It turns out there isn’t going to be a physical device at all, but rather a heavy-weight alliance (the open handset alliance ) who are getting together to create an open source platform for mobile devices.
Loads of big names are involved: Google, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, T-mobile, Intel….
Notable absences: Nokia and Vodafone
The platform is currently called "Android", and if you have ever tried developing software for phones, you will love all the promises that seem custom-made to make battle-weary J2ME and Symbian developers smile once again:
Android does not differentiate between the phone's core applications and third-party applications. They can all be built to have equal access to phone's capabilities
Android is built on the open Linux Kernel
With Android, a developer could build an application that enables users to view the location of their friends and be alerted when they are in the vicinity giving them a chance to connect.
which means I really really can use the phone features
There will be a publicly accessible repository, similar to how the Linux kernel is managed.
which means I can un-install those default apps I don't want
To find out more, look at the Official Google Blog: Where's my Gphone?
Great news all round. Now, lets hold our m-breaths to see if it really can offer what it claims, and if those phone manufacturers really do deliver.
ps: thanks to Bob and Juan who got me onto this