In the past months there have been numerous rumors about the Google's own cellphone, or otherwise known as the Gphone. As time went by however, the concept around it became vaguer and the talks about the Gphone slowly turned in talks about a phone based on a Google mobile OS. Well, finally yesterday's official announcement cleared all misunderstandings about the issue.
The simple facts are as follows. Google will not make a Gphone by themselves - the software company will stay a software one. Instead Google have developed a Linux-based open source mobile OS called Android. Now in order for any new OS to gain speed, it needs the right hardware. And since the OS will probably not be able to run on the existing hardware architecture for mobile phones, new hardware platform has to be developed. Building on that, naturally Google tried to involve some major hardware manufacturers on the project. And so the Open Handset Alliance was born.
The experimental Google boat called the Open Handset Alliance has made room for a total of 33 major players from the hardware and software industry (Nokia, Apple and Microsoft are not among them). So finally it's clear - there will be no Gphone, instead there will be many Gphones by various manufacturers (such as HTC, Samsung, and LG). Those phones will all be based on the new Android OS but there's no word (not even a whisper) what will their specifications or even form factors be. In fact HTC are the only manufacturer that presented a vague launch date for their future Android devices - no sooner than second half 2008.
So hardware-wise, we're still nowhere near finding what the future Gphones will be like, but software-wise even more good news is coming. The Google Android OS will be totally open to every UNIX programmer out there that would like to have a go at it (but manufacturers can have a second word on that). The good has just got even better, as Google is planning on making beta SDK (Software Development Kit) publicly available within a week - on November 12.