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Google Leads CES Device Cavalcade

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is leading the phone phrenzy ahead of this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but it is by no means the only carrier or vendor with devices to unveil this week. (See Rumor: Google Unveiling Phone Next Week and Google's 'Mobile Lab' .)

The search giant is holding what it describes as an "Android press event" tomorrow at its Mountain View campus in California. The company says only that the event will show off more of what is possible with its Android open-source mobile operating system.

Many media commentators expect that Google will unveil the High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) "Nexus One" on Tuesday, rumored to be the first smartphone that the company will sell under its own name. The Nexus is supposedly a phone that can be sold without a contract, although the documentation released when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the phone suggests that it will run on the T-Mobile US Inc. network.

Others have suggested that Google will use the phone as a testbed to show off features to other vendors -- none of which has been yet confirmed, although Google has sold unlocked Android phones for developers before. (See Rumor: Google Polishing Chrome Netbook.)

Google, however, isn't the only game in town for hot phone rumors. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has set up a press conference in Las Vegas on the eve of CES with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) boss, Steve Ballmer, promising that it will be a "must-attend" event. (See Sprint Plotting WiMax Phone at CES?)

The rumor runs that Sprint will unveil its first WiMax smartphone at the event. That may well be: The carrier has already said that it wants to launch such a device in 2010. (See Sprint to Extend '4G' in Clearwire Markets.)

It is unlikely that the much talked-about Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iSlate will be at CES. The new Apple gadget is expected to be unveiled on January 27 instead. You can, however, expect to see a plethora of new tablets and netbooks on display at the show. (See Apple Tablet Eyed for March Release.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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