The world may have caught a glimpse of the first, Google-powered mobile phone, after a senior executive appeared inadvertently to show it off in public yesterday - a week before its expected launch. The new mobile, called “Dream”, will use Android, Google’s new software for mobile phones, and will be manufactured by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC. It will be available exclusively on the T-Mobile network in the UK. It is thought that the phone will be available to buy as early as November, which would spark a fierce battle for customers with the Apple iPhone over the Christmas period. Google, which is notoriously secretive about new technology before it launches, would not confirm or deny whether the executive had shown off the new phone.
Seen yesterday by The Times at the Google Developer Day event at Wembley Stadium, the touchscreen device looked much like released photographs of the Dream. When asked to make a phone call on the Android phone, Mike Jennings, the Google executive who demonstrated the device, said: “I can’t show it off any more, I’ll be out of a job.” It is thought the new handset will have a slide-out Qwerty keyboard as well as built-in GPS (global positioning system). The phone is expected to be able to run Google’s range of web applications, including Gmail, Google Docs and Google Maps, and will likely also feature Google’s new web browser, Chrome. A source close to the launch was reported as saying that the company expects to ship 600,000 to 700,000 units of the new phone this year, whereas analysts have put the figure at 300,000 to 500,000 units.