Report: Google May or May Not Reveal Phone Project Monday!
In August 2005 Google acquired a two-year-old start-up called Android. Founded by Andy Rubin, the guy behind mobile-device maker Danger, Android was rumored to have been developing a mobile-phone operating system.
Google never said much about the acquisition or its plans for Rubin, but he’s been on the company’s payroll ever since, presumably holed up somewhere on its campus in Mountain View, Calif., working on something–perhaps with the “graphics-software fanatics” from Skia, another mysterious mobile start-up Google acquired in 2005. Together they’d make quite a team–Rubin with his passion for location-aware mobile devices and Skia’s engineers with theirs for the robust, but portable, graphics engines that could be used in them. Theoretically, of course.
Why the history lesson? Well, industry sources tell The Wall Street Journal that Google might publicly detail its long-rumored mobile-phone project as early as Monday. “U.S. carriers likely to be part of the announcement are T-Mobile and Sprint, according to our sources, but there could be others by the time Google says its piece,” the Journal reports. “While Sprint appears to be agreeing to work with Google to put the Web giant’s new Linux-based open operating system into phones, T-Mobile will probably go even further: the company has worked with Google for months on plans to build Google-powered phones with a variety of Google software and applications. As far as handset partners for Google, Taiwan’s HTC is a likely bet, our sources say. Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson are also possible, but we’ll wait and see the full roster. Equally interesting will be who isn’t on the list.”
Indeed. Because whoever’s not on that list could be losing out on a chance to become a true player in the mobile-search advertising business, which research outfit the Kelsey Group recently claimed will grow to $1.4 billion in 2012 from $33.2 million this year–in the United States alone.