Rumors have persisted over the last year and a half that Google would release its own branded cell phone; the company has repeatedly denied the gossip, emphasizing its concentration on Android as a mobile operating system that it licenses to existing cell-phone makers.
Now the NY Times reports that Google employees have received a Google-designed handset to test. An official Google blog entry, posted Saturday, calls the handset a “mobile lab” that company employees are using “to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities.” The company has not commented beyond this post.
The touch-screen smartphone is made by HTC–maker of most commercially available Android handsets–to hardware and software specifications set by Google. Reports claim that the company plans to sell the new phone directly to consumers over the Internet. It apparently works on GSM networks, which would mean AT&T and T-Mobile only in the U.S. That would put Google directly in competition with Apple and its AT&T-only iPhone.
Our best illustrations of 2022
Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.
How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier
These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.
The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.