Google is planning to release its own branded, unlocked, Android-based phone this year, according to a report on TheStreet.com. The move would mark a major break with the system Google has set up to grow the reach of its Android platform.
The report, which cited Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar, said the company will work directly with retailers on the phone, and not wireless carriers. The report stated that Kumar spoke with Google’s design partners about the phone which is said to be using Qualcomm chips however no hardware partner was named.
If talk of the Google phone is true, the entrance of a unlocked, low-cost, Web-friendly touchscreen device will probably undercut other Android phone efforts by players like HTC, Motorola, and Samsung
Interestingly, the GPhone rumor is not new. In the early days of Android, rumors pointed to the possibility of a Google-branded phone.
Google spokeswoman Katie Watson declined to comment, stating the company does not comment on market rumors or speculation.