Ina move apparently aimed at mounting an even bigger challenge to the iPhone Google has confirmed that it is working on an own brand smartphone, one that might bear the name Nexus-one, and could go on sale as early as next month.
In a post on Google's official mobile blog, Mario Queiroz, Vice President, Product Management at the company said that the software giant had started a "dogfooding" process (i.e. using their own employees as guinea pigs) for a particular device.
He mentions a concept of a mobile lab which is essentially a device that "combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities".
Although Google has not officially confirmed that it will sell the smartphone, the Wall Street Journal wrote that it could go on sale as early as next year. HTC is rumoured to have been lined up to produce it.
However, like Microsoft in the case of the Toshiba-produced Zune, Google is likely to put its brand on the phone. Google is also said to have designed the phone from ground up, maintaining control on its exact configuration.
Analysts suspect that Google could be vying to become a major force in the mobile segment, not unlike Apple although that would put it on a collision course with many of its own partners including Verizon Wireless and Motorola.
We still expect Google to come up with a concept rather than take the Google phone to the stores. Doing so would jeopardise the relationship it already has with the wider mobile world. Doing so would sever links that would be next to impossible to establish later.