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Gphone? The Google Phone Timeline

Rumor after rumor after rumor keeps appearing that Google is to release its
own mobile phone, the Gphone. In April 2007, we originally compiled all these
Google Phone rumors into a timeline view. Since then, we’ve continued to update
the list, so that the confused, perplexed or just plain curious can keep track
of what’s come out when. Enjoy!

NOTE (Nov. 5, 2007): Google’s Android Arrives: Not Gphone But An Open Source Mobile Platform covers the actually announcement that all these rumors have led up to.

  • December 2004 – Too Many Fragmented Devices: Google VP Urs Hoelzle
    of mobile growth being stalled because of too much fragmentation. "What’s
    holding back the big revolution is that every device is different. There is
    software out there for at least 300 different platforms and that’s not a good
    situation and that will prevent the emergence of widely used applications," he
    said. That prompted
    some (and

    ) to wonder if Google would look at doing their own phone.
  • August 2005 – Google Buys Phone Software Company & Operating System

    News emerged
    that Google had purchased Android in July 2005. Android was a
    start-up focused on making software for mobile phones, including a rumored
    mobile operating system. Could this be a precursor to Google offering its own
    phone, some wondered?
  • January 2006 – Google Gets CDMA Patent:
    News that
    Google gains a patent to make CDMA data transfers happen at a faster speed.
    The patent was requested way back in 2001, however.
  • November 2006 – Schmidt Says Phones Should Be Free: Google CEO Eric
    Reuters that "Your mobile phone should be free" with ads subsidizing the cost.
    However, he says Google has no plans to directly give away phones.
  • December 2006 – Rumor Of Google Working With HTC & Orange On Phone:
    The Observer

    news that Google is talking with Orange about a revolutionary
    "Google phone" made by HTC.
    Google & Orange
    Talking Google Mobile Phone?
    from me covers more about how it seemed like
    this would really be more about a bundling and branding deal than some radical
    new product.
  • January 2007 – Picture Of Google-Samsung "Switch" Phone: Engadget

    runs with
    a tip of a Samsung-Google backed phone named "Switch." The tip
    comes complete with a picture. Google had just signed a bundling deal with
    Samsung (more below), but this rumor would go beyond that.
  • February 2007 Google Goes After Airwaves:
    Microsoft, Google &
    Others To Build New Wireless Device?
    from us covers how Google is one of
    several companies looking to make a wireless device that uses radio spectrum
    opened up at TV stations go digital.
  • March 6, 2007 – Renewed Speculation Off Analysis Of Rumors & Tips :
    More Google Phone
    from us covers how Simeon Simeonov

    on what a Google Phone might have, including a Linux-based
    operating system, based on looking at various developments and rumors. His
    post now appears gone, but you can see the speculation it kicked off
    via Techmeme.
  • March 13, 2007 – New Picture & Info Of Google-Samsung Device (Again):
    More Pictures Of
    Possible Google Phone?
    from us provides yet another picture of a rumored
    Google phone, which most believe is something completely made-up. The picture,
    that is. The rumor of the device itself comes off a survey someone says they
    took part in, which asked about a Google phone that would be designed by
  • March 16, 2007 – Exec Confirms Wireless Device Activity:
    Google Phone Has Been
    Confirmed By Google Exec
    from us covers how Google’s chief in Spain and
    Portugal confirms that Google is working on some type of a wireless device.
  • March 21, 2007 – No Phone, Just Software (Sort Of Again):
    No Google Phone But
    Instead Mobile Software, Says Google
    from us covers Google spinning back
    the statement of March 16, saying there is no phone coming, that the company
    is staying software focused.
  • March 21, 2007 – Talking With O2 About Gphone: More
    this time off a Guardian
    saying that Google is talking with O2 about making a "Gphone" and having hired
    the team that created T-Mobile’s popular Sidekick.
  • March 22, 2007 – More Patents Emerge:
    New Google Mobile
    Phone Search Patent Applications
    from us covers more patents relating to
    mobile from Google.
  • March 28, 2007 – More Partnerships:
    Google Partners With
    LG & Mobile Handset Maker Deal Chart
    from us covers the various
    partnerships Google’s had with handset makers, including Samsung, and how so
    far these are tied mainly to preloading applications.
  • April 18, 2007 – HTC Making Google Handsets (Again): DigiTimes
    that HTC was making Google handsets that will ship at the end of 2007: "The
    Google handset will support Texas Instruments’ (TI) 3G platform and EDGE,
    pointed out the makers. The handset, however, will not feature GPS
    functionality. The device will also feature built-in G-mail and Google
    search." Orange was said to be the first partner for the Google branded phone,
    but other carriers might also offer it.

    also had some coverage. The reports are similar to what
    came out in December 2006.
  • May 3, 2007 – Google Goes After Different Airwaves:
    Google Leading
    Wireless Challenge Against Broadband Incumbents
    covers how Google starts
    lobbying for the FCC to make a government auction of radio spectrum to be
    freed up for up-and-comers looking to provide new services. It seems a natural
    way for Google to get wireless devices into the hands of people without having
    to worry about "incumbent" cell phone companies.
  • May 21, 2007: Google Talking With O2 (Again):
    More Rumors: Yahoo
    After Bebo? Google Launching Phone Service?
    covers TechCrunch hearing that
    Google will strike a deal with O2 to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator
    (MVNO). Google is not expected to sell the service via physical stores, but
    rather online only. Nokia handsets with Google software preloaded would be
  • June 1, 2007: It’s An Operating System, Stupid (Again):
    Google Provides More
    Hints On Mobile Phone Rumors
    covers the latest rumors, which go back to
    stuff we’d heard before already, that Google’s focusing on applications for
    various phone systems as well as its own mobile phone operating system.
  • July 3, 2007: No GPhone, But How About A YouPhone?:
    LG To Create A YouTube
    Mobile Phone
    covers how LG is expected to launch a phone, well anytime
    now, in Europe allowing for recording, uploading and watching video on YouTube.
  • July 25, 2007: The Google Mobile Phone Network?:
    What’s Google Doing At
    An MVNO Show?
    covers Google showing up (along with Yahoo) at a show for
    those running "virtual" mobile networks that piggyback on the mobile networks
    of others. Google says it’s there just to talk to vendors, not to launch its
    own network.
  • July 26, 2007: Google & Sprint Partner:
    Sprint Announces WiMax
    Partnership With Google
    covers Google partnering with Sprint on a new
    national broadband network that Sprint is constructing.
  • August 1, 2007: Setback On Those Different Airwaves:
    Google Gets Some Of
    What It Wanted From The FCC
    covers the FCC not agreeing to all Google
    hoped for in the upcoming auction of airwaves. Darn!
  • August 2, 2007: It’s An Operating System, Stupid (Again, Again):
    Wall Street Journal:
    Google Phone In Development
    covers the WSJ saying Google is talking to a
    wide-range of mobile companies in the US and Europe about a phone designed to
    run its applications, either through a set of standard specifications.
  • August 6, 2007: Setback On Those Original Airwaves:
    Microsoft, Google
    Suffer Setback On ‘White Space’ Internet Access Plan
    covers that cool,
    stealthy device that was supposed to make use of unused airwaves. The FCC
    didn’t think it worked so well.
    Microsoft And ‘White
    Space’ Coalition To Try Again On Internet Access Plan
    covers how the group
    will be trying again, as does
    Google Explains The
    ‘White Space Coalition’ And Its Push For Unused TV Spectrum Internet Access
  • August 24, 2007: Two Weeks To Gphone Day!:
    Is A Google Phone ‘A
    Fortnight Away’?
    covers how the Business Standard says a Gphone will be
    coming within two weeks to launch within the US, Europe and India.
  • August 27, 2007: There Really Is A Gphone Thingamajig, Promise!:
    Rizzn posts
    that that an internal contact confirms there is some type of Gphone device
    using Linux and GPS, similar to what we heard back in March.
  • August 27, 2007: HTC Is Making It (Again, Again): CrunchGear

    that an HTC insider confirms there’s a Gphone coming that HTC is
    producing, expected to be released in the first quarter of 2008. This is
    similar to rumors we had in December 2006 and April 2007.
  • August 28, 2007: It’s An Operating System, Stupid (Again, Again,
    Remember back in August 2005 when it was rumored Google was
    working on a mobile operating system? And then we had more rumors saying this.
    Engadget today

    they’ve heard that Google’s working on, um, a mobile operating
    system. They also report hearing some type of news will come out next week.

Confused? Let A
Hundred Google Phones Bloom
gives you some perspective on the timeline, as
of August 28, 2007.

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