Google Phone expected to ship by the end of this year

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Chicago (IL) – Digitimes today refreshed the speculation that Google could soon become a player in the cellphone market. According to the company, HTC has begun manufacturing the handsets and will be shipping by the end of this year.

According to the publication, High Tech Computer (HTC) may be producing up to one million units that could become available to consumers in 2008. It appears that Google is focusing on basic data functionality and pass on more advanced features such as GPS (to support enhance such as Google Maps).

However, the phone is said to be integrating support Texas Instruments' (TI) 3G platform and EDGE, which would provide enough data bandwidth for services such as Google Search and Mail.   

The Google phone is rumored to debut in Europe using a dual-brand strategy:  The devices will carry the logos of Google and the carrier Orange. So far, it has been considered unlikely that the Google Phone will also be offered in the U.S.; however, Digitimes’ sources said that “Google also has been in touch with other service providers for orders” as well.

Google and HTC declined to comment on the report.