A day before the alleged Apple iPhone is supposed to come out, comes the story that Orange is working closely with Google on a “multi-billion-dollar partnership to create a ‘Google phone’ which makes it easy to search the web wherever you are”. We know about Google apps coming to the mobile phones, including search, maps, e-mail and other services, but the story says that this partnership goes deeper: a branded Google phone, which would probably also carry Orange’s logo. The device would not be revolutionary: manufactured by HTC, it might have a screen similar to a video iPod. But it would have built-in Google software which would dramatically improve on the slow and cumbersome experience of surfing the web from a mobile handset.
The story says the Google phone would not go on sale before 2008.
Somehow, I am a bit skeptical on this one.
Meanwhile Om writes on his blog that the presence of Andy Rubin on Google campus may give this story some credence. Rubin was one of the co-founders of Danger, the company that makes the Sidekick devices. He sold his last company, Android to Google for an undisclosed amount of money, and has been working there on, well, something.