Posted January 13th, 2007 in Mobile Phones

Googlephone Google and Samsung have announced what some analysts are calling the highly anticipated Googlephone. We had previously speculated that Google would give away their phones for free, but calls would be ad-supported. Unlike the recent Jajah announcement though, users would be forced to listen to an advertisement before the call connects.

Joint statement from CES and Seoul detailed how Samsung will integrate Google’s suite of applications on their phones in a worldwide initiative. This will mean that users will be able to select a Google icon and connect to Google services including Google Search, Google Maps and Gmail. At the time of writing their was no mention of building in support for Google’s popular soft phone, Google Talk.

The first product of the agreement has already rolled off the manufacturing line in the shape of the Samsung SGH-Z720, a slim HSDPA-ready handset with 3MP camera, Bluetooth and MP3 player.

Google have a whole range of applications beyond search, maps and email that could be integrated into a phone. For starters they could add their calendar application for time management or even Google Video so people could stay entertained on the move. Mobile TV is already hugely popular in Asia and as new faster networks are rolled out we are going to see a rush of companies to get their services in our mobiles.

Clearly Google are working slightly ahead of the curve, beating Yahoo! and MSN to the mobile market. Now it’s all eyes on Apple as we anticipate the valley’s worst kept secret, the Apple phone. It will be interesting to see if the Google / Samsung announcement is a precursor to a similar or even more ambitious Google / Apple deal. It wouldn’t be unthinkable, especially when we take into consideration Apple’s recent nomination of Eric Schmidt to their board of governors.

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