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Rumored 'Google Phone' said to be coming in 2010

Google is rumored to release its own custom-built Android phone in early 2010, allowing the company to control all of the facets of the software and hardware, much like with Apple and the iPhone.

According to Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, the Google-branded phone has been "confirmed" through reliable, anonymous sources, and will be sold directly through retailers very soon. Though the handset was originally planned to release this holiday, it has slipped to early 2010. Though the device will be created by a major manufacturer, much like Microsoft did with the first Zunes from Toshiba, it will only have the Google brand on it.

"There won’t be any negotiation or compromise over the phone’s design of features — Google is dictating every last piece of it," Arrington said. "No splintering of the Android OS that makes some applications unusable. Like the iPhone for Apple, this phone will be Google’s pure vision of what a phone should be."

While the report claims the preceding information is from reliable sources, Arrington also provides a number of rumors in which he is less confident. He said the handset is likely to be manufactured by Korean companies LG or Samsung, though because Samsung makes a number of parts found in the iPhone, Apple could pressure the company to not accept a deal.

The report also said that Google is set to plan a "big advertising push" in January for the new hardware.

"We don't know what the device will look like, how big it will be, or even if it has a physical keyboard," Arrington said. "But we do know that Google is getting into the phone building business directly, and doesn't seem too concerned about competing with all the other device manufacturers building Android phones."

Until now, the Android platform has been included in devices created by third-party manufacturers, in much the same business model employed by Microsoft with Windows. The new Motorola Droid has been equipped with version 2.0 of the mobile operating system, which sports the company's free turn-by-turn directions application, Google Maps Navigation.

Though Android took a small share of the market in its first year with essentially one handset available, some believe its presence will grow significantly in the coming years, as the operating system expands to new hardware and carriers.

For more on the software side of Android vs. the iPhone, see AppleInsider's ongoing series: