02:33 AM

Cerf, VP dismiss gPhone rumors

Google's Vint Cerf and its Southeast Asia VP of marketing both came out and said Google won't be entering the cellphone hardware business (as I predicted), according to Newsfactor.com.

The comments are so similar as to indicate that both are speaking "on message" and that the rumors have gotten far enough out of control that Google needed to speak up. I don't read this as Steve Job-style subterfuge.

Vinton Cerf dismissed reports that Google is collaborating somehow with Apple on new handset hardware. Cerf, one of the founders of the Internet and Google's chief Internet evangelist, said that "[b]ecoming an equipment manufacturer is pretty far from our business model." However, Cerf added, Google is "quite eager" to be part of the growing mobile sector, and "is very interested in the platforms other people are building."

Richard Kimber, Google's South-East Asia managing director of sales and operations, told attendees at the Search Engine Room conference in Sydney that the company is currently focused on mobile applications and not hardware. He added that Google is very interested in finding ways to bring its search technology and other applications to all mobile devices.