We just talked with HTC, a major member in Google's Open Handset Alliance that's no stranger to making smartphones. While CEO Peter Chou couldn't tell us much about the hardware side of the equation—or even the Dream prototype, they could tell us some plans about the new device. First, they're going to continue their current sales strategy of pushing phones both through carriers and through their own channels, meaning there will be HTC-branded Google Phones.
Second, since the TouchFlo interface they placed on top of Windows Mobile phones worked so well at simplifying features to make it more usable for consumers, they're going to continue this and develop software for the new platform as well. It's still too early to say exactly what type of hardware will be inside and what kind of software will run on top of these phones made by HTC, but they did say there was no mandatory hardware spec. This means each manufacturer can choose to go nuts and put loads of feature in their phone, or gimp it and load it with meager beaver features as well. It's essentially Linux for your phone.