Google Phone Spotted, Bigfoot Was Using It

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The so-called Gphone is joining the ranks of myth the ever-looming Google operating system inhabits, alongside Bigfoot, Atlantis, and nude Jessica Alba. Nevertheless, as an Indian news source reports, the illusive Gphone is merely "fortnight" away from launch worldwide.

Or within a year. And Google’s prepared to invest up to $8 billion in the project. Or hundreds of millions.

Math’s kinda hard.

It’s hard telling which publication printed it first, as it has appeared in several places, but I stumbled across it at Rediff.com, where Rajesh Kurup and Leslie D. Monte in Mumbai reported these (somewhat conflicting) details:

  • Talks are believed to be taking place with Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar…
  • Sources…said a simultaneous launch across the US and Europe…
  • US regulatory approval, which is expected soon, is the only hurdle that Google is waiting to cross…
  • Google plans to invest $7-8 billion for its global telephony foray…
  • These reports suggest that Google has developed a prototype that will hit the markets in a year’s time…
  • …Google had invested "hundreds of millions of dollars" in the project and was involved in discussions with US-based T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless…

And the Google geekosphere went into a near self-gratifying meltdown before taking a second look at the details and losing their, um, enthusiasm.

Google has a track record for avoiding the hardware side of things, despite the fact they did offer the FCC a promised $4.6 billion for wireless spectrum, hinting the company wants to delve into the wireless side of the business (or at least in wholesaling).

However, it remains to be seen if Google’s willing to take on the kind of debt that is being reported. Last check, the company had something like $12.5 billion in cash, exceeded by the $12.6 billion speculated, unless $8 billion includes the spectrum bid, which is for the US only and not a global regulatory hurdle.

The first clue, actually, is in the first line, where Google is classified as a "nearly $13.5 billion search engine major." So maybe part of the problem is the language barrier (and a nice rebuttal to the idea of outsourcing English writers). But the company is actually worth about $160 billion.

And if the company is still awaiting regulatory approval, they must be getting it this week if there’s a launch in a fortnight, unless the launch is within a year, like stated later in the article.

But also, it seems unlikely because of Google’s buddy-buddy relationship with Apple. Google CEO Eric Schmidt is on the board of directors at Apple, and you’d think Google launching a competitor this close to iPhone’s maiden voyage would likely peeve his business partners.

Google, as usual, refused to comment on rumors and speculation.

I think there is a possibility that Google will enter the wireless market, in some capacity – most likely from the provider and software side – but the Gphone doesn’t match with Google’s track record, prototypes spotted in Europe notwithstanding. But a worldwide launch in two weeks?

Somehow I doubt it.       

Google Phone Spotted, Bigfoot Was Using It
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  • Craig H

    it’s “elusive”, not “illusive”.

    • Jason Lee Miller

      No, I meant "illusive"




      if you don’t want to click, here’s the copy and paste version:


    • based on or having the nature of an illusion; "illusive hopes of finding a better job"; "Secret activities offer presidents the alluring but often illusory promise that they can achieve foreign policy goals without the bothersome debate and open decision that are staples of democracy"
    • Deceiving by false show; deceitful; deceptive; false; illusory; unreal.