It seems that Apple has got all the big boys of IT whipped up into a mobile phone frenzy with the huge interest that surrounded the recent announcement of the iPhone. Microsoft is rumored to be developing a cell phone version of the Zune MP3 player. And now as part of an interview with Spanish news site, the Google CEO for the region, Isabel Aguilera, let the genie out of the bottle: Google is working on a mobile phone product.

OK, so what she actually said was that “some of our engineers’ time is dedicated to the development of a mobile phone” rather than “expect a product announcement next month” but it does at least put to rest the arguments over whether Google is interested in the cell phone hardware market for once and for all.

It also means that the recent deal that Google struck with Samsung in order to put Google applications on Samsung cell phones could be just the tip of that working relationship iceberg. The IT grapevine suggests that Samsung are the handset manufacturer most likely to be building the actual hardware for the Google branded and driven gPhone. Those same jungle drums tell of a device not dissimilar to a Blackberry, running VoIP services with built in search and Google powered office applications.

Travelling further along the rumor trail, you can take the patent application fork in the road and follow Google as it filed for a search tool that predicts what the user is looking for based upon location, history and time, all on a mobile phone handset. The idea being that your gPhone will double guess your search if it is around lunchtime and you have previously looked for somewhere to eat at this time, and suggest only local diners based upon your actual location. A gPhone could then show you the precise directions using Google Maps of course.

Certainly Google has been investing heavily in the development of mobile applications during the last couple of years, and putting these to good use on an in-house Google device makes a lot of business sense in a market clamoring for such big brand comfort.

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As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

You'll get Google ads inserted at 10 second intervals into every phonecall you make or receive (and so will the other side) and into every SMS message you send and receive as well.
And of course Google will store (for your convenience and their financial gain) everything you say and do using that phone, with no way for you to delete it.

The world of mobile telephony is better regulated than that, in most places. Mind you, I wouldn't put it past Google to try something along those lines and find the loopholes to allow it.

if your contract states they can do it, they can...
there used to be a phone operator on the fixed net here that did it in exchange for extremely low rates.
That didn't work as most people aren't going to stand for it (if you have a phoneline you have a house either rented or owned so you have some money), but with mobiles (especially prepaid ones aimed at kids) there's certainly potential to promise people lower rates in exchange for advertising.