In the wake of industry guesswork and unconfirmed rumours, more news has emerged about the Google branded mobile phone due for release next year, which will allegedly have a data-only connection.
Many commentators reacted with scepticism to the news of the Google phone, but others remain confident that official denial of its existence means little. The main reason for experts dismissing the rumours was the idea that Google would be shooting itself in the foot by competing directly with manufacturers currently using its Android platform.
In considering Google's position, it is believed that it could simply deny any accusations of competition if it were to release a device that was not technically a mobile phone in the traditional sense.
If the Google phone were to be available on data-only tariffs, voice calls would need to be made over VoIP. This would give the phone the same basic functionality as all other mobiles, although calls would be made exclusively via a data connection.
The second wave of rumours surrounding the Google phone which hint at a VoIP only service are partly driven by news from US telecoms giant AT&T. It has revealed that it will be selling data-only packages to customers with BlackBerry mobile phones or Windows Mobile handsets which do not have any kind of voice-driven component.
It is likely that data-only plans will become available on a significantly larger scale as the continued evolution of networking technology allows for ever faster speeds over the next few years.
At present, the legitimacy of the sources offering details of the Google phone is suspect and expectant consumers will have to wait for facts until any official news about the phone's release emerges.