December 17, 2009 at 10:34 am
Whilst it is looking ever more likely that Google will be releasing its own branded Android smartphone called the Nexus One, it appears that they may be planning something similar for netbooks with Chrome OS.
According to TechCrunch sources, Google has “been talking to at least one hardware manufacturer about building a netbook for Google directly.” The idea is that these Chrome OS netbooks will be Google branded and would release in time for Christmas 2010. The netbooks (or smartbooks) will be mobile enabled and subsidized via wireless carriers.
The move wouldn’t surprise us. When Google formally announced its Chrome OS, it was almost specifying the ideal components to get the best out of the new operating system. The ability to release a branded device that would act as a benchmark for others to follow, may be too tempting to pass up.
Whilst we don’t know what hardware this new device would entail, Google has already given a RFP (request for proposal) to an ODM that includes detailed technical specifications and has apparently already begun discussions on building it. It will be interesting to see whether Google chooses an Intel Atom powered netbook or instead chooses an ARM offering. As soon as we have any more information we’ll get back to you.