Is Gphone For Real? Or Not?

Updated, see last paragraph: For a long time there were quite a few rumors about Google making a Gphone, its own hardware device. In the end it came out with Android, a software platform that it is promoting in partnership with 50 odd companies. The platform is still under development, so to speak, as Mountain View-based search company works with partners to iron out the kinks. As we reported earlier, it has hit some speed bumps.

Android, however, shifted attention away from the possibility of Google making its own hardware. Looks like that plan to make Google-branded phone hasn’t been dropped entirely, according to The Hollywood Reporter. One of their reporters is attending Allen & Company’s Sun Valley Retreat for media barons and he attended an impromptu press conference held by Google co-founders Larry Page & Sergey Brin along with CEO Eric Schmidt.

The trio of Google execs also used the opportunity to talk about the inroads the company is making with its own branded mobile phone as a replacement for the iPhone, as well as the Chinese market and how they’re treated there — and even Google’s inhouse educational programs and the salaries and potential of teachers.

The report, I admit is awkwardly worded but I wonder if any of the other reporters actually picked up more details from the tattling trio. It is not clear from the report if all the talk is about Android or if they actually mean a GPhone.The Google-branded handset is a bit like the Abdominal Abominable Snowman – much talked about but rarely seen. I emailed the press hotline and will wait for some clarifications.

Update #1: Michael Arrington says that San Francisco-based The Ammunition Group might be designing the new phone.

Update#2: Peter Kafka checked with some reporters in attendance and found out that there was no specific talk of a handset.

larry: we have android phones obvioulsy. I know that there’s a hypothetical google phone
eric: they’ll call it the google phone no matter what you call it. we’re just going to have to deal with this

Google, still hasn’t replied to our request – it is the weekend after all. 

Photo courtesy of our mates at Gizmodo via Googlified.