In a strategic move that marks its foray into direct sales, Google Inc is planning to sell its cell phone directly to consumers, evading wireless operators, by as soon as next year, media report says.

Citing people familiar with the sources, the Wall Street Journal said Google Inc has designed a cell phone it plans to sell directly to consumers as soon as next year.

The phone will be called ‘Nexus One’ and is being manufactured for Google by HTC Corp, the WSJ said quoting sources. Users will have to buy cellular service for the device separately.

Google has designed virtually the entire software experience behind the phone, from the applications that run on it to the look and feel of each screen.

The direct sales move by Google could alienate wireless carriers and handset makers that offer Android phones and do not want to compete with Google, WSJ said adding that Google has repeatedly said that its goal is to have hundreds of Android phones rather than one.

“The Internet giant is taking a new, and potentially risky, approach to selling the device. Rather than selling the phone through a wireless carrier — the way the bulk of phones are sold in the U.S. today — Google plans to sell the Nexus One itself online,” the report said.

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