The Google Phone apparently does exist after all if an anonymous (but trusted source) to uberpopular technology website Gizmodo is to be believed.
The phone will be a branded handset that will be running a new version of Google Android, one which has yet to be publicly released and which is believed to be the successor of Eclair (known as Flan).
Interestingly Gizmodo says that the OS was running on a laptop (most certainly a smartbook) and a smartphone as well although any rumours of an early release of Google OS were quickly dismissed.
The phone may well be a proof of concept, a what-if-we-were-to-make-it product designed not only to raise the profile of Android, but most importantly, provide handset designers with directions and ideas of what can be achieved.
This apparently could also include a much tighter integration with existing Google services including the Google "Trojan Horse" Voice. The Register delves deeper and reckons that Google might launch reference designs, a popular idea amongst video card manufacturers.
Given the fact that unlike Apple, Google is trying to develop an open ecosystem, there's very little chance that Google will become a mobile phone retailer anytime soon.
Let's hope that Microsoft come up with the Zune Phone as well. I wonder whether the guys from Redmond will be competing with their own partners or whether they will be tamer. Anyhow, Google's core is selling advertising and services, not selling consumer hardware (they do sell Google in a box to businesses though)