More strain on already overburdened networks…

    This is bigger than Google, this is telecom in general. I think everyone involved sees a new wave swelling. Google wants to get to the crest first.

  32. And none of this is reactionary. These people know what they’re doing years before we do.

  33. If the phone is real, is released on T-Mo with the same specs as rumored and comes with stock Android 2.1, I’m going to get it. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a Google phone or not. As long as it is a “Google experience” phone then I’ll be happy.

  34. “Hmmm Google Phone is a kind of fake finaly. Just finish conversation with some guy from Google, story looks in other way then it was discuss.”

    This guy writes like a moron.

  35. Noah Y “Whether it’s Google-branded or not, sold unlocked or not, sold with data-only plans or not, matter not one tiny little bit.”

    it sure does because that’s why everyone is so excited by it. They think it will save them a ton of money

  36. dhill: “I’m just hoping there is still a CDMA verizon version right around the corner. Just announce it already so I don’t have to be lead astray and buy something else verizon you fools!”

    Verizon may very well get an even better HTC phone after the holiday season and this Nexus won’t be such a big deal anymore.

  37. 15. Miguel wrote on December 15, 2009

    ‘companion phone’? Really? The day I have to start choosing between which phone I want to carry around with me because one has a keyboard and the other doesn’t, or whatever ridiculous reason to ‘choose’ is the day I should just check out.

    A multipurpose gadget/phone is not so multipurpose that you need TWO? uh huh, yea.

    But seriously: nope, it’s not that the phone doesn’t seem cool *waves fingers magically* oooo, or anything, it’s just that I *like* my Droid. I really, really do. it’s not a honeymoon thing, as I’ve had it for almost two months now…*I LIKE IT*.

  38. And for the record…the HTC phone I’ve had in the past, was plastic-y, and seemingly cheap; although I did like the screen.

    But for now, HTC is stuck in my head as plastic and cheap. Sorry, just IMHO.

  39. “Why hasn’t Google denied it? Why hasn’t HTC denied it?”

    Because everybody is talking about it. People are talking about android, about google, about HTC… It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. It’s the publicity that counts. You want people talking.

  40. I spoke to a Apple employee who claimed “The rumor of this rumor being a hoax is also a rumor.” and that this rumor of the rumor being a hoax is Microsofts way at getting back at Apple. The plot thickens!

    Really, that is just as credible as the above story… and is more likely to hold more truth unfortunately.

    The Nexus One IS real and it IS running 2.1.

    K thx bye

  41. pundits get paid to pundit.

    when they’re right they beat on their chests and say i told you so.

    when they’re wrong they remain silent until our attention span and memories wane.

    either way who is this guy and who pays him or which sources does he curry favor from and why should i care when on russian christmas i’ll either see it or not regardless.

    if he’s right wrong, will phandroid repost his punditry?

  42. If Apple did such a thing as….starting a rumor to try and slow Googlers then that proves they know Google….ain’t no joke and they fear that……ain’t no joke LOL for reallll

  43. When i sit there playing with my Nexus One on January 5th, i will come back to this article and comment how Eldar Murtazin made a fool out of himself.

  44. @Charlie – He is Russian..

  45. Building a custom 2.1 build and leaking the system dump is a pretty elaborate hoax …. yeah not a hoax ;)

  46. I. just. don’t. get. it…

    Why would Apple start a rumor that hypes up the whole world (NOBODY mentions iPhone atm, it’s all Google Google Google), why at a time when money is spent on phones and right now half of them hold off to see what is going to happen. Doesn’t Apple shoot itself in the foot with rumors like that? I bet even IF this turns out to be YAAP (yet another Android phone), I bet some people are triggered enough to get it anyway. Heck I know I am… it whet my appetite and I want one… true Google or not.

    Can anybody explain WHY Apple would start a rumor that potentially hurt themselves and put somebody else in the limelight? As I said, even if all this is just a rumor, Google must be laughing it’s head off for all the hype and might even conclude it IS time to introduce this phone after all based on the past few days.

    I am not saying Eldar Murtazin is a fool, it just seems… far fetched, that’s all.

  47. Wait…we have pictures of a device we have already known to be being made, we have an FCC listing, we have have people talking about owning it, we have videos, we have a system dump…and Eldar says it doesn’t exist…What?!

  48. i think eldar was right in some sense, that this isnt a “google phone” but more likely another android phone that will come to t-mobile. google probably gave it out to their employees to test out android 2.1 before the launch

  49. engadget.com sure thinks this thing’s legit

  50. And if it is just a dev phone handed out to Google employees, did Apple have its rumor all ready to go for that day? Or did it – with astounding mental reflexes – devise the rumor as soon as they heard?

  51. A new phone from HTC is coming. It may have the latest version of Android on with some cool new features. That is all.

  52. I remain hopeful for a voip data only Google phone making full use of Google Voice.

    I have no choice because my identity and my sense of well being are riding on it.

  53. Hmmm. I put all of the rumours together and say that this latest one has a ring of truth to it. We have seen leaks that say the Passion/PassionC was due Dec 2009. That release was said to be pushed forward to Q1 Jan 2010.

    That tidbit coincides with this latest banter on the Google phone release (Nexus One says January 5th). It is Tmo bound (as was Passion), is similar to the phone expected and Tmo has been hush-hush during the Christmas phone wars until now.

    Add to that the fact that a schematic was leaked and that Google Voice invites are (now) as scarce as hen’s teeth and you begin to get a picture. This dry up in invites is on the heels of a Google announcement that they were releasing invites to all users…and then NOTHING! – I ask…Why?

  54. i still want to know what’s going on with the htc bravo. that’s the one i really want.

  55. A data only phone isn’t going to save anyone a dime at this point, unless you truly don’t need to make calls at all. VOIP-over-3G is not ready for prime time.

  56. @NowVoyager:

    Would you elaborate on the part about Google Voice invites? What does the scarcity of invites imply?

  57. Also, when you say Google was going to release invites to all users, do you mean all users of Google Voice, or all users of Gmail?

    I’m a Voice user and I did get three invites a while back (all gone now.)

  58. All this is the same hype that happened with G1, when it was stubbornly called Google Phone, while coming out as TMO G1 and HTC Dream. This one will be sold as HTC Nexus One, not Google Phone.

  59. Its definitely real, some employees at google already have it. There are also many legit pictures floating around the web that look pretty convincing. Eldar Murtazin is dead wrong. Why would Apple make up a rumour they don’t care about google? This phone will come out in january, peroid.


  61. I haven’t seen a pic of any phone with ‘Google’ on the front. It’s just another HTC phone for t-mobile. It’s not going to be the subsidized unlocked VOIP phone that will change the world

  62. @NowVoyager: I got 3 Google Invites in my Voice inbox just the other day, and a few friends received their Google invite about a week ago. I am not sure where you get the impression invites are sparse now.

    And I’m with others: would you care to elaborate what writing you see on the wall here?

  63. He could be onto something. After all, how do we know this is in fact the Nexus One? I thought it looked the same as the bravo/Passion so for all we know it may just be. And with Apple and Pixar, why wouldn’t Apple have the technology to completely fake images?

    And didn’t anyone else find it odd that someone took a photo of it with an iphone in hand and all the technology associated (the laptop for instance) was by Apple? Not to fan the flames but it could be a very elaborate Apple hoax.

  64. Not surprised. The idea that the Nexus One was the cirrent dev phone and soon to represent the current flagship hardware is a given. We’ve seen specs for the Bravo and seen pics of that and the Passion for a while now. It was always just a matter of when.

    The less likely (but more interesting) parts about a new sales model could very much just be rumors. Either way it doesn’t really bother me. I’m glad to see Android moving along and carriers talking about releasing this new hardware and software within the first half of 2010. This is getting closer to what I had hoped for in Android and will probably be the point where I finally leave Palm and Windows Mobile for Android. Anything else will just be a pleasant surprise as far as I’m concerned.

  65. I really think it doesn’t make much sense, the operating system its whats important, even if the GPhone was good, other companies are releasing other models that are as good or better. Google wants variety of hardware, but with Android OS inside and for the OHA members that make the phones that’s a winner deal too.

  66. we are forgetting that it is confirmed by the wall street journal as true. they are not im the business of spreading rumors. so as far as im concerned bring it on.

  67. @ Luffy – good Idea. I’m sure the phone will come.

  68. Nobody is denying the existance of this phone, they are denying the fact it’s unlocked ultra phone with VOIP only “real” Android and others.

    The phone is of course real.. but the likelyhood of it being a Google phone seem slim, there is no Google branding, there is nothing Google special.. it will very well be an HTC branded phone on T-Mobile and the next Google dev phone.

    Some of the rumors before

    “REAL ANDROID” – Basically the rumor was that this runs the first full Android and ones prior were basically “baby” Android.. laughable and of course false.

    “VOIP Only” – The fact that VOIP hardly works over 3G never mind edge makes this a pretty bad rumor.. then think about any wireless provider. AT&T is not going to let a data hog on their network without getting revenue from voice.. T-Mobile may but their 3G network is too small to do this well.

    This is shaping up to be a nice phone but game changer and is a pretty big stretch. I personally can’t understand what Google would have to benefit from making any kind of Google Phone move because it would just overshadow other Android phones and really defeat the point of Android.. people like Motorola, HTC, and others will not be happy if their sales are dropping because of a Google phone.. support might drop off and they could very well be handing Windows Mobile an opening it needs.. so Google would be almost fighting Apple if that happened.. not a good situation to be in.

  69. I’d be interested to see how many readers have actually cancelled contracts to wait for this phone. I did and I know of a few others from reading this and other blogs.

  70. The phone will come, the pictures don’t lie.

    But I think Murtazin is right once again. The rumor, this could be the Google Phone helps Apple right now!
    I bought a Milestone/Droid three weeks ago and even though I am very happy with this phone (in fact, it’s just awesome!), I felt sorry since the first pictures came out.
    That’s, and I think everyone of you understands, how much a real google phone attracts me.

    So I guess many people are shying away from buying the droid/Milestone right now, in the hope to get a “superior” smartphone, the “google phone” in no time.

    Now guess what happens if it tends to be there is no such thing, the nexus one is just another android phone.
    Many would be hugely disappointed, maybe even shy away from Android an go back or move towards Apple again, where everyone knows, what he gets.

    If, and even though I believe Murtazin I wouldn’t bet money on it, this is the google phone (with that I mean unlocked, to be bought at a very cheap price), on the other hand, Motorola, HTC, Samsung LG and Acer would really look bad…

  71. I expect this is NOT the VOIP gPhone, that it IS the next phone off the HTC Assembly Line that is backed by google to market as they see fit. Currently it is ‘expected’ that the phone will cost $200 from Google and get your voice/data plan thru TMob. Is this “The Google Phone”? Nope, and as you might recall it hasn’t been confirmed by Google that is what Nexus One is. Anyone tried calling up Larry Page and asking him? But with the prior expectations of ‘something in VOIP’ … then that is what I expect WILL be THE Google Phone, when you see the VOIP Icon. This is Nexus One… don’t shoot till you see the VOIP in their eyes!

  72. Well, this is pure BS, the Google phone well the Nexus One has already passed the FCC. Top news reporting companies such as CNN & ABC have been reporting about it. And Google already trademarked the Nexus One name. so this blogger is just completely uninformed, and most likely an IPhone fanboy.

  73. What is the phone on the picture? It looks great and I don’t mind which brand it is…

  74. http://phandroid.com/2009/12/15/google-trademarks-nexus-one-name/

    it’s all an elaborate hoax to steal april fool’s day and turn it into jan 5th.

  75. This is a ridiculous article!

    The google phone is 100% true as I had it in my hands the other day. At the time I didnt know what it was as my friend at google just showed it to me fast. Its a beauty too…

    As for free data I dont know. They didnt have a SIM card in it yet and it was somehow receiving e-mail. I dont think there was free wifi either. I guess we’ll find out in time.

  76. Ooooops its lives, Any comments now its proved to be real from all the “experts” out there ?

  77. after that, google didn’t send the phone to him!

    ps – not all russian like him, liar!

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