There have been so many stories since the Friday release of iPhone 3G it’s dizzying: the lines, the European sales, the software update glitches, the rapturous reviews of the Apps Store and so on. Even as they curse the iPhone, all Apple’s competitors owe the company a debt of gratitude for helping to build awareness of the mobile Internet and giving the industry the kick in the pants (and shock) it needed.
(Lines at the Apple Store in SF on Friday)
Amid all this TechCrunch and GigaOm are speculating about the potential (re)emergence of a branded Google phone or “GPhone,” based on a snippet of a quote that appeared in an article from MediaWeek/Hollywood Reporter this past week:
The trio of Google execs also used the opportunity to talk about the inroads the company is making with its own branded mobile phone as a replacement for the iPhone, as well as the Chinese market and how they’re treated there — and even Google’s inhouse educational programs and the salaries and potential of teachers.
The writer was probably talking about Android and not a GPhone. But there almost certainly will be Google branded phones in the market after Android phones finally make their debut. Now what does “Google branded” mean exactly? It could mean one or both of two things. The Google software is prominent enough that the phone is primarily identified with Google (something akin to how Micorosft promotes Windows Mobile). Alternatively it could mean a specially designed handset (as TechCrunch posits) that bears the Google name. (This latter scenario is probable but more complicated for Google from a competitive standpoint.)
The rest of this post is over at Local Mobile Search.