Google, unlike Apple, is not a hardware company. (Although they make cute machines when they try.) Google isn’t even exactly a software company, although they make great web applications. Google is a set of services, stitching data together in useful ways.
As Om alluded to, but I’d like to underline, a phone running a Google-crafted application suite won’t be an interesting bit of hardware. And it is unlikely that it will be tailor-fit to bespoke hardware, as rumors of multiple phone models imply. Instead, the Google phone story isn’t about a phone at all. It’s about a new phone OS.
Considering that people have been predicting a Google OS on PCs for ages, it will be interesting to see them dip their toe in on mobiles first. Would a Google Pack for Windows Mobile be far behind? Or already obviated?
Basically what I’m saying is “Oh, I kind of see what Om probably saw a year ago.” But I’m slow and sometimes it helps me to write stuff down.