News of the potential Google Phone (gPhone) has been slowly but surely taking over the net over the past 6 months or so. As of late, however, the hype is louder than ever since recent (supposedly more concrete) evidence has appeared of its existence. At this point there is simply too much hearsay to really know what the heck is going on but a bit part of my gut says this may just be the biggest bad rumor ever. Unfortunately the other half of my gut wonders why Google’s Marissa Mayer never actually denied the existence of the gPhone at the latest Search Engine Strategies conference.

One thing is for sure, mobile Internet use is skyrocketing and Google undoubtedly wants a sure footing in this burgeoning industry. The question is… will they meddle with the Telcos by taking their own piece of the pie or just continue to supply the ingredients?

Here are some interesting threads if you want to keep up on the latest gPhone hype:

My Prediction: Okay I am going to have fun here and try to predict where Google is with the ‘Gphone’… nowhere! Look it seems bleeming crazy for Google to move on a concept that could alienate their telco partners and put them into a vertical they have little or no experience in. If they do go somewhere with this I expect it will be by way of a partnership model with a leading innovative Telco.

What Google Might Do
Okay here is my serious prediction: I predict that Google will partner with a Telco to create a phone (or modify an existing one) that takes complete advantage of Google’s current and upcoming web applications. The new phone will be priced well below competitors and after they get users hooked on it they will offer an innovative new concept where users receive better rates in exchange for a form of advertising (yes, advertising I mean come on, this is Google after all!). How the advertising is integrated will depend entirely on the physical layout of the phone, however, I would be blown away if the phone did not include an iPhone-like larger than life touch screen which would (theoretically) allow similar ads to what we experience now.

Google will likely make the home page default to a mobile Google page with optional personalization enabled; but they will stress the usefulness of personalization because it will enhance the user experience by providing higher quality results. The phones will become your daily update on all things online including weather, flash news, scheduling, where to go (using GPS built-in or optionally added), email… etc.

Oh and of course Google will not make these great phones available in Canada because Google likes to forget about their Northern neighbors.

What Do You Think?
Is the Gphone all a bunch of whooey or are you betting on it? Drop a note!

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
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