A venture capitalist says he has details on the rumored Google Phone. Simeon Simeonov of Polaris Venture Partners writes in his High Contrast blog that an inside source has told him that it will be a Blackberry-like device running C++ at the core with an operating system bootstrap and optimized Java and that it offer voice over Internet Protocol.
"Apparently, Google is planning to build distribution relationships with multiple carriers by allowing them to minimize subscription and marketing costs," Simeonov writes. "In other words, Google will market the phone online and carriers will fulfill. How fast can you say dumb pipe?"
Google and Samsung are rumored to be building the phone, codenamed "Switch," Simeonov says and his posting includes what he claims is a leaked photo of the device. Google and Samsung announced a partnership in January to bundle mobile versions of Google Search, Google Maps and Gmail on certain Samsung phones.
Google has made at least three acquisitions that would give it technology and expertise to build such a device, according to Simeonov. Google hired Andy Rubin, founder of Danger, a handheld device maker, and later Android, a mobile software maker, which he sold to Google in August of 2005. Google also acquired Reqwireless, a mobile applications company that Simeonov says has "apparently played a role in developing the suite of Google mobile apps." And Google secretly acquired a company called Skia, whose first product is a portable graphics engine that renders 2D graphics on handhelds, he says.
Rumors about Google's alleged phone plans have been swirling for several years. Most recently, The Observer reported late last year that France Telecom Group's mobile-telephony division Orange was in discussions with Google.