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The gRumors are firming up… Sources close to MocoNews suggested that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is going to announce a mobile operating system in mid-November, putting a date on the rumors that have been pretty vague all year. The Wall Street Journal is hearing the same sort of stuff, reporting that “within the next two weeks, Google is expected to announce its plans to bring Google-powered phones to market by the middle of next year…In recent months Google has approached several U.S. and foreign handset manufacturers about the idea of building phones tailored to Google software, with Taiwan’s HTC Corp. and South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. (SEO: 066570) mentioned in the industry as potential contenders”. The operators which are the front-runners for offering the phone are T-Mobile in the US, and Orange and 3 for Europe/rest of world. The general plan of Google is to make a mobile operating system that is more open, allowing developers to create more applications for it. Google has one trend going for it — the fact that operators are coming around to the idea of selling unlocked phones, and people coming around to the idea of paying for a handset they actually want rather than accepting what they’re given. It has one trend going against it — the fact that many operators are trying to minimize the number of operating systems on their handsets.