Rumor is that we may see Google join the crowded smartphone market with an Android phone all its own. And it may be coming this year. According to Street dot Com, everyone’s favorite Internet giant is currently working with a smartphone manufacturer on designing a Google-branded phone. The phone is expected to hit the market later this year and will be sold directly through retailers, not through service providers. The report cites source Ashok Kumar, an analyst who apparently has discussed the upcoming phone with Google’s hardware partners.
The Google-branded phone will feature a Qualcomm processor, according to the report. It’s also speculated that Android-proficient HTC will be Google’s partner on the phone, helping to deliver the final product in time for the holiday surge. While hardware details remain absent, the new Google phone could shake up the market, dealing a blow to both current Android manufacturers and telecommunications companies. The phone is expected to be reasonably priced and unlocked, providing consumers with more access to features that are otherwise regulated by service providers. [via Street]