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Google smartphone expected at Oct 4 event
[SAN FRANCISCO] Google late Monday sent out invitations to an October 4 event, hinting that the Internet titan will show off a new smartphone powered by its Android mobile software.
Emailed invitations revealed only the time and place for the gathering in San Francisco, the message topped by blue, red, yellow, and green dots of color.
Google fired off a Twitter message with hashtag #madebygoogle and a video of what appeared to be a long rectangular search term box morphing into a silhouette of a smartphone.
Industry trackers have been expecting Google in October to show off its own smartphone, showcasing the prowess of its new Nougat version of Android software.
Google may stamp its latest smartphones with a "Pixel" brand instead of the "Nexus" name it has used in the past for Android smartphones it has made in collaborations with partners.
A Google smartphone would be fielded as a standard to which other's making Android devices should aspire, and would come just weeks after Apple's began selling new iPhone 7 models.
An enticing Google smartphone could also prove a contender for the attention of buyers during the prime year-end holiday shopping season.
Scenes in Apple stores around the world on Friday were reminiscent of days before online ordering became a norm and people camped out for days to be first to get hands on the California company's iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
Enthusiasm was peppered with disappointment due to shortages of the large-screen iPhone 7 Plus and a jet-black iPhone 7, but it was unclear if the shortages were the result of strong demand or limited supply.
The devices chart a new path for the tech giant by eliminating headphone jacks, a move seen as setting a trend for a wireless future. The iPhones also boast Apple's freshly-released iOS 10 mobile operating system.
While the company has touted total iPhone sales of one billion, the number sold in the quarter ending June 25 fell 15 per cent from a year earlier, highlighting concerns over growth for the key profit driver.
Growth has become challenging with many mobile phone markets saturated, with Apple rivals producing a wide variety of devices powered by Android software that Google makes available for free.
Apple faces stiff competition from traditional rival Samsung, although the South Korean giant is currently on the back foot after being forced into a massive recall because of exploding batteries of its flagship Galaxy Note 7.