Gmail - The Latest from TechCrunch

Helge: How is Nokia's navigation strategy going to conflict with Google objectives. The mobile and Internet companies are fishing in the same waters.

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Gmail - The Latest from TechCrunch: "Rumors of an impending Google phone coming out early next year have been heating up since late summer. Google is thought to be in talks with several phone manufacturers, including HTC and Samsung, to create mobile phones around its platform.

Search Engine Land has a handy timeline of most of the rumors up through late August. Today, the NYT weighs in, suggesting that Google’s large mobile effort (stemming from Google’s 2005 acquisition of Android) is less about competing with Apple’s iPhone than it is about competing with Windows Mobile.

Remember, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Google CEO Eric Schmidt sit on each others’ boards of directors. Google’s focus seems to be more about creating a reference design with a new Linux-based mobile OS than entering the highly-competitive mobile handset market itself.

By creating a reference design and working with existing phone manufacturers, it appears that Google may be hoping to create an entire new class of smart phones, rather than a single, super Gphone.

In this view, each manufacturing partner and cell phone carrier could develop their own set of unique features around the Gphone platform. One might create a killer GPS phone around Google Maps, for instance, while another might try to develop a YouTube phone with a great video camera and lots of on-device memory.

The benefit of many Gphones would be the possibility of a lot more experimentation, but the downside could be that no one manufacturer implements all the best features in a single phone. Here are some of the features Google’s phone partners may have to work with..."

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