Wednesday, 16 December 2009 01:23

Unlocked Google phone likely for sale on January 5

Google is poised to extend its domination of search to the mobile phone market with news an official Google phone may be on sale as early as January 5th. The handset will be for sale unlocked and without contract and will use data, not voice.

Google’s own touch-screen handset will be manufactured by HTC, already pumping out popular Android-running devices like the HTC Hero, and has code names like the HTC Passion, Dream or Nexus One.

The unit is already under test by Google employees and is now tipped to be available for general purchase through Google from January 5th.

The handset will be available for outright purchase without any form of network locking or contract requirement, allowing consumers to use it with any carrier of their choosing.

Google has not confirmed any rumours but insiders are claiming the handset will sell for $US 199 with a $US 100 rebate online if you have an active Google account which has not been recently created. The rebate will apply to Android Marketplace or Google Checkout stores.

In news that is sure to change the mobile game, Google will allegedly push full voice-over-IP (VoIP) usage on these handsets meaning no voice plan will be required at all, only a data plan. WiFi hotspots can be used in place of cellular data.

Google Voice will be used for all “regular” voice calls, and Gtalk will be used in place of SMS.

Unlike the Apple iPhone the Google handset will feature a replaceable battery and expandable storage through a memory card.

Hardware specifications are not yet available but previous Android phones by HTC have provided 3G capabilities though not on the 850MHz spectrum as used by Telstra's NextG network.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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