The blogosphere is literally buzzing with news that the much-rumoured Google phone is now becoming a very hard and imminently deliverable fact.
The buzz started on Friday night with several blogs such as Tech Crunch picking up tweets from Google employees and others about a new Android handset that was in 'dogfooding' test stage. This was then confirmed on Google's own mobile blog and then 'very trustworthy' sources have emphatically sworn this to be the official Google phone.
The phone will be produced by HTC, but created to Google's exacting specifications and be clearly Google-branded when it is launched in early January 2010 through retailers as well as direct channels (unlike the iPhone this won't be locked to particular operator/carriers).
Further details, as published on mashable.com, suggest that the phone will be called the Nexus One (a name which has since appeared on user logs of selected tech sites this weekend) and look according to various hands-on accounts either like 'an iPhone on beautifying steroids' or a variation on the HTC Passion (see above).
The handset will run Android 2.1, be powered by a Snapdragon chip and boast a super-high resolution OLED capacitive touch-screen, no keyboard (although possibly a very thin track-ball) but two distinct mics (to help eliminate background noise and facilitate features like voice-to-text dictation) and a very large camera.
Suffice to say, the arrival of a proper Google phone is likely to accelerate the cause of the Android platform considerably, shake things up in the next-gen mobile phone battle and can only be good news for mobile gaming and content.
Expect an awful lot more news and opinion in the coming days.
Update: First image of the Google Phone revealed.