We received half a dozen tips earlier today from our Svenska readers talking about "Gizmondo coming back." The story went from a vague November 2007 quote by ex-convict Carl Freer into a morning Internet craze, all fuelled by a flash animation in a domain registered through an anonymous service. A bit of fact checking, with the help of a few Swedish journalist friends and whois, reveals that the rumours of a Gizmondo reappearance may have been greatly exaggerated. Actually, there's probably enough material to completely smash them.
The original article appeared in Realtid.se, a gossip online mag that according to our sources in Sweden lacks any kind of credibility and "should be avoided at all costs." In the article, Carl Freer talks about launching a new Gizmondo with a wider screen and a possible co-op with an unnamed telco where customers will be offered a Gizmondo for free, just for signing up for a data transfer subscription.
Freer, long-time friend and associate of famed Ferrari-crasher, fraudster and fellow ex-convict Stefan Eriksson, was recently arrested in the US for impersonating an "anti-terrorist agent" and illegal possession of guns. He was also previously convicted in Sweden for fraud and fined US$265,000 in Germany in 2006 for writing bouncing checks as a car dealer during the '90s.
The Realtid report spread then to two other, more serious newspapers: Veckans Affärer and the Dina Pengar. The latter quoted both Realtid and Veckans Affärer, tying up all the speculation with the last piece of the puzzle, a flash animation hosted at Gizmondolive.com. According to one source, the Dina Pengar article "is not good. They are just quoting other sources and try to put two and two together and end up with three."
Whois shows Gizmondolive.com was registered by Domains by Proxy, Inc., an anonymous web domain registration system designed to hide the identity of the real owner of the site. At this time, the owner of Gizmondolive.com remains unknown. Meanwhile, Gizmondo.com, the actual domain in which any of this would have actually happened, remains parked and in the property of Gizmondo Europe Ltd. (which presumably is owned by the company's debt liquidators.)
So yes, the November 2007 quote by Freer is allegedly real. As another source, Swedish IT journalist Joacim Melin, puts it: "in plain English, he [Freer]is probably bullshitting to attract any kind of venture capitalist" just like they did with the original Gizmondo. The rest, however, is just castles in the air and speculation at this point.
Our guess, looking at the evidence, is that the site was made by some joker following up the November 2007 quote. But who knows, maybe the next Vapormondo will have "psychic powers," as they say. In either case, with the history above, don't count on this happening. And good riddance, is all I can say.
UPDATE: In addition to all this, reader Sean sent us this flash template, which apparently was used in the the Gizmondolive.com animation and further shows that it's probably the job of a prankster.