updated 04:45 pm EDT, Fri August 3, 2007
Google Free Phone Rumor
Google's reported self-branded phone may be only part of what the company has planned for phone service in the US, says a report from the Wall Street Journal. The company is now purportedly not just designing a phone in a Boston studio to be made by HTC but also has long-term plans for a service of its own; the service would be funded by targeted ads and could offer subscriptions for free, the tip claims.
The suggestion has also been made that Google's increasingly expected bid for the 700MHz band may play a major role in the strategy, as the company could then offer easily available mobile Internet access that supplies the ads alongside a phone signal.
The unnamed sources also claim that Google is developing its own custom web browser for the custom phone that would improve the mobile experience and reflect well on Google's own web apps, which could also be accessible as separate tools from the phone. Even if plans for a stand-alone provider fail, the phone's browser would allow Google to split revenues and either generate extra profit from each handset sold or cut the initial price.
Google has so far neither confirmed nor denied questions about the possibility of either its proprietary phone or a provider. The company would only say that it hopes to "bring its services to users everywhere" by providing Google apps and searching on as many devices as possible, including the Apple iPhone and multiple LG handsets.