Google admits to testing some new Android smartphone in-house, raises fear/hopes of a Google Phone

12 Dec

It was inevitable many might say, but Google today, for the first time, came out in the open and admitted that it is testing a new Android phone in-house. The admission and a tsunami of Tweets from Googlers praising the ‘Google Phone’ that eventually led to the admission, hints at a new Google branded phone that many pundits claim Google would sell unlocked in the open market itself.

But before jumping the gun, this is what Google has to say:

We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe. This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it.

Now, it is pretty clear that Google hasn’t indicated (yet) that it intends to jump into cellphone retailing (like Apple) and leave its handset vendor partners out in the cold to fend for themselves. But it ain’t denying that either, considering that many have been expecting a Google-branded phone with Google Voice for quite some time now.

Given the current scenario, the best that we can decipher is that Google is just trying some cool new hardware-dependent features for Android, that will eventually become the minimum hardware requirements for all upcoming Android devices. Hence, the term ‘mobile lab.’

Such a move would ensure that all Android phones are able to upgrade to the latest firmware and keep up with Google’s rapid innovations. This will enable Google to avoid fragmentation that it is currently witnessing with devices running on all possible versions of the Android OS.

However, if Google really wants to take on its handset partners, the going will be tough for guys like Motorola, who have bet all their chips on Android.

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