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Google planning branded Android mobile phone?

Google planning branded Android mobile phone?

Speculation is mounting that Google is planning a branded entry into the Android phone market, amid soaring sales for handsets that run the company’s operating system.

The last 12 months has seen a surge in take up of Android mobile phones, with the HTC Magic and T-Mobile G1 both registering sales of over a million units each. Demand has been similarly strong for the award-winning HTC Hero and T-Mobile G2 Touch.

According to Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Northeast Securities, the range of Android phones on the market will be bolstered further next year by the release of a Google-branded phone which he claims is being developed now in conjunction with Motorola.

Mr Kumar also forecasts that the phone will be unlocked and will be available directly through retailers rather than on monthly mobile phone contract plans with networks.

Rumours of Google’s plans have, however, been rubbished by a number of blogs and news sites, with many pointing to previous unfounded rumours that the company harboured intentions to launch a branded phone.

Sceptics have also questioned whether such a move, which would pit Google against network carriers in a very competitive market, would make good business sense for the search engine giant.

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