The iPhone got announced today -- only it's a boring VoIP phone from Linksys, not the super-duper version from Apple. While the fanboys may be in a mild tizzy, the move highlights that any Apple "iPhone" probably won't be called the iPhone, since Linksys and its parent Cisco control that trademark. Anyhow, the cutting-edge rumormongers left the Apple phone behind this weekend, preferring instead to speculate on the Googlephone, following a poorly sourced article from a UK paper saying that Google had held talks with the operator Orange about jointly creating a cobranded mobile phone, to be produced by Taiwanese contract manufacturer HTC. If anything, what happened here was more likely to be Orange reaching out to Google in an attempt to secure its brand and the attendant cachet, not the other way around. The article's anonymous source says that Google wants to learn all about mobile from Orange -- which is slightly amusing given that Orange and other operators tend to embody the exact opposite of Google when it comes to satisfying and delighting users. Google should be the ones teaching mobile operators things, rather than the operators teaching Google how to overcharge your customers and limit the things they can do with their mobile devices. Furthermore, though, a Google phone doesn't make a lot of sense, given that the company is already working with a number of mobile operators around the world to deploy its services, and also because it's got far more to gain by finding solutions that are inclusive, and can attract the biggest possible audience, rather than exclusive ones dependent on users buying a particular phone or service from a particular operator. But maybe, just maybe, Google is planning this non-existent phone to go along with all that wireless spectrum it didn't buy earlier this year.
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