Google may have denied that it was developing its own phone two weeks ago, but by last week it was “not talking about rumours” when asked about the potential device. Now, it seems the device is all but confirmed.
Word came via a post to the Google Mobile Blog on December 12th that the company is working on a “mobile lab,” which, in the words of the blog itself, “… is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees around the globe.”
Certainly, it’s an interesting post, and seen in the light of news this morning that Google is to release a new phone called the “Nexus One” it seems as though folks inside the company were only too happy to hint at what it was doing. Curiously though, Google is taking things in a different direction to the one many had predicted.
Rather than, as had been suggested before, selling the phone without a carrier involved at all, allowing users to foot a larger bill for the hardware but giving more freedom when it came to choosing what kind of bill they’d like and who they’d be paying for it, Google has opted to do something a bit different. The search giant will be offering the phone directly, with T-Mobile giving it a bit of a push. So far, there’s been no real indication of just how much involvement T-Mobile will have, or if the phone will be sold unlocked.
It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any real difference from the current arrangement, whereby carriers offer phones at reduced prices and make up the difference in billing. Until we hear more, we’ll have to reserve judgement, but it does seem a very interesting idea indeed.