While I’m spreading rumors about online giants today, I might as well be fair and include others in the fun. The San Jose Mercury News has more on the rumored Google phone.
Just as Microsoft would gain ground in mobile local search with a rumored acquisition of Tellme Networks (voice search capability could be integrated directly into the pervasive Windows Mobile platform), a Google phone could similarly plant Google search capability directly onto the phone.
A lot is still unclear about what this device will be, but ideally it would be VoIP enabled when within Wi-Fi range (the Merc article suggests as much), lessening the dependence on wireless carriers. This would sidestep the carrier control that has proved to be a significant barrier in pushing out mobile local search applications. But don’t get me started on that. More on this barrier here.