updated 11:15 am EST, Mon November 30, 2009
Google branded phone on campus in weeks?
A new rumor this morning supports renewed talk of a Google-branded phone launching in the near future. The company's Mountain View headquarters should reportedly receive large numbers of prototypes in a matter of weeks ahead of its actual release. Moreover, it may also run "Flan," the next major iteration of Android beyond 2.0, also known as "Eclair."
The source doesn't tell Gizmodo much about the device itself but says it has a "large LCD" and that what we've seen to date of Android isn't the "real" release of the mobile operating system. This future version has also been tested on a notebook, according to the tip, though Google's need to test Android with x86 processors is the most likely cause. Google has already said that Chrome OS is its primary computer platform and that third parties will make systems based on that release rather than Google itself.
A previous rumor had the phone shipping in early 2010 and likely assembled by a Korean firm, even though that company's name wouldn't appear on the device.
Google has always denied claims it would make its own phone and has noted that a device of its own would hurt its partners by creating a conflict of interest. Still, it's suspected the company is at least wielding a more direct influence on phones by steering the Motorola Droid's design and otherwise getting involved beyond just software.