TechCrunch yesterday reported Google may be about to launch as a virtual mobile phone network (MVNO) in the UK, using the O2 backbone network, Nokia handsets, online retail and its own software. Officially, Google’s UK press team has today given MocoNews a stock response of: “We don’t comment on rumor and speculation.” But don’t hold your breath – over the last year, news outlets have held that the big G will embark on every kind of possible mobile endeavor, variously involving a partnership with Orange, touch-screen innovations and use of HTC (ie. Windows Mobile-powered) handsets. But, despite the odd rogue downloadable Google Maps or Gmail client, Google doesn’t really have mobile software. It certainly doesn’t have an all-in-one suite like Yahoo’s Go 2.0 package. What it does have is slimmed-down, mobile versions of its core web services (search, news, mail and Reader chief amongst them) – it may be just as well to continue refining them for the small-screen experience, as Yahoo has done, then partnering with carriers for portal links. Until it’s confirmed, the “Google Phone” myth continues.
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