Is Google Launching Its Own Chrome OS Smartbook Soon?

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News of Google’s browser-based Chrome operating system has been quiet lately. Perhaps a little too quiet. DigiTimes looks to shake things up with a rumor that Google may roll out its own smartbook running Chrome OS before the end of the year—maybe even sometime this month.

“Sources from component players” in Asia are apparently saying that Google’s smartbook would feature an ARM processor (hence the “smartbook” moniker) and “will not be selling through retail channels.”

That’s similar to how Google launched its Nexus One smartphone in early January of this year. It was initially sold directly on Google’s website for $529 with no carrier subsidies, though it was also available through T-Mobile for $179 with a new two-year contract or $279 for existing T-Mobile customers willing to extend their contracts. Verizon was scheduled to sell the phone as well, but ended up pushing the Droid Incredible instead.

So while Google faced challenges trying to convince people to pay $529 for a phone while at the same time trying not to compete head-on with the carriers selling other Android phones, selling a smartbook directly from its site probably wouldn’t prove to be nearly as difficult.

The rumor also asserts that Acer and HP would wait until Google announces its smartbook and then “follow suit and launch their products in December, at the earliest, to test the water.”

To add another layer of complexity on top of everything, there have been rumors swirling about that Google’s getting ready to launch the Nexus Two smartphone—perhaps even on November 8th, the same day Windows Phone 7 devices will be available here in the U.S.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said back in July that there will be no Nexus Two. And Samsung, the company supposedly building this Nexus Two for Google, recently denied that it’s building the phone. However, Samsung is rumored to be holding some sort of event on—you guessed it—November 8th.

If Google really wanted to stick it to Microsoft, why not roll out a brand new Android phone and smartbook running Chrome OS on the same day that Windows Phone 7 rolls out? That’s a bit of a stretch, but it’d be fun to watch. And don’t forget about the rumored Chrome OS tablet that’s apparently supposed to launch on November 26th.

This is getting out of hand.

As always, take this information with a grain of salt. None of these rumors have been officially confirmed (or even acknowledged, in some cases) by any of the interested parties yet.

More on Techland:

Chrome OS or Android: Which Is It? Google Tablet in November

Eric Schmidt: Chrome OS Devices To Be Disposable, Cost Under $400

Is Google Working On Its Own Netbook?

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