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"Nexus One" Is Google's Android Phone 233

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the better-than-the-oculus-one dept.
xchg writes "It's still not called the 'Google Phone,' but the Nexus One — to be made by HTC — is as close as I think we're going to get. The WSJ cites sources familiar with Google's plans and says that Google has designed this handset and plans to sell it directly to consumers, unlocked."
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"Nexus One" Is Google's Android Phone

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  • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:46AM (#30430888) Homepage

    After reading through all the tech blog posts about this phone I fail to see what makes it such a big deal. It runs stock Android, so on the software side there's nothing that actually sets it apart from any other Android handset on the market. It's got some nice, next-gen hardware specs, but then again so does every other Android handset slated for a 2010 release. Snapdragon CPUs and AMOLED displays aren't exactly proprietary technology. In fact, the only thing about this phone that really seems to differentiate it from every other one of the dozens of Android handsets launching in 2010 is that it potentially will be branded as a Google device (oh, and the possibility that it may actually just be a dev phone and never make it to market anyways). So can some please explain to me why exactly everyone is getting their panties in a bunch over this?

  • They have me sold! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:56AM (#30430982)

    I was going to buy Motorola's Droid but I think it is sensible to wait for this one. The good thing it will be unlocked.

    That said, I fear for the price tag. This beast might be in the range of US$300-400. If Google can accept a payment plan, I would jump on its bandwagon. Otherwise forking out in excess of 1,000 dollars a year with a contract at 100 dollars a month with a carrier does not make much sense in my opinion.

  • Unlocked FTW (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:58AM (#30431002) Homepage
    I'm not a google fanboi by any means but this is good news for the general American public who seem to think that the only way to get a phone is to buy a locked one through a network. I havn't bought a locked phone since '99 and the small subsidy they give in order to fob you off with a crippled device is never worth it.

    Maybe if this is marketed well there will be more of a separation between device and network. You wouldn't buy a wifi PCI-E card that is only compatible with a certain brand of AP or 'hotspot' network, so why would a phone be any different?
  • by manyxcxi (1037382) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:12AM (#30431158) Journal
    First, I've got a Jesus Phone and love it- so I won't be making any radical switches to the Google Phone. However, I hope it's popular as hell. I hope it makes handset makers realize that they don't HAVE to sell locked phones to consumers in the U.S. If people weren't so stupid (the world would be better off...) they would realize that most 99 year contracts you have to enter into are a way worse deal than the $500 up front for a phone- I guess it goes to many American's credit isn't real money mentality that has lead us to the financial mess we're in, but I digress. By seeing the true cost of phones (if selling unlocked becomes somewhat more popular in the US) makers will then have to compete on actual prices of phones and the prices will go down. America's biggest hurdle is that half (only counting the big four wireless companies) are GSM [T-Mobile/ATT] and half are CDMA [Verizon/Sprint]. I don't know how much extra it costs, or how hard it is to support all the variations in just the US alone, but I imagine it would raise the price of a phone that was truly carrier agnostic in the US- making a $500 investment a little more palatable. If I was shopping for a phone that would be a huge selling point. That and Fieldrunners.
  • by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:15AM (#30431198)

    disclaimer: I despise verizon with a passion, and I also hate ETF's..

    BUT.. I do not really see an issue with verizon upping the ETF on certain phones. Lets look at your droid for example (other then the fact that Verizon chose to brand it in such a way as to confuse people who do not know the difference between the android OS from google which runs on multiple phones, and is not a particular phone for verizon, my wife, who is somewhat technically savvy got caught in this particular branding trap).

    If you buy the GSM version of the Droid, called the Sholes/Milestone unlocked at retail, it runs around $600 to $900 depending on where you buy it. Assuming bulk purchasing that carriers have, they probably get the phone for around $300 to $500 (total guess on my part). Unlocked non subsidized phones are expensive, even cheap freebies you get on contract can run $200 to $300 unlocked and non subsidized.

    They are subsidizing the cost of the phone early and make up the difference and profit in service, but if you cancel early, they have the potential to take a large loss on the device, hence the ETF, so in the Droids case, $350 ETF may or may not make up the amount they are subsidizing, since you only paid $199 up front, or less in some places (I vaguely remember seeing the Droid for $99, at some point).

    Now the bigger issue I have is with ATT, who while also subsidizes the phones, absolutely refuses to provide the unlock code to remove the simlock in place on their phones, even after you have completed your 2 year contractual obligation.. so if I want to switch to tmobile, I have to buy a new phone, that is absolutely bogus, and needs to be fixed, granted I have unlocked every phone I have every had, and for the most part I pay more for some unlocked devices, but thats not th epoint.

  • by ryanov (193048) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:16AM (#30431204)
    Then how come my bill doesn't go down when I'm done paying off the phone?
  • by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:24AM (#30431306)

    I think it has less to do with reinventing the devices, or more about reinventing the US business model of cell phone sales.

    In most of the world.. basically everywhere but the US, people buy their phones, and then pick their carrier, they pay more up front (although some carriers to subsidize their phones in the rest of the world) for the devices.

    That is where Google is most likely heading, we sell you the phone, you do whatever the hell you want with it, its not carrier locked, pick tmobile, pick ATT (and if they come out with a CDMA variant, hell pick sprint of verizon, although this is unlikely as most of the world uses GSM/UMTS/HSPA networks, very few use CDMA, so its a bigger market and makes sense that the Google phone will be GSM based initially), and have it it.

    I am sure this will worry the carriers as they lose control over the functioning of the phone, I do not believe they care about profits from devices, and they sell those at a loss anyway and make up for it in over priced over inflated services.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:27AM (#30431356)

    You seem to have placed your comment in the wrong thread... GP was about a duplicate story and had nothing to do with the price of a phone.

  • by mspohr (589790) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:32AM (#30431406)
    I don't know why these phones are so expensive. The basic parts (touchscreen, processor, memory, case) are cheap... it should be cheaper than a netbook which has more pieces (keyboard, hard disk, lots of ports).

    I have seen those China iPhone clones which have all of the hardware functionality of the iPhone (with lousy software) for $100 so the hardware can't cost much. The software can't cost much when amortized over millions of phones. Seems like there is a lot of profit in phones.

  • Re:Unlocked FTW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JDevers (83155) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:35AM (#30431452)

    The problem is that about 70% of American's are perpetually without any lump sum of money and so look at a "payment plan" as a way to get what they otherwise couldn't afford...all that without realizing that the hundreds of other items they have purchased in the past on credit is why they don't have any money...We have an interesting economy without a doubt.

  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:55AM (#30431784)

    Americans aren't stupid, but you apparently are, since you just supported the argument made by the parent post while attempting to be contrary. After the obligatory contract period is complete (which is the exchange for getting the discounted phone), why doesn't the monthly bill "strictly cover the monthly usage of the service" instead of remaining at the same level it was while "paying for the free or discounted phone"?

    My answer is that the contract period isn't really paying for the phone, it's providing a guaranteed revenue stream for the company for a specified period of time. A steady, guaranteed revenue stream is very important for a business, since it makes things a bit more predictable.

  • by jeti (105266) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:06PM (#30431936) Homepage

    You forgot to factor in patent fees. They probably won't get paid for the cheap Chinese knockoffs.
    AFAIK a 3g connection module with royalties costs over $100 per device alone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:48PM (#30433246)

    You really need to back this up. $100 sounds way, way too high, especially since you can get a 3G aircard for $100 with no contract. In general, most royalties are relatively low on a per-device basis, making it up on the fact that there are hundreds of millions of the devices.

    (Practicing what I preach....)
    http://www.replaceyourcell.com/product/881U_BLACK_AIRCARD?meta=FRG&utm_source=GBASE&utm_medium=CPC&utm_content=&utm_campaign=

  • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Monday December 14, 2009 @02:35PM (#30433794) Homepage
    Americans aren't stupid. People are stupid. I don't think the US has an exclusive monopoly on stupidity. I have lived in 2 foreign countries, and have visited several others. The thing you learn most when traveling is people are generally the same everywhere.
  • Re:Unlocked FTW (Score:2, Insightful)

    by josath (460165) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:11PM (#30434188) Homepage
    If paying $400-500 for my phone upfront, and paying half as much for a monthly cell phone contract was an option, saving me money in the long run, I would do that. But unfortunately, in the US, it is not an option. Carriers charge you exactly the same amount per month whether or not you are getting a discount/subsidy on a fancy phone.
  • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:33PM (#30434440) Homepage
    I have lived in 3 different countries, and visited many others, and I can tell you from my experiences you are making generalities, which are rarely accurate. Stupidity is global, and not concentrated geographically to certain areas. And I am not speaking from second-hand experience, I am only speaking from personal first-hand experience. The more you travel, the less you repeat ignorant cliches others have come up with, and start thinking for yourself.
  • by ConfusedVorlon (657247) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:40PM (#30434520) Homepage

    right - but now Google gets to show the market how they think phones should be managed.

    this will have firmware updates when they are available, they'll make sure all the good apps work with it, and most important of all; it sells direct to customers unlocked.

    it's just a single step in the ongoing battle over who will 'own' the customer.

    the carriers think they should own everything, so they make proprietary interfaces, and insist on crazy restrictions and lockdowns (in return for a fat subsidy).

    Google think the customer should be free (or at least free to connect to google services) - so they are putting out an option that doesn't have carrier restrictions, and does everything they think the phone should do.

    it's kinda like Chrome. The point isn't to get everyone using Chrome. The point is to put a competitive option out there to force all the other players to move towards it. With chrome, google's aim is to get faster javascript in browsers so people can user their services. With the phone, it will be to show an open unrestricted phone that can connect to google's services well at a reasonable cost.

  • by joelpt (21056) <slashdot AT joelpt DOT net> on Monday December 14, 2009 @05:17PM (#30435598)

    "Most Americans"

    Fuck you. Where's your evidence to back this statement up you fucking douche.

    This comment actually says a lot about how many Americans think.

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