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Google to launch ‘Gphone’ next week

Google's Gphone may finally be launched next week, US reports suggest.

The Gphone is designed to be powered by Google's...

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Google's Gphone may finally be launched next week, US reports suggest.

The Gphone is designed to be powered by Google's mobile operating system Android, which Google has made open source.

Last year, when it launched Android, Google squashed rumours it was about to launch a phone. Instead, it announced an industry alliance to promote an open mobile OS, such as Android.

But rumours of an actual Gphone launch have spread since details of a press event in New York next Tuesday broke. The event is hosted by mobile operator T-Mobile, which is now expected to be the first operator to support a Gphone.

Both T-Mobile and Google have refused to give further details about the launch.

The phone is said to be manufactured by HTC and touch driven like Apple's iPhone. Reports say designs for the device have already been registered with the US Federal Communications Commission.

It could be, however, that HTC has simply loaded a mobile device with Android and T-Mobile is supporting it. But the question is, who is branding the device - Google, HTC or T-Mobile - and what applications will be loaded onto it?

If the device is running Android and the productivity and media applications contain a distinct set from Google, it would probably be regarded as a "Gphone", despite what anyone says.

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