GPhone prototype expected at Mobile World Congress

It’s a big week coming up in the Mobile Web world. The annual Mobile World Congress is being held in Barcelona, 11-14 February. The early buzz is around Google’s much (and oft) rumored GPhone. According to the Times Online, Google “is expected to produce a prototype mobile handset” at the show. Even if Google itself doesn’t unveil a phone, there will be plenty of Android prototypes on display (Google’s open source Mobile Operating System).

CNN is reporting that “as many as one dozen handset makers and chip companies are expected next week to unveil mobile phone prototypes designed to operate with Google Inc.’s (GOOG) new Android software platform”.

We’ll just have to wait and see if Google itself comes out with a phone, although our network blog last100 speculated recently about a potential partnership with Dell. Check out a classic last100 post from last August if you’re interested in some visual concepts on what a Gphone may look like!

It’s not just Google which is causing buzz though. At a new Tangler-powered forum for the Nokia Nseries Mobile World Congress Virtual Event, there is plenty of speculation on touch UI devices. Will we see some amazing new devices from Nokia this week?

Nokia has been very busy of late. last100 last week covered the launches of Nokia’s N-Gage gaming service and the “Share on Ovi” media sharing site. As last100’s Dan Langendorf noted: “With handset prices falling, Nokia is expanding into mobile Internet services and is the first cell phone maker to move strongly into the content space — before Samsung, Motorola, LG, Apple, Google, RIM, and others.”

In related news, Sony Ericsson has just announced a partnership with Microsoft. Gigaom reports that Sony Ericsson will start selling Windows Mobile phones sometime later this year (also see last100’s coverage).

Finally, the Mobile Web action is not limited to bigcos. Our favorite Mobile Web blogger Rudy de Waele has a great run-down of side events to the Mobile World Congress, including the Mobile Monday Peer Awards Barcelona, which has 25 nominees. Check out ReadWriteWeb’s earlier coverage of those promising Mobile Web startups.

But to come full circle: Gphone or no Gphone? That is the question… Let us know in the comments what you think is coming this busy week in the Mobile Web.

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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