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Google Phone to follow iPhone?

Google, it is rumored, may produce their own phone to follow the iPhone.

I recently wrote about interesting rumors of a Google browser, and now there are strong rumblings of a Google phone. Of course, just like the browser, this is something that has bubbled to the surface several times over the years, but equally like the browser, the newest rumors seem to have the strongest merit yet.

Tech gadget sites Gizmodo and CrunchGear are reporting that the alleged "Gphone" will be produced in Taiwan and is expected launch sometime in the first quarter of 2008. Alleged functionality -- and this would make total sense -- includes Gmail and calendar functions; Google Maps quite possibly with GPS; Google Docs support; and a Google Talk interface.

Why does this rumor have merit? Well first, and most obviously, is the iPhone. Already a hit, there are many entities clamoring to jump on that bandwagon. Google would be remiss in not taking a stab at the phone market, especially with their existing brand recognition in the technology sector. But added to this (just like the Google browser) is the potential Google applications support. Not only would a phone give Google another way to both connect to and monetize their applications, it would also give those applications hardware support. In other words, the applications might be able to do more (dare I hackney the word "robust?") because they are supported by hardware specifically focused to the applications.

I have an iPhone, and I love it. But I'd like to see a Gphone as well. What's next? Telephone assimilation, perhaps? I like the concept.