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No Google Phone for You!

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Unless you're living the hermit life under a rock, you have heard that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) is just about ready to launch a Google Phone to rival the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPhone. You've seen pictures, read some specs, and maybe even heard about a release date.

Forget it. The gPhone is not coming soon to a T-Mobile or AT&T (NYSE: T  ) store near you, nor to any Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) or Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) . Sorry.

Don't get me wrong -- there is a Google phone, lacking any branding other than Google and Android. It's an unlocked device running on snazzy hardware, and probably made by Taiwanese handset wrangler HTC. Big G gave out these phones to its own employees recently, which is why the gadget pops up in spurious photos, blog posts, and Web server traffic logs.

But this device is not a retail product, and Google is not about to launch a marketing offensive that puts Verizon's (NYSE: VZ  ) campaign for the Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) Droid to shame. The official word is that this new phone is an internal tool, distributed among Google employees to form a "mobile lab." Its purpose is to give Android engineers a walled garden or sandbox in which to test new ideas before making them available to the general public.

The hardware and software features you see in those leaked shots may or may not ever make it to market. You might be able to scrounge up an actual Google Phone through online auctions and such, but even that isn't bloody likely. For all we know, selling one might be a capital offense in Mountain View. Google can track these devices by serial number, possibly putting the seller's job at risk for trading in business secrets.

Android is doing just fine with a slew of hardware partners around the globe, and I don't expect to see the dream of an official Google Phone become a retail reality in the next few years -- if ever. It's just a development tool worthy of a Rule Breaker.

Care to disagree? Let the flame wars begin in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple and Best Buy are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (20)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2009, at 5:20 PM, demodave wrote:

    This seems like really irresponsible ... writing. I hesitate to call it reporting or research or analysis. What are your sources? What is your data? Are you saying that the Nexus One being built for Google by another major partner, HTC, does not exist or does not count as a "Google" phone? How can you make that claim without seeing one on store shelves?

    I am amazed to see that 4 people have "recommended" this article so quickly.


  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2009, at 6:40 PM, hamadooo wrote:

    My friend .. there is a way of writing an article if you are telling people about an opinion ?? you can't just write your opinion as if you own the company !

    and if you are sure about what you saying then where is your proof ?

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2009, at 7:09 PM, ifool100 wrote:

    Sometimes soft news is just plain interesting. It's interesting to see how Google is evolving its R&D process. It's like a baby Apple app on Google campus. "Try it out smart guys - whadda ya think." It seems to me the unleashing of intellectual property, then reaping the profits is an amazing business model. My guess is Google will have an I-phone killer if they want one. Somewhere, someone always has a better idea. Google knows this, so does Apple, and that's what makes them disruptive and amazing companies.

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2009, at 11:05 PM, Fool wrote:

    This is the last Fool article I am reading.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 7:16 AM, TMFZahrim wrote:

    demodave, the phone certainly exists. It's just not destined for retail shelves, now or ever. If you ever see an official Google phone in a store, that would be a different device altogether, though perhaps based on a similar hardware platform. That's the official position, and this time I happen to believe it because the testing strategy makes sense.


  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 9:28 AM, CatFoodMoney wrote:

    what was wrong with this article ? why are all the comments above mine so angry ? as usual, i have no idea what's going on. i liked the article.

  • Report this Comment On December 18, 2009, at 10:05 PM, Fool wrote:

    Y'all just found the best over all phone that can replace the computer I will buy it

    cause most of any business is done on a computer or I Phone now


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