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LOS ANGELES – Google Inc.’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) employees are testing a new mobile device that runs on the company’s Android operating system, as the search giant continues its push into the wireless market and toward more direct competition with Apple Inc.’s iPhone.
In a , Google said the new device combines hardware built by an unnamed partner with its Android software. The free software is crucial in Google’s efforts to make its search engine and other services as accessible on cell phones as they already are on personal computers.
Here’s the post:
"At Google, we are constantly experimenting with new products and technologies, and often ask employees to test these products for quick feedback and suggestions for improvements in a process we call dogfooding (from "eating your own dogfood"). Well this holiday season, we are taking dogfooding to a new level.
"We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe. This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it.
"Unfortunately, because dogfooding is a process exclusively for Google employees, we cannot share specific product details. We hope to share more after our dogfood diet."
(Posted by Mario Queiroz, Vice President, Product Management)
Google handed the device out to employees across the globe so they could "experiment with new mobile features and capabilities," and give quick feedback on the new technology, said Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management, said on the company’s blog.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported Sunday that Google plans to sell the phone directly to consumers, instead of through a wireless carrier. Such a move would mean Google would go head-to-head with Apple’s iPhone and Research in Motion’s Blackberry, as well as current makers of Android phones.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Google launched its first Android phone in September 2008, the G1 sold by T-Mobile USA. Verizon Wireless last month released the Droid, the first smart phone to run Android 2.0, and expects to launch another Android phone this year.