Mobile
Commentary
8/1/2007
07:35 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
Commentary
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Is The Google Phone Dead Or Alive?

Unstrung editor Dan Jones today pointed out that Google is hiring for lots of wireless and mobile positions. One of those job ads is for a candidate with "a thorough understanding of the mobile vertical - both from a carrier and a handset OEM perspective." Why does Google need to hire someone with knowledge of handset manufacturers?

Unstrung editor Dan Jones today pointed out that Google is hiring for lots of wireless and mobile positions. One of those job ads is for a candidate with "a thorough understanding of the mobile vertical - both from a carrier and a handset OEM perspective." Why does Google need to hire someone with knowledge of handset manufacturers?Earlier this year there were countless rumors that Google was designing a mobile phone. But the Google Phone rumors disappeared almost as quickly as they appeared. Google quashed many of the rumors and the rest were swept away in the hysteria surrounding the iPhone.

Now that iPhone-mania has come down to earth, rumors about the Google Phone are starting to crop up again. This week Bill Gates lashed out at a possible Google Phone, prompting some to question if the Google Phone is actually on the way.

Here is what Gates said about Google's mobile products to date:

How many products, of all the Google products that have been introduced, how many of them are profit-making products? They've introduced about 30 different products; they have one profit-making product. So you're now making a prediction without ever seeing the software that they're going to have the world's best phone and it's going to be free?

Are you a little scared, Bill? Or do you know something we don't?

Remember, Ballmer came out hard against the iPhone before its launch in June -- a standard Microsoft tactic. Is Bill making the same move here with the Google Phone?

As for the job ad reported by Unstrung, there is nothing in it that indicates to me that Google is definitely making -- or even designing a template for -- a mobile phone. But, if you read between the lines, it looks like this person would work with handset makers, or possibly even promote a handset made by Google.

And that's not the only job ad Jones points to. Another position, "Manufacturing New Product Introduction Program Manager," is looking for someone who will "ensure that Google can manufacture new hardware products in mass production without problems." Oh, it gets better. This person would also, "create a manufacturing plan for new hardware products that fits with other strategic product and business plans."

While neither of these ads is a smoking gun, they sure look like evidence to me that Google is looking very seriously at launching a mobile device.

What do you think? Is Google really getting ready to launch a mobile phone?

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