Report: 50,000 Gphones shipping out

October 15, 2007: 6:04 PM ET

Pssst, here's the latest Google rumor: A UBS analyst has confirmed that Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC will ship about 50,000 cell phones running on a mobile operating system made by the Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant by the end of this year.

Last week a Wall Street analyst reported that Google's shares would crack $700 with plans to make its own phone. Most, however, suspect that Google (GOOG) is making a mobile operating system that could work on any mobile device.

This isn't the first time that HTC has been mentioned as a possible manufacturer of the Google phone, but none have nailed concrete details. Should the HTC/Google partnership turn out to be true, consumers can expect their Gphones sometime in 2008.

"These initial phones are not going to be for sale," Benjamin Schachter, one of the analysts who worked on the report, said in a phone call earlier today. "These are going to be available for developers only to understand how the software works."

HTC is a likely manufacturing partner for Google. The Taiwanese company is a smartphone specialist (it created its first for Orange back in 2002) and, as a semi-white label supplier, keeps a low profile by making phones branded by carriers, such as the T-Mobile Dash and the Cingular 8125. That could bode well for Google if it's interested in slapping its own brand on a cell phone.

However, Schachter said he doesn't believe that HTC will be the sole maker of the much-hyped device, and says Google is likely talking to other equipment manufacturers.

"If I had to guess, I'd say LG would be one of them," he said.

According to Schachter, Google is likely to reveal more details at the Oct. 24 event it hosts for analysts. Until then, let the rumors roll.

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Michal Lev-Ram
Michal Lev-Ram
Writer, Fortune

Based in Silicon Valley, Michal Lev-Ram covers enterprise and mobile technologies for FORTUNE. Prior to joining FORTUNE, she wrote for CNNMoney, Fast Company, Popular Science and other business and technology publications. She was also a staff writer at Business 2.0 and holds a B.A. in journalism from San Francisco State University.

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