Google Nexus One phone coming next month?

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The so-called Googlephone is very real, will be called Nexus One and, according to some reports, could be available as soon as next month.

Rumours of a full-blown Google handset running its Android operating system have been knocking around nearly as long as Android itself. But developments over the weekend have turned rumours into confirmed reality.

In a post on the Google Mobile blog on Saturday, Google's vice president of product development Mario Queiroz confirmed that the device was being tested internally, with the Wall Street Journal revealing the name Nexus One later the same day.

"We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe," Queiroz wrote.

By the end of the weekend a string of leaked pictures had appeared from various sources, revealing a device with a screen slightly bigger than the iPhone and a BlackBerry-esque trackball below the screen.

Reports claim the hardware will be manufactured by HTC, and indeed there's more than a little of the Taiwanese company's design touches in the Nexus One.

The Wall Street Journal revealed not only the Nexus One name, but also that it would be sold online directly by Google, making it the first ever handset to be released fully unlocked.

Whether Google plans to provide the Nexus One to networks at a later date has yet to be confirmed, but in the beginning consumers will have to pay for it in full.

And as for when that beginning is, blog Techcrunch claims it could be released to the public as soon as next month.

As recently as October, Andy Rubin, head of Google's Android development, insisted that Google wasn't making hardware but rather enabling others to build it.