The Google Phone has been announced, and instead of a phone that's manufactured by just one company, it's an open software platform that's going to be loaded on phones made by HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung. Those phones are going to be available in the US on Sprint and T-Mobile by the second half of 2008—plus, it's going to be available in China, Japan, Germany, Italy, and Spain on their respective carriers. The 34 members of the Open Handset Alliance developing this GPhone will throw in their expertise (example, Nvidia with their graphical abilities, Skype with their VoIPing) and offer the collective goods under an open source licensing agreement. Hell, Google might not even put their logo on the phone itself—they just want to sell advertisements to users through it.
HTC's CEO, who makes lots of Windows Mobile phones for business users, says the resulting phone by Google and its 34 friends will be targeted towards consumers. The SDK for developers will be available by November 12, which will then enable people to hit that 2H 2008 launch date. The software's actually been in development for three years, starting from the Google acquisition of a company called Android Inc. The most important part of this is that the platform will be free for handset manufacturers to load onto their phones, beating out other operating systems like Windows Mobile, Palm, and Symbian in terms of price. [NYTimes - USA Today - CNN]