'Google Phone' identified as HTC Passion to be called Nexus One?

13 Dec

After yesterday’s frenzy over Google’s plans to launch its own branded phone, TechCrunch today got hold of a picture of the ‘Google Phone’, which turns out to be the HTC Passion sans HTC’s branding. It has also been reported widely that the phone would eventually be called Nexus One and will run on Android OS 2.1 slated for debut in January.

As we reported yesterday, the buzz in cell-land is Google will sell the device unlocked under its own brand. Whereas, Google has just admitted that it has distributed a new Android phone to its employees from one of its OEM partners to test new features.

Despite all the buzz, I’d still stick to my original statement – it is very unlikely for Google to compete with its hardware partner, unless they found the ‘evil room’ at Googleplex and some one accidentally stepped into it and got their brains rewired.

In all probability, Google is merely partnering with HTC, like it did with them for the G1 and with Motorola on the Droid, to belt out one helluva Android smartphone. I won’t be surprised if HTC’s logo gets plastered over the device on its way to store shelves and probably a ‘with Google’ branding on its hind side.

But then again, stranger things have happened.

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