Google phone expected next week
Speculation is mounting that Google is preparing to launch its first phone, dubbed the Nexus One, next Tuesday and may have teamed up with T-Mobile to sell the device in the US.
Google sent out invites this week for an "Android press gathering" at its Mountain View headquarters in California, but declined to give any specifics on the forthcoming announcement.
To back up the talk, an unofficial T-Mobile blog, TmoNews.com, reported the mobile operator had confirmed its support for the device internally. It showed a picture of an internal web page that read: "Google, with support from T-Mobile, is scheduled to launch a new Android device in early January. The Google Android phone will be sold solely by Google via the web."
Details of potential prices for the phone also emerged yesterday. Technology website Gizmodo revealed screenshots of a landing page for the new device, which included what seem to be the initial pricing plans.
The device is set to be sold for $529.99 without a contract in the US, or $179.99 if subsidised by T-Mobile, with a two-year contract and the "Even More Individual 500 Plan" costing $79.99.
Google developed the Android operating system for mobile phone operators including T-Mobile and Orange. So far, however, the internet giant has stayed away from developing its own branded handset.
The Nexus One – a reference to the film Blade Runner – will run the Android operating software in a handset developed by Taiwan group HTC. Photos of the Nexus One have since circulated the internet, with even a YouTube video emerging, which had a detailed look at the new device's interface.
The first reports of Google's move emerged shortly before Christmas, as the group distributed the device to a number of its employees. Publicly the group said it was just continuing to test its own operating software, yet all the speculation surrounded whether Google would target consumers itself.
Google's invite, sent to journalists on Tuesday, said: "With the launch of the first Android-powered device just over a year ago, we've seen how a powerful, open platform can spur mobile product innovation. And this is just the beginning of what's possible."