The Google Phone identity

GoogleVarious reports around the Web shows that Google Inc. has approached wireless phone operators and handset makers as it goes about its not-so-secret-plan-anymore to create a new market empire segment revolving around advertisements on mobile phones.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“The company, which has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in its cellphone project, has approached several wireless operators in the U.S. and Europe in recent months.”

Some of the operators courted by Google are the usual suspects like AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Verizon wireless, and Orange.

Now, to the interesting part.

Remember all the suspicions of some (and hopes for others) over Google attempting to enter the mobile market with a Google Phone? Well, it looks like Google has indeed developed prototype handsets and has also talked over technical specifications with manufacturers, including LG Electronics.

In fact, Anian, a Reuters company that tracks industry trends for institutional investors, reported last month that Google had engaged Taiwan's High Tech Computer Corp to design a Linux software-based phone for launch in the first quarter of 2008.

Additionally, The Register reports that "Google doesn't plan to charge a licensing fee to OEMs or operators and has suggested phones carry the Google brand next to that of the operators or could be distributed without the Google name."

So there you have it. The Google phone exists, but the situation here is quite unlike Apple, who created the iPhone as a hardware extension to its iPod/iTunes music empire. It is also different from Microsoft, who created the increasingly successful Windows Mobile operating system, which it licenses out to various OEMs and manufacturers.

Rather, what Google is really doing is courting wireless operators to carry handsets customized for Google products. Why? Think about it: Chief executive Eric Schmidt has said earlier this year that mobile ads are twice as profitable as those through a PC, because the ads are more personal.

So, there you go, ladies and gentlemen. Google doesn't care about the hardware or even the hundreds of millions spent on it. It just wants your eyeballs.

More reports here:

What kind of phone will it take for you to surrender your eyeballs - metaphorically, of course.