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The Google Rumor Machine

This week rumor is Google’s GooPhone/GPhone or whatever name you would like to call it is coming to India in two weeks, writes Puneet Mehrotra.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2007 23:38 IST

It seems free publicity and Google have a great karma equation. No matter how hard I try to avoid, I simply can’t seem to miss Google from the tech headlines. Ironically as I write this I guess I am further becoming a minor facilitator to the free publicity Google gets. If products from Google labs are to be considered then Google obviously doesn’t believe too highly in the enterprise model. Perhaps it feels the same for the press.Rumors is perhaps a great way of publicity anyways. This week rumor is Google’s GooPhone/GPhone or whatever name you would like to call it is coming to India in two weeks!The Google Phone

Google is the boss of the internet and the boss’s phone gets 1,020,000 results. The GPhone coming in India gets 142 results in Google News. Now the interesting part even Google doesn’t know when the Google Phone is coming out, at least officially. Three weeks ago I did a story on the probable Google Phone, on its pros and cons, partnerships with Vodafone, Samsung and LG and how mobility has been high on Google agenda for a long time, all I managed getting from the Google spokesperson was "Mobile is an important area for Google and we remain focused on creating applications and establishing and growing partnerships with industry leaders to develop innovative services for users worldwide. However, we have nothing further to announce."
The ‘stale’ responseThis week’s official response on the GPhone coming to India. I guess you guessed it. Just copy paste the above response and a few minor changes and you have it!For Google’s sake its copy pasted here "Google is committed to providing users with access to the world’s information, and mobile becomes more important to those efforts every day. We’re collaborating with partners worldwide to bring Google search and applications to mobile users everywhere."Any publicity is good publicityIs Google Phone a reality? Perhaps yes. There are several factors that establish that Google is serious about mobility. There is ample evidence to show Google has been serious about this area and its partnerships with telcos also prove the same.Is Google Phone coming to India in 2 weeks?Well even the probability of that is so low that anybody can guess it. Yet Google won’t deny it. "Google Phone coming to India in 2 weeks" is a perfect example of how Google will neither deny nor confirm a rumor based around Google. Any publicity is good publicity is what powers the Google Rumor machine and it works perfectly well for Google. Noteworthy is Google not just thrives on such publicity it probably flames it further through its informal communication channel on its Google Blog. It happened with Gmail, it happened with YouTube and throughout the same pattern has been observed.Google Rumor MachineGPhone may or may not be a reality but it seems Google RMachine does exist. News reports claim a top Indian newspaper started the rumor.Interestingly how come only Google is rumor favored everytime. And if it’s really a rumor then why can’t Google deny it?Just track this rumor mongering trend backwards and see the common pattern. The pattern has been each time a media allegedly started a rumor. Google as usual neither confirmed neither denied it. I wonder if you know there is even a site called www.googlerumors.comThe Google RMachine may not be a rumor it seems.The Last WordPerhaps Google, the God on online seekers, would do well to remember the wise words of Josh Homme "foolishly play with the fires of rumor, only to risk being burned by its treacherous flames."The RMachine beware sometimes speed kills.Puneet Mehrotra is a web strategist at and edits you can email him on

First Published: Aug 25, 2007 23:34 IST