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Michael Arrington, of TechCrunch, is not giving up. Google, according to him, is readying to release its own Android phone. Google says no. IntoMobile, Daring Fireball, and PC World all say no. But Arrington still says yes.
Why? Because Google’s Andy Rubin said there will be no Google phone. That’d seem pretty conclusive, despite the practice of companies’ denying the existence of a product until the product actually ships. But there’s a loophole here that Arrington sniffs out. And it has to do with with the simple question: when is a phone not a phone?
Answer: when it’s a data device. Arrington suspects the focus on a phone as a phone is where others have it wrong. After all, a data device is capable of carrying voice over VoIP. Which makes any computer equipped with Skype, for example, a phone while not being a phone. Arrington points out that Google even said as much when it was bidding for chunks of the 700 Mhz spectrum back in 2007.
Arrington says his sources tell him AT&T is bidding on a service. Google would make block purchases of data from AT&T, and will sell access to purchasers of its data device. Conditions will apply, Arrington suspects, as the target price is $20 a month. He also suggests that U.S. GSM carriers, as well as TMobile, could support the device.
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