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Although Google itself refuses to budge from the official company line of confirming or denying nothing, it looks increasingly likely that a Googlephone is in the offing. Several sources are now claiming that prototype phone devices have been touted around the US mobile carriers in recent weeks (ironically you need just go Google to reveal the details) and the Wall Street Journal has reported that hundreds of millions of investment dollars have been poured into the project.

Amongst the more interesting developments to break recently has been speculation that Google might be contemplating becoming a mobile operator itself, fueled by insider gossip suggesting it is considering a bid for radio spectrum space.

But the most interesting of all the speculation comes in the shape of reports emerging from Singapore that suggest talks with High Tech Computer (HTC) in Taiwan, manufacturer of some of the most innovative and powerful smartphone devices on the market, have reached a conclusion. Those same sources say that a Linux software based handset will be ready for launch as early as the first quarter of 2008. This could make for the ideal partnership, as the HTC handsets so far are technically advanced but somewhat let down by the somewhat unstable Windows software that powers them.

I am led to believe that T-Mobile is the most likely candidate to ship the first Googlephone in the US, with Orange taking the European market. The Googlephone itself is likely to run an as yet unnamed Linux OS on a Texas Instruments Edge chipset.

The one thing that really isn’t open to speculation is that Google will use mobile advertising to fund this foray into the cellphone marketplace. After all, it already achieves revenues in excess of $40 million every day from its web based advertising, and the cellphone market is an as yet untapped resource for the Google marketing folk.

By combining Google applications and services with the advertising revenue on a Google specific handset, there is even the rather intriguing prospect of not having to pay a few hundred bucks for the hardware and a monthly fee to use it.

Could the Googlephone, in a move which would perfectly match it being Linux powered, be the first totally free cellphone?

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.

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Last Post by andymack
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Advertising in lue of subscription and connection fees for phones has been tried in Europe and was a complete flop.
People don't want their calls interrupted for advertising, and people being called by someone who does have such a scheme get extremely annoyed and often block future calls.

In the end the few users could not call anyone but eachother, and were far too few for the company running the service to even break even so they folded.

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I can just hear it ... "While you wait for the party you've dialed to answer their phone, stay tuned for these messages from AdWords advertisers ..."

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I think the advertising will be more screen based, in keeping with the smartphone design. After all, the plan would be that you would use this as more than just a cellphone, with Google apps at the core of the user experience.

So maybe AdWords would impact upon your texting, browsing and possibly even just appear on your main screen. I doubt that there would be any voice based advertising because, as you rightly suggest, people would not put up with that.

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that's pretty much what they tried here Dani, except that both parties would have to listen to advertising after the connection was established but before they could talk themselves (and again every 5 minutes or so, they'd be interrupted).

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I hardly doubt they would have the audacity to interupt calls with advertising, blah blah blah. There's lots of ways to get that advert kaching without being so intrusive. You just need a few brains and lots of dough to figure them out. Google has both...

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I would expect them to do stuff such as advertising on screen to. Dunno if anyone has tried using gamespy for example. when you select an option you often get the main page with link, then an advert, and then what you were after. This would probably happen. As for checking for "keywords" in texts they would have to be careful for invasion of privacy. And what if I swear alot? Am I going to end up with lots of sex shop adverts? I hope not! However, as far as non-profit organisations and charities go, I can see this being hugely popular. A full "office-ish" suite and no monthly contracts or even need to pay for phone! Unfortuantly, I really can't see them being able to make enough money for the whole thing to be free. But cheap? yeh that i can see.

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