It started with an announcement that Google was going to delay the announcement of their social networking plan so as to not get lost in the noise surrounding Facebook's pending debut of their advertising (and AdSense) competitor for their own platform.
The Wall Street Journal (via Mashable ) later announced that Google was actually about to announce their plans for the gPhone (previously), with other rumors indicated Verizon (US) had been courted, along with British carrier '3' and German carrier T-Mobile, as well as Chinese hardware manufacturer e28 (who produces handsets for LG and HTC – you'll recall an earlier rumor that Google was going to supply 50,000 units produced by HTC to developers around Christmas-time). e28 most recently has had a GSM-WLAN-VOIP Linux-powered phone, the R2821, before the FCC for approval.
Also of interest is the focus on inter-operability between the various Google Products, and the possibilities as to how they may converge in the mobile space (think Picasa + Talk + Maps + Docs + Gmail + Open Social).
The keystone of their plan may be that of Open Social implementing a bundle of open API (application programing interfaces) for interoperability between several networking platforms (such as Marc Andreeson's Ning, LinkedIn, Hi5, Friendster) and related services (such as iLike, Plaxo, and Slide). This new platform, codenamed "Maka-Maka" as reported by TechCrunch (more links via Buzzfeed) will tie these services together and more importantly, as stated by GigaOm, provide a common authoring language to make application development easier.
Tags: api, christmas, Federal Communications Commission, Google, GSM, hardware manufacturer, Linux, Marc Andreeson, social networking plan, the Wall Street Journal, United States, Verizon, VOIP, Wall Street Journal, WLAN