Michael Arrington Has Heard That Google is Building Android Hardware ➝

Despite Google’s head of Android development, Andy Rubin denying such rumors, Michael Arrington believes that Google will be building their own branded phone that they will sell directly through retailers.

Arrington says that most of his sources have “unconfirmed information” but he believes that the device is coming. His sources say that it will be coming early next year and will be produced by a major phone manufacturer (maybe LG or Samsung) but will only have Google branding.

Either Andy Rubin is a liar or Michael Arrington is totally wrong, I’m currently leaning towards the latter.

But, it is in Arrington’s followup piece where he could be getting a little closer to something I could believe.

But there may be another way Google will argue that they aren’t “competing with customers” by launching their own device – technically, it may not be a phone.

The Google Phone may be a data only, VoIP driven device. And Google may be lining up at least AT&T to provide those data services for the Google Phone, says one person we spoke with today.

The concept is simple, you just pay for a data plan. Your phone number and voicemail would be provided by Google Voice, while your calls and SMS messages would go over IP. You would no longer pay based on how many minutes you need per month, just a low cost data plan and you’re out the door.

I just don’t know if the US carriers would go for it. They are so concerned with their network, I doubt they would be on board with anything that would bring in less profit and more data usage.

Google Has No Android Hardware Plans

Update 11/30/09: Gizmodo’s Mark Wilson is citing a “trusted source who’s seen it with their own eyes, the Google Phone ‘is a certainty.’”