Today, TechCrunch broke some rumors that, if true, mean two things. First, that an honest-to-goodness Google phone is coming. And second, that Google VP Andy Rubin is a liar, with pants of fire. Michael Arrington himself claims that they have "absolutely confirmed" the existence of a Google branded smartphone. This new device will be sold through retailers, and should ship out in early 2010.
Previous rumors of the Gphone's existence have been quashed by the top brass at Google, and yet Arrington seems utterly convinced of the mobile's existence. He states that the phone will be made by a "major mobile manufacturer", but will have Google branding. Unlike the G1 (which was branded 'with Google') the Gphone will be designed from the ground-up to match Google's ideal Android phone as closely as possible.
LG is expected to actually make the new device, although rumors of both Samsung and HTC have abounded. Nothing else about the phone is known now, but Arrington is clear that he believes its existence has been thoroughly confirmed. TechCrunch is one of the most reliable rumor sites out there. If their sources have shown them beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Gphone is happening...than the Gphone is probably happening.
Whether or not the phone succeeds, its launch will be a seminal moment for the Android operating system. Google is the only company with both the vision, and the experience to craft a phone that could be the open-source equal to the iPhone. The Droid manages to ring a close second to the iPhone by most reviewers accounts. If Google can seal up its shortcomings and deliver an equally solid, simple, and reliable device...they'll have a lot of Android converts on their hands.