Cerf Disconnects Google Phone Rumors

    March 21, 2007

Last week, a high-ranking Google executive confirmed that the search engine company is developing a mobile phone.  Now another exec – one with even more influence – has denied the rumors.  “[B]ecoming an equipment manufacturer is pretty far from our business model,” said Vinton Cerf.

Cerf effectively outranks Isabel Aguilera, Google’s chief executive in Spain and Portugal; it was Aguilera who made a proclamation about the GPhone six days ago.  But if Cerf’s word isn’t enough for you, Richard Kimber, Google’s managing director of sales and operations in Southeast Asia, confirmed the handset’s nonexistence.

“At this point in time, we are very focused on the software, not the phone,” said Kimber, as quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald.  And while his statement, in combination with Cerf’s, effectively stomps out any hopes on the hardware front, it does leave other doors open.

Indeed, Cerf described his employer as “quite eager to be part of the mobile revolution,” and said that Google is “very interested in the platforms that other people are building.”  The company’s recent deals with Vodafone and Orange serve as evidence of this focus (although those deals were also considered evidence of the GPhone’s existence).

At any rate, it appears that Google has issued a new party line in regards to one of its best-known mythical products.  The blogosphere is reacting to the news with some disappointment – and some suspicion – and yet Cerf is one of the most credible people within the company (and, given his background in the communications industry, Cerf is perhaps the most credible person on this subject).

So Cerf’s proclamation should stand: there will be no Google phone.  At least not yet.