Summary:

Not necessarily news to regular readers: the so-called Gphone won’t be an actual phone, but a suite of service, or even a new mobile OS. NYT…

Not necessarily news to regular readers: the so-called Gphone won’t be an actual phone, but a suite of service, or even a new mobile OS. NYT now comes around to it, after speaking to its sources.

What it would be is a Linux-based software suite which it is trying to persuade the carriers to use, and then subsidize the service by monetizing it through advertising. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is not expected to charge phone makers a licensing fee for the software.

It could announce the plans this year, and the service could launch next year, the story says.

Some major skeptics abound: Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone Group (NYSE: VOD), which promotes the Google service on its phones, said it was not clear what compelling functions Google would offer that are not already available. “What is it that is missing in life that they are going to fulfill?” Sarin said. “It is not a no-brainer. You can reach Google already through a number of devices.”

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