Google Phone That Much Closer To Realization?

htc-passion

Update: Google kinda, sorta, partially admits “Google Phone is real.”

The internet is abuzz this morning with a TechCrunch article stating that the long rumored “Google Phone” has been completely, 100% confirmed. According to TechCrunch sources and pictured Twitter remarks, the Google Phone has been handed out to an unknown number of Google Employees who are claiming “revolutionary changes.” Having discussed with our sources regarding the matter we are able to get further remarks that T-Mobile will support this launch as we have previously stated. Here is what we know:

  • The phone will be sold strictly by Google, T-Mobile will NOT sell the device
  • Billing, General Questions and General Troubleshooting questions will be handled by T-mobile
  • Handset features, Handset Exchange and Advanced Device Troubleshooting will be handled by Google and/or Call Center Partners
  • T-Mobile hopes that by supporting the launch, they will have the opportunity to add additional customers
  • HTC is the definite manufacturer and the device IS believed to be the HTC Passion, the word Passion is tossed around everywhere according to our sources
  • Postpaid and Flexpay accounts are both currently slighted for support
  • No information is available as to whether or not T-Mobile is the exclusive partner

TechCrunch

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  • WootRoot

    That picture, is that what your saying the phone that was handed to employees actually looks like?

    I like it.

    • David

      No no, just one of the original phones shown off when Android was introduced years ago, I have changed it to reflect the image thought to be the HTC Passion

  • alamoe

    Way to go TMO!

  • alamoe

    that new Google countdown is looking more and more interesting now. It supposedly ends January 1st 2010; possible release date or preorder date?

    • bbswany

      I just looked that up. That’s crazy! I’m really excited about this device. All I can say is that they better not pull a Sony Ericcson and have a $ 849 sticker price. IMO a $ 499 price point would be fair given the specs.

  • Timo

    I’m really hoping we get a confirmed launch date soon. I’d hate to buy a phone, and then have this launch a few weeks later.

  • kershon

    Great news! T-Mobile android fans oughta be doing somersalts of joy. I’m going to give this one a look myself. Is there any information of a ballpark release date to the masses?

  • John

    I’m more interested in pricing.

    • bryant

      I’m interested in price as well. I need a new phone. My T-Mobile Contract ends in Feb 2010. I want a Android phone.

  • jon

    Okay, since it’d be sold by Google there’d be a big advantage for updates and what not, but I don’t get why people are going nuts on Twitter, saying Iphone on steroids. Still the same app store and roughly the same features of other Android phones out there right? (and no physical keyboard to boot)

    • Richard

      “on beautifying steroids” Jon

    • laphoneuser

      Good point. The Droid was supposed to be a “game changer”, and although it’s got some great features that other Android phones do not have (big, high res screen, faster processor, etc.), I wouldn’t exactly call it a game changer.

      In fact, the more I think about it, what exactly could be a game changer, for any phone?

  • glyco

    awesome! thank you Tmo news, just the news i was hoping for!!

  • mrjlwilliams

    I just hope that it is not over $600. Because if they are selling it straight from google, and no carrier will have it….they want all the profit. Which could mean a BIG price tag. I would spend no more than $600…

    • dsim91

      Google is not interested in making money on the sale of the phone their method is consumer friendly they will pass the cost to advertisers

    • BBSwany

      Agreed. Price is the biggest variable right now. When Google released the Dev Phone 1, they priced it at $ 399, which wasn’t bad at all. Google knows it’s about software and not hardware with Android. That’s why it’s so open for devs. They won’t gain market share with a far fetched price on the Passion. Having said that, someone is gonna buy one (Vertu, Diamond iPhones, etc.) regardless of cost.
      I think $ 499 to $ 549 needs to be the price if they want more than dev adoption. It would have to be a remarkable piece of engineering for me to consider spending more than that and I think that’s the sentiment of most consumers.

  • Ariel

    I think it’s a bad idea that Tmobile wont sell the device directly, it will be more of a hassle to get one. What if a person doesn’t have a credit card? What happens then? I think Tmobile stores should have the device, just my opinion.

    • 30014

      U can get a prepaid debit card from Walmart and load cash onto it to allow u to make internet purchases. Problem solved.

  • Y314K

    Well, I was all set to move from ATT to TMobile till they got rid of MyFav in the new plans, which made google voice only half functional(free sms but not calls)… And then no new HTC Android devices come out on TMobile… So decided to buy some time to see who would get a SnapDragon HTC Android phone… Looked like Verizon would be it…

    In my area… TMobile is one of the best carriers… And they have the best monthly pricing… I was ready to go with Verizon even if it would cost me over a thousand bucks over two years just to have the next HTC Snapdragon Android phone…

    Glad I waited… This phone will be it… With TMobile’s great HSPA 7.2 & then HSPA+ in my area… This thing is gonna rock… I just hope google included White Space Tech into it… & VoIP…

    Just wish the screen was a full 4.3″ or even 4.0″… And not the standard 3.7″ that most HTC devices will have after the new year…

    • Bill48105

      Well google voice calls work they’re just not free with the MyFaves loophole you wanted to abuse. And we wonder why TMo dropped MyFaves & how long before the other carriers follow suit or find a way to stop it. ;)

      • Y314K

        Well excuse me for trying to rape TMobile like every other old contract cust. can… Guess I better pay extra for even thinking of using new free tech… I better learn to bend over and take it.. Since I guess that cust. are only good for..

      • Bill48105

        Someone sounds bitter. ;) I was just pointing out you were upset they took away a feature that you planned to abuse and it’s ironic cuz that type of abuse is likely part of the reason they dropped it.

      • kershon

        Bill you are so right. Just like everything else, a few people screw things up for the rest of us. T-Mo’s rate plans are overall better than the other carriers so I don’t see why some will always try to get something for nothing. If a company can’t make a profit on a good feature such as myfaves, they will have to make up for it somewhere else. Like higher prices of subsidized phones.

      • Y314K

        Funny.. ATT just added this feature, guess they feel like getting abuse for a change… They’re practically asking for it… I have over a thousand minutes from roll-over with ATT, accrued over 2 years.. I really don’t use cell minutes as it is… I just want to be able use and abuse any new tech/soft available out there… Whether I need it or not… My choice…

        Good thing this phone will be unlocked… Sure ATT’s network sucks.. But they’ll let u bang away at google voice… just not on the Iphone.. Not that I would ever get one of those butt plugs…

        Guess anybody that connects to some one and get 3-way’d is an abuser…lol

      • Bill48105

        @kershon Yupper, people need to realize that there will eventually be consequences for their actions. If people read the fine print in the TOS they will see that they can actually be back billed for the correct feature if needed. In other words if they can prove you were tethering on a non-tethering plan they can go back & bill you the difference for however long they say you were doing it. Imagine that bill! Odds are they wouldn’t bother & would instead terminate you & tell you to go to hell rather than deal with it but remember you are a guest on their system which means you follow their rules or face their consequences.

        @Y314K Yeah I was shocked ATT added it really but I suspect they must have a game plan. I think part of it is it’s not on all plans, you need to be on high enough one to get A-list so they must figure by time you’re on 1400 family plan they’re getting enough $ from you to give a little leeway. But just like TMo (and to a lesser extent ATT) filters based on IMEI at some point they will probably figure out a way to detect that a call is coming through google voice. Or, just like how they cap ‘unlimited’ plans they might just say ‘limit 500 minutes per #’. Those limits you see are a result of someone abusing the service or them guessing how they might get abused. In the end I’m not sure it’ll matter for calling minutes because I think at some point phones will be just data devices & you’ll pay for whatever data gets transmitted, be it voice/text/web/whetever. It seems like the logical next step.

    • Y314K

      Well, right now I have one of the lowest minute family share plans for two lines with ATT & walla… I get their new Fav’s feature for free… I mean under 500 min’s a month on two lines(upgrading to 3 once I update phones)… And yes, I am still accruing rollover minutes & not using google voice… Sure, ATT might go the Verizon or Sprint route and only allow that feature on 1400+ share plans.. But that is not the case yet… TMobile could of done this too… But I guess one company giving something away for “free” takes something out of TMobile’s back… Guess VoIP should be completely banned too… WhiteSpace Tech too… What else can good old carriers stop us from “abusing”… And we all know unlimited data doesn’t ever = unlimited…

      Guess TMobile prefers to get $0.00 from me & other “abusers” of a free google service every month instead of getting $105+ each month for three lines, month after month after month… (I don’t even have a google voice account, yet… Since my current phone is crap… But how is getting a free service from company B = abusing company A…) Guess I am still abusing TMobile now cause I am not sending them money just for being so swell…

      Guess I am not quite ready to join the cult of TMobile… Not by a long shot… Thanks for opening my eye’s about this cult…

      • Bill48105

        LOL cult?!? Wow not sure where that came from? Anyway, ATT does not offer A-LIST on family plans less than 1400 minutes, check their site. Here I’ll save you the time:

        “Individual plans 900+ minutes ($59.99 and over) per month, and FamilyTalk plans 1400+ minutes ($89.99 and over) per month qualify for A-List”

        Not sure how you got it on 500 minute plan especially since their lowest is 550 minutes. ;)

        The abuse I was referring to was using a service for something it was not meant for, to an extent that is beyond what would be considered normal use and use in such a way that circumvents charges for a service. In other words TOS say what you can/can’t use the cell internet for, it is designed for only so much traffic and using A-LIST/FAVES to get unlimited calling thru google voice would all 3 individually qualify for abusing the cell company you are with let alone all 3 together just makes it worse. Hey I’m not the cell police nor am I the moral enforcer but I do try to see things from different perspectives even if I don’t agree and I was just pointing out your original comment about being upset with TMobile for dropping MyFaves because you planned to abuse the service doing something it wasn’t intended for to circumvent paying for cell minutes you were actually going to use, just seemed plain silly. Owell live & learn I suppose.

  • dolapo78

    Must be the reason why t-mobile is working so hard to update the network. Can wait..

    • andrew

      They are maybe get iphon

  • kendrix_myrealname

    I would love to see this phone come to t-mo. This phone looks so great. I love htc phones

  • http://fonearena.com/blog Varun

    The handset looks amazing

    Looks like Google or HTC might announce it at MWC2010

    http://www.fonearena.com/blog/2009/12/13/will-the-google-phone-be-announced-at-mwc-2010.html

  • dave
  • edd

    i think the main reason google is selling this phone not with a carrier is that they want to push the android platform regardless of carrier. That way the other android phones will get a push also…
    just a thought lol

  • Red

    How can T-Mobile support the launch if it’s only sold through google?

  • Rochester

    @David/Darkjedi.

    Is T-Mobile going to subsidize the phone for contract customers?

    • Duck Dodgers

      Why would T-Mobile subsidize it if it is Google is selling it through their channels? I would assume Google would subsidize it.

  • phonegeek

    okay t-mobile thats whats good question is whats that price range going to be hopefully they’re not trying to gouge out our wallets we’re already in dire need of money all i know is there is a new setup of phones coming to t-mobile in 2010, i think i seen it in one of the links up top under android so phones are coming be patient

  • just some dude
  • rinklighter

    Need to see real photos of the phone or it didn’t happen.

    That is all.

  • TFJ4

    No subsidies kinda kills it for me, unless google is able to sell it at a already subsidized rate because of there massive power

  • fort

    Welcome to the game Tmobile. Sign me up.

  • mrjlwilliams

    We will all be sitting around talking about this for the next 2 months…like the HTC HD2..which is currently for sale everywhere, but NOT work $1000. We can’t even get 3G for that price…sad. Let’s just hope that by the end of this month, there is some SOLID news…

  • NJ Guido

    Fail this phone will be sold Unlocked So you can use it on AT&T or T-mobile.

  • FOOD_STAMP_CARD

    I dont like it…. its to simple. nothing attractive about this phone. now the sony eric x10, now there’s something to talk about :) HTC could of done a hell of a lot better creating a phone for GOOGLE. Im sorry i might be wrong, but im just more excited about the Sony Ericsson x10. It just looks more promising.

  • NQ Logic

    Google is moving down in the stack to challenge B2C opponents with an open architecture and new sets of standards. In creating a post-revenue business model, Google can only manage success if consumers accept a co-branding and outsourced manufactured device … NQ Logic recommends reading about the rest of the new Google’s mobile strategy at http://www.nqlogic.com

  • JBLmobileG1

    I would Love this phone but if the price is over $200 (which it will be) I probably won’t have a chance at being able to pick one up. I mean I was lucky enough to talk the wife into letting me get a G1 when it launched at $180. Sad thing is if Tmobile doesn’t sell it then you know its going to be like buying it for an outright price and a phone similar to this at my work would be in the $500 to $600 range. True Google gives out great services for free but I don’t see this being the case with this… someone needs to pay HTC. What would be nice is if Google sold a version at a discounted rate with add support. Like they could sell the phone for dirt cheap but for a certain time you would see ads anytime you placed a call… and if you were interested in what was being offered you could click on it to take you to the site. Or instead of hearing the ring when calling someone you would hear a short ad. I know this would get old but maybe they could do this in order to cut the cost for the customer.. Who knows…. I would love to have the perfect android phone (this may be it) but without being able to upgrade to it for a good price I may be outta luck.

  • kershon

    I can’t put my finger on it but I just got a feelin that Tmo might sell this phone. If they are going to support it and troubleshoot it, etc then why not sell it too. If the tech problems with the phone are more than tmo can handle, then they refer you to google. In my experience with some blackberries I have had in the past they do the same thing: refer to rim tech support when tmo pda-blackberry people can’t solve the problem. Just my 2 cents worth of speculation.

    • TK-421

      Wow I didn’t think about it this way. This is absolutely true, I could see this being the case for the Google phone. This view lends some substantial legitimacy to this mendacious rumor.

    • Bill48105

      I am wondering if it’ll be the 1st 100% data phone which I’ve been speculating to be the next logic evolution in cell phones. Think about it, you buy the phone without any connectivity like you would a cordless home phone or wireless laptop and you get the connectivity you choose, be it wifi or cell from say TMo in which case you’d buy a data plan. Using that data plan you can obviously do web/email/etc but also google voice voip calling. TA-DA, you’d done away with calling plans, TMo is ahead of the curve with their no-contract BYOD plans not to mention super rapid super speedy HSPA+ rollout to handle such a thing & google is front & center in a major power play position and TMo is partner in crime.. Nah, call me crazy. ;)

  • kershon

    One more thought. Tmo may not subsidize the phone, but why could they not sell it as they do now with the em and em+ plans. Finance it for 4 months or 20 depending on the plan you are on. It would be google’s phone, but tmo would be selling it without the added carrier bloatware they all add.

  • http://Tmonews Wojax2

    First off, let me apologize for saying this because this might offend some….f**k google! If they do not.bring this phone to t-mob exscusively. They walk around now(like apple) like the sh*t don’t stank. They keep mentioning the need to sell the phone themselves and not to any one carrier, but in fact it wasn’t for tmob no one would give a sh*t about ANDROID! .did any other carriers initially support them?. Let me think…….NO! google needs to do the right thing and partner with the company that in the begining brought them success( with mobile software). I understand the business aspect of things but, do the right thing- team up with tmob like you should.because google owes them.otherwise you would of bitten the hand that fed you and your softwares success. Sorry bout the rant but, I was a little pissed! .(and David-I know you feel the same but you don’t need to say so.I said it for you).I’m out!

    • Malcolm jax

      while i have no adverse feelings against google, i would not be opposed to tmo being the exclusive carrier. i agree that if not for the G1, and people like us taking a chance with the android os, google would not be in the position it is in today with their android os.

  • http://Tmonews Wojax2

    Sorry bout the spelling, I’m typing on my unlocked iPhone.lol

  • john

    Another reason that Tmo is gonna support the trouble shootings is Google doesn’t want to spend money on customer service and let Tmo take care of it. I guess Tmo will advertise for the phone and link their website to Google checkout.

  • http://twitter.com/koolkidjeff usmcjeff

    Wow this might be the phone I’ve been waiting for..I was waiting for iphone 2010 but not anymore.

    But what if google is only testing android 2.1?

  • Brad H

    Two comments:
    1) This cannot be data only. With T-mobile’s tiny 3G network (and it is tiny), you wouldn’t be able to make VOIP calls in SO many places where there was GPRS or roaming coverage. It would be idiotic and make the phone only useful in cities.
    If the phone is data only, I will have no interest in it.

    2) If T-mobile charges any kind of bogus rate plan difference or requires me to upgrade from t-zones on a phone they aren’t even subsidizing I will be pissed off.

  • http://www.prepaiddebit.org Prepaid debit

    Why not just get a prepaid debit card, load cash onto it? BOOM problem solved…