Those gPhone's-launching-in-2-week's-time rumours did seem a little on the optimistic side, but new intel via "insiders" gives more life to the gPhone story.

For anyone completely in the dark on this latest development from the search engine massive, the gPhone sees a free (or as it is now, low-cost) ad-supported mobile phone launching.

Two separate sites have mentioned the gPhone, both with those supposed golden insider-contacts, Rizzn.com, with an actual Google insider (the very best kind) says that:

"My source re-assured me there is a gPhone, but wasn't for certain whether or not he was allowed to say that."

They elaborate: "He said that the Google (applications) Suite is going to play a huge role in the usability of the gPhone".

"The thought process behind its functionality is less about beating the iPhone and more about beating the $100 laptop, which provides a huge clue behind what will be the pricing structure on this."

CruchGear meanwhile gets in on the deep throat angle with the claim that an "HTC insider" sent them a tip over the weekend about the gPhone, coming out of Taiwan and launching Q1 2008:

"Google is currently assessing over twenty HTC models and refining its final handset design and will create a special version of Google Maps, compatible with built-in GPS, and compatibility with Gmail and the calendar app."

"There is also some talk that Samsung will be releasing gPhone handsets as well, but that has not been confirmed".

Samsung's involvement in the project is new - it was always believed that, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, and seemingly backed up by an actual product launch (the LG-KU580) that rival Korean firm LG were front-runners to produce the device.

CruchGear's confirmation of VoIP-enabled Google Talk being included in the handsets mixes with the other report suggesting GPS capabilities, special Google Maps software and a Linux-based OS into a big gPhone-shaped mass of rumours - but, as they say, there's no smoke without fire...