Google has confirmed it is developing its own Android phone – its first mass market consumer device. According to reports, it will be launched next month.
In a blog post on Saturday, Google VP of product management Mario Queiroz announced that its employees are using a custom-designed Android handset for internal development purposes.
But both TechCrunch and the Wall Street Journal, citing people in the know, have stated that Google plans to launch the handset on the consumer market by January 2010.
The phone, which will be named the Nexus One, has reportedly been developed by Taiwan-based HTC, which made the first Android phones. But while the design is based on the HTC Passion, it has been modified to match Google's exacting specifications, and will carry only the Google brand.
Google is believed to have programmed every aspect on the software side, from the OS to the applications running on it.
The GSM-based handset will be sold online, rather than through carrier partners. It is a touchscreen-device and runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip.
If Google proceeds with its plans, it will be its first time selling hardware to consumers. It will also be its second ever hardware product, after a marketing analytics tool.
But Google risks alienating both handset vendors and wireless operators with the move at a time when Android is starting to gain traction as a mobile OS.