October 20, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
You’ve probably read – or will read – about the possibility that Google is developing its own Android phone. According to an analyst quoted by The Street, Google is working with a design partner to build a g-branded Android phone that would be unlocked and sold in retail outlets rather than in carrier stores.
Ignore this rumor because it’s probably horseshit. I’m not saying the analyst is lying, but I — like many other people — am saying he’s spreading a rumor that makes no sense. Google developing its own phone would cost a bundle in time, research, resources, and be a direct turn from the end game that the company has set for Android. Google created Android as a way to build a great platform that would attract new customers to its services, not undercut the companies it has already worked with to push Android. Furthermore, a Google-built phone without a carrier subsidy would probably cost $400 or more, making it less attractive to the average consumer Google wants to bring under the Android umbrella.
The analyst, Ashok Kumar of Northeast Securities, claims that he spoke with an ODM helping Google build its phone. Yes, that’s the same Kumar who said iPhone sales in China were disappointingly low…even though the iPhone wasn’t yet on sale in China. More than likely, Kumar was fed misinformation or he misunderstood what the ODM said.
Google creating its own phone sounds nice but don’t bet on it. I’d be more inclined to believe Google was taking the lead on developing a phone for their recently announced Verizon partnership, but a carrier-free unlocked phone is doubtful. If this rumor proves accurate, more power to ‘em. In the meantime, don’t hold out for a Google announcement.