Two titans of the tech world, Google and Apple, may soon be engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Or, more precisely, handset-to-handset combat.
Google plans to begin selling its own smartphone early next year, company employees say, a move that could challenge Apple’s leadership in one of the fastest-growing and most important technologies in decades.
Google’s new touch-screen Android phone, which it began giving to many employees to test last week, could also shake up the fundamentals of the cellphone market in the United States, where most phones work only on the networks of the wireless carriers that sold them.
The company, using the power of its brand, plans to market and sell the new phone directly to consumers over the Internet, and buyers would be able to sign up for service from any compatible provider, the employees say.