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"Nexus One" Is Google's Android Phone 233

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 solevita ( 967690 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:42AM (#30430830)
    Good news, if you need some +5 comments for this article, you can find them here []! The dupe system in action.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:47AM (#30430890)

      I'd say it would be about equal to the Droid. Here's the rumors I've heard/read: - Processor speed will probably beat the droid, - HTC SenseUI will be nice, - Battery will probably be worse due to the stronger processor. - Screen should be nice an beautiful like the droid's, maybe ever more stunning. - Haven't heard anything about an LED flash like the droid's - No hardware keyboard - Sounds like T-Mobile's (weird flavor of?) GSM. - HTC Trackball v Moto'd directional pad - No discount, so looking at $300-800 ish? Full bias disclosure: I own a Droid and love it. Plan to marry it. Verizon has me by the balls in the prenup though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Most americans seem to have quite a hard time comparing prices simply because most of the time your carriers subsidize so much of the actual price. Here are some prices from one of the cheaper web stores in Finland. Please note that these have taxes included and probably the "europeans are idiots" bonus (1 dollar = 1 euro) iPhone 3GS 32GB - 528 euro (+ 12 month contract with "normal" prices) iPhone 3G 8GB - 396 euro (+12 month contract with "normal" prices) HTC Hero - 489.90 euro (no contract) Motorola
    • Except this isn't really a dupe, since the last article didn't mention that Google's apparently planning on selling this phone. The last one just said it was a gift to employees.
  • Because the Ion and DevOne weren'nt "Google Phones"?
  • by Nick Novitski ( 1637177 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:44AM (#30430864)
    ...I design your camera! Isn't it bad luck to name any advanced electronic device after a renegade robot from a work of science fiction? I wouldn't shave with an ED-209, or drive a Lexus Bolo.
    • by gzipped_tar ( 1151931 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:11AM (#30431152) Journal
      I could have answered you with "If only you could see from my camera!", but instead, I'll probably show you some pics -- attack ships on fire at the shoulder of Orion, C-beams glittering through the darkness near the Tannhauser gate, and much more.. wait, you've already seen them? Google image search? Damn, I want more privacy, father!
      • I could have answered you with "If only you could see from my camera!", but instead, I'll probably show you some pics -- attack ships on fire at the shoulder of Orion, C-beams glittering through the darkness near the Tannhauser gate, and much more.. wait, you've already seen them? Google image search? Damn, I want more privacy, father!

        Somebody totally needs to make a Flicker feed for Roy. Afterall he's already on Facebook []

      • Came here for Blade Runner quotes, and very happy to find them within one minute of reading!

        Sort of on topic, one time I was filling out an information form on Google (for some sort of business service they offer, can't remember which one now) and next to the box that said "Business Name" it said "e.g. Tyrell Corporation". There are some serious Blade Runner fans at that company!

  • 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?

    • by Skreems ( 598317 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:57AM (#30430984) Homepage
      Reading between the lines on the article (such as it is): it runs Android 2.1, which no other phone currently has. It is built by HTC, but is "entirely Google", and is Google branded. Maybe this is a sign that Google finally realized HTC's Sense UI kicked their asses, and they're working with them to merge it into the core experience?

      At least that's what I'm hoping, because on the few occasions I've tried Android without Sense it's been nearly unusable. HTC did an absolutely brilliant job with the Hero given how poor the stock experience is.
      • by Itchyeyes ( 908311 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:17AM (#30431216) Homepage

        True, no phone currently runs Android 2.1, but will that be true if and when the Nexus launches? And even if the Nexus is the 1st Android 2.1 phone, Google and their partners generally role out new version updates to the rest of Android phones within a couple months.

        As for the hope that the Nexus spells the end of the fragmented Android UI, I think that it's misplaced. HTC recently showed off their 2010 roadmap [], and there are a lot of Sense UI Android phones on it, including a couple running Snapdragon.

      • by Tacvek ( 948259 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:52AM (#30431750) Journal

        Android 2.1 will be out before this phone will be out. What I'm hoping for in 2.5 is proper multi-touch support in the core applications (like pinch zoom in the browser), fixes to allow proper hands free phone operations. (Pressing the Bluetoooth headset button when not in a call will call up voice search, which doubles as voice dial).

        And a proper solution to apps on SD. That has some issues, such as what to do if the card is removed while running, but on some phones like the Droid, it makes little difference since the battery must be removed to remove the card. But that is only a minor issue.

        The next issue is how to best do this. Using unionfs or equivalent to mount the SD card directory over the main directory works ok, although makes it almost impossible to move any apps so they live directly on the phone. The alternative is to just have the phone check more locations for applications (it already checks 3 locations, so what are a few more?

        The biggest question is how to handle copy protected apps (not all for-pay apps are copy protected, nor are all copy protected apps for pay). Android currently handles them by putting them in a directory protected with Unix permissions. Unless one has root to the phone the directory cannot be read. Dev Phones are not supposed to be allowed to downlad any copy protected app, so those having root available is moot.

        That level of protection is not ideal, but works better than nothing. Google does not want an APPS-on-SD solution to be any less secure. There is an easy way to solve this though. Simple create a file system as a file on the SD card. The filesystem will be encrypted and loopback mounted using the standard Linux facilities for this. The key (generated on first run of the phone) will be stored on the phone itself in the existing POSIX permissions protected directory.

        The filesystem inside the loopback mounted file will also have POSIX permissions protection of course. This is where all the copy protected apps will be stored if stored on SD.


        By the way, besides hacked in multitouch support (which is obsoleted by Eclair with its official multitouch support) what all is in the SenseUI suite of changes?

        I know a rewritten home app is present, with 7 (?) pages and a replacement shape for the drawer at the bottom that has 3 buttons, one of which opens the drawer, the second of which launches the phone app, and the third of which, I'm not really sure what it does. It includes several additional widgets for the home screen, with selectable styles (of varying sizes, some that take up a whole page). The status bar color has been made black.

        Most of the other built-in other apps looks like they have been rewritten to conform to a new GUI standard, but it is not clear if much functionality was added, at least that was worthwhile. The apparent Social networking integration features it has look like they would need to be integrated into android 2.0's account manager. They also seem pointless to me, Since I'm not a big user of social networks.

        I will say though that the visuals of SenseUI are rather impressive, and do look more polished than the default android application visuals.

      • At least that's what I'm hoping, because on the few occasions I've tried Android without Sense it's been nearly unusable. HTC did an absolutely brilliant job with the Hero given how poor the stock experience is.

        Funny, I found the Moto Droid a lot more usable than the utterly confusing Hero when I tried them in stores.

    • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:57AM (#30430988)

      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.

      If it's actually running stock Android that might be what IS setting it apart. IIRC, the majority of the Android phones are using customized UI's. While great for trying to establish loyalty to specific phone, having all those different interfaces isn't good for trying to establish loyalty to an actual platform as Google is trying to do. It's kinda like Redhat, SUSE, and the like all throwing their own interfaces onto Gnome. Sure, it's nice, but for the sake of being familiar with almost any Linux box I sit down to I prefer for things to run the plain old Gnome interface instead.

      • Perhaps you have a point, but I don't think that the Nexus will solve the problem of Android UI fragmentation. For example, the HTC Bravo is also slated for 2010, and also runs a Snapdragon CPU but runs HTC's Sense UI.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hazydave ( 96747 )

        Actually, any "Google Experience" phone, like the DROID, is running "stock Android" these days.. that's at least one way to tell for certain. If this really is running HTC's home shell, then it's far more like an HTC phone than any of the other Google-branded phones so far ("Google" on the back, versus presumably "Google" on the front, if this is really to be sold under the Google brand name).

        The home shell doesn't matter all that much... the apps are the same. That's where the loyalty is established. As lo

    • 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 Itchyeyes ( 908311 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:43AM (#30431588) Homepage

        I've seen people discuss this in other places and I just don't buy it, at least not in the near term. There are already lots of phones sold as unlocked-only in the US (see just about every smartphone made by Nokia), and carriers don't currently offer rate discounts for them simply because they're not taking advantage of the subsidy. In order for the Nexus One to have enough force in the market to force the carrier's hand on rates for unsubsidized phones it's going to have to be tremendously successful (I'm thinking iPhone-like numbers). The problem is that in order to do that, they have to sell the phone unsubsidized with the same rates as subsidized phones. Which makes the cost quite a bit more than competing, subsidized phones. Which makes it all the much harder to reach the critical mass where they can exert pressure on the carriers to cut rates.

        Perhaps the Nexus is the phone that finally achieves this. But it's nowhere near a done deal. Even if the phone and the sales strategy were confirmed (which they aren't), it's going to take years before they have enough market force to make the carriers change their ways.

        • I'm not sure what you are getting at, by rates you mean to the cost of the phone, or the cost of the carriers service.

          If its the latter, it makes no difference, I pay the same for my minutes, text messages and data regardless of whether or not I bought my phone from ATT (I do have an iphone currently), or I bring my own phone to the table (which I did prior to the iphone, most of the phones I had prior were after market unlocked and $500 to $900 devices)..

          Also note that those unlocked phones that you are

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by todrules ( 882424 )
          Sorry to burst your bubble here, but T-Mobile just started offering discounts on price plans based on whether or not you buy a subsidized phone. They are the Even More and Even More Plus plans. You can choose to buy a subsidized phone, and be locked into a 2 year contract and pay higher monthly rates, or you can buy an unlocked phone (or buy a Tmo phone in monthtly installments) and your monthly plan will be about $10-$20 less a month, and you have no annual contract.
      • by hazydave ( 96747 )

        It's technically possible to support it as unlocked GSM, but then you have to support 850MHz, 900MHz, 1700MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz, and 2100MHz in a single phone for universal GSM... that's not usually done. Then you have to sell it with configuration information for the 3G stuff, since the networks are under no obligation to configure your phone for you, just because you connected with voice in a legal way (and have a paid corresponding data plan). This is far from automatic, at least here in the US.

        CDMA isn'

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MBGMorden ( 803437 )

      Depends - theres a very good chance this will be GSM only which will mean that on CDMA networks (ie, Verizon) you may be stuck with other offerings.

      The HTC Droid Passion is CDMA though and supposed to be out soon(-ish). I'm waiting for that instead of the Droid. If I wait more than 3 more months I'll likely get the Droid Eris instead (I kinda like the Eris more than the Moto Droid - I just don't like the swing-out keyboards. seems to prone to break).

      • by bleh-of-the-huns ( 17740 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:29AM (#30431372)

        Only in the US is the Droid a CDMA phone (see my previous comment further up about the Droid name.. it annoys me). The phone is however available in Europe in a GSM variant known as the Motorola Sholes/Milestone. The currently frequency bands though means it is relegated to edge speeds in the US as neither ATT nor Tmobile use the 900/2100 for 3g (UMTS/HSPA) that the phone has.

        However if you go peruse the canadian motorola site, the Canadian version of the Sholes/Milestone uses 850/1900 for 3g, which is what ATT uses.... but its not available yet :(

        Tmobile gets screwed either way as they use 1700 for 3G.. so unless the phone was made specifically for Tmo US, you will not get 3G speeds.

        • Google may just decide to pay the extra couple bucks per unit and put a proper radio onboard that lets you do CDMA and GSM (all-bands).
          • That would certainly be the best solution. While most of the world is GSM, a HUGE portion of the US market is still on CDMA phones and adding the little bit of electronics to make it dual band would be very wise on their part. Doing the dual CDMA/GSM setup was IMHO one of the few things RIM did right on the Blackberry Storm.

          • It's called LTE.. I did not mention it earlier because the current documents going through the FCC (head on over the engadget, they have a breakdown of the FCC documents), currently show that the frequency bands in use for this phone make it a Tmobile specific device (does not have the 850 or 1900 bands for ATT 3g)

            LTE however, atleast in it's base specs, is backwards compatible with GSM/UMTS/HSPA/CDMA and a dozen over specs.

            If google was to release an LTE phone, I doubt they would fiddle with those, Verizon

            • We could only be so lucky for it to be an LTE phone. Bonus points if it can use it's WiFi to tunnel back to Google Voice to provide voice services (similar to T-Mobile's UMA/WiFi capability).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by wc_paladin ( 989918 )
      If they have coverage in your area, you could get on T-Mobile's "Even More Plus" plan. It's contract free, and has no subsidized phones, so the monthly fee is a good bit less.
    • "This beast might be in the range of US$300-400."

      Hah. For a contract free phone? You're looking at $600-$700.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cpscotti ( 1032676 )
      Have you ever heard about the n900?
      I dunno why everybody continues hyping around skynet's products/blockable devices..
      Just go buy your n900 and enjoy pushing Ctrl+shift+x and watching xterm being launched, OTB.
      The one phone that you become root of your own device while within the manufacturer's grace.

      PS: Do I sound like a nokia fanboi? That's precisely the idea.. we have to deal with apple's and google's ones all the time.. this is my share!
  • Unlocked FTW (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ickleberry ( 864871 ) <> 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?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cimexus ( 1355033 )

      Agreed. I've always just gone out, bought a new phone outright, and whacked my existing SIM card in it when I got home. None of this contract crap. But from what I can tell it is very hard/impossible to do that in the US? Which sucks ... I hate being tied to a particular carrier (and besides I have several SIM cards floating around that I tend to use in different situations).

      Even worse, the US phones I've seen actually brand the phone hardware/firmware itself with the carriers logo and stuff. Wtf?! The phon

      • 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 tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:46AM (#30431634) Homepage Journal

        Agreed. I've always just gone out, bought a new phone outright, and whacked my existing SIM card in it when I got home. None of this contract crap. But from what I can tell it is very hard/impossible to do that in the US?

        The carriers with better U.S.-wide coverage[1] use Qualcomm's CDMA2000 protocol stack.[2] Unlike GSM and UMTS phones, all of which store the service info on a UICC,[3] CDMA2000 phones are less likely to store the service info on a UICC.

        [1] Not to be confused with international coverage, which isn't useful to people who never travel outside the United States. AT&T has advertised better coverage than competing carriers that operate in the United States, with the fine print stating "worldwide". But in the States, there's a map for that.

        [2] Not to be confused with CDMA modulation, which is also used by UMTS, the 3G successor to GSM.

        [3] A removable smart card that holds mobile phone service information. It's commonly called a "SIM", "USIM", or "CSIM" card if it holds service info for GSM, UMTS, or CDMA2000 respectively.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by natehoy ( 1608657 )

        In the US, by and large, phones are seen by many as a way to access their account with a wireless communications company. Few Americans have the need or desire to switch among various phone companies, and most just want to go in to a store, pick out a phone that they think is "free" or very inexpensive, have it set up for them, and walk out of the store with the phone already working.

        The American wireless marketplace is largely set up this way. Carriers generally welcome unlocked/bring-your-own phones and

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      apple tried that with the original iphone. it was $600 and didn't require a contract although it was locked to AT&T because they gave Apple $750 million to help with development. the tech media loved it and said how it was the next cool strategy. it was a colossal failure and AT&T started subsidizing it a few months later

      • No, they sold out every phone they had at both the Apple and ATT stores at the $600 price point.. those people get really pissed when Apple dropped the price a few months later, and then even more so when the 3G came out at a seriously cheap (compared to the original 2G) price point..

        So I would not call it a failure.. however the fact that ATT's network cannot handle the traffic (Voice or Data), is a colossal failure.

  • I have a Nokia N900. I love it. I also love the fact that in this newest battleground M$ is virtually meaningless. I would love to see a movie of the N900, the Androids, and the iPhone done by Ray Harryhausen where all 3 are battling with many arms and swords against a backdrop of AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile castles.

    I say Good. The fone market is where micro computers were in the early 80's.

    Innovation, and chaos!

    • Isnt this why they were bidding on the C band or whatever it was? I know they didnt end up winning it but I though the whole push was intended to start opening up the market for stuff like this. Definately good for the market, though ultimately probably not good for google. I think making moves like this is definately going to make google a clear target on the FTC's monopoly radar, more so than ever before.
    • by the ReviveR ( 1106541 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:38AM (#30431492)
      I also love my N900. Too bad most americans probably won't be seeing it. There is no way any carrier will subsidize N900.

      • Tethering (usb/bluetooth) - Bluetooth makes this too easy, No need for extra software, no need to even take the phone out of pocket
      • Loads of free apps with stuff like Star Control 2 (includes 130 Mb voice & music pack) - lots of network traffic with no slice for the carrier
      • torrent client (Transmission) - carriers will love this ;)
      • When you try calling someone, N900 opens a list with GSM / Skype / SMS /Email /IM for the person - Guess whether people will choose GSM or SMS if they have choice...
      • The same internet/video traffic that iPhone has plus then some from using apps like Google maps, other Flash stuff etc.
      • by kurt555gs ( 309278 ) <kurt555gs AT ovi DOT com> on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:51AM (#30431736) Homepage

        I actually bought Skype minutes because of the N900. And I have a Gizmo5 account that I just entered the details of into the N900's built in SIP stack. So when I want to make a call, I get to choose from GSM, Skype, Gizmo5. Also, when I am online, and some one with Google Talk or Skype wants to call me from their computer, it just rings and acts like is was any other cell call. There is so so so much more.

        I can see US carriers shaking with rage over people's abilities to buy an N900, then go to T-Mobile and get an unlimited voice, text, data plan with no contract for 80 bux a month.

        The N900 only works with T-Mobiles 3G system in the US. 2G from anyone.

  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:03AM (#30431058) Homepage Journal

    I'm completely happy with my iPhone but I'd love to have a nice Android-based everything-but-the-phone device (especially with the Droid's screen), like how Apple makes the iPod touch. Does anyone make one?

    • Creative Labs have been working on a reference design for a media player that runs Android. It's still at the prototype stage, which is risky given that it's meant to use their Zii media decoding hardware which isn't getting any younger.

    • by qortra ( 591818 )
      Is this what you're looking for? Archos Android PMP []
    • by RDW ( 41497 )

      Here in the UK, you can currently pick up a T-mobile Pulse Android phone, and add an 8Gb micro SD card, for less than the price of the 8Gb Touch. And that's on a PAYG tariff, so there's no contract to service. Pre-paid 3G net access is only 20 GBP for 6 months on T-mobile, so there's no reason to restrict yourself to wifi either. With full phones at this sort of price, an Android PMP would have to be pretty cheap (or offer significant extra features, like a lot of storage) to be competitive. I wonder if the

      • Here in the UK, you can currently pick up a T-mobile Pulse Android phone, and add an 8Gb micro SD card, for less than the price of the 8Gb Touch.

        Here in the US, how much would shipping and customs cost?

        Pre-paid 3G net access is only 20 GBP for 6 months on T-mobile

        Would such a plan allow free roaming on T-Mobile's US network?

        the PAYG iPhone

        Doesn't exist [].

        • by RDW ( 41497 )

          No idea about US delivery, customs, or pre-paid network availability, but you certainly won't be able to roam cheaply on the T-mobile US network with a UK SIM. I think the unlocking fee is under 20GBP (haven't checked this), so you could potentially use it on any network, but you'd have to check if the local 3G frequency is supported (it's quad band for 2G).

          'the PAYG iPhone...Doesn't exist.'

          Does here:


          The 16Gb 3Gs on PAYG is 440 GBP (in comparison the 8Gb

  • Maybe it should read

    'Nexus One' Is Google's First Android Phone


  • 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.
    • 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

      My wife's account with Verizon recently reached the 2-year contract limit, and she decided to jump ship to AT&T. Economically, it made more sense to accept the subsidy on the handset than purchase an unlocked handset.

      She wanted a Blackberry Pearl. We priced out an unlocked one at about $250, AT&T offered it at $50 with all the subsidies. I asked about a discount for buying an unlocked phone, and was told that there was no price difference per-month for having an unlocked "bring your own" phone.


    • by nomadic ( 141991 )
      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.

      Americans do a lot of things on credit mainly because in general, credit is fairly cheap in the U.S., not really a matter of ignorance or stupidity. Subsidized phones aren't necessarily
  • I'll wait 5 Revs for Nexus Six. Ok, I might settle for the Verizon Pris.
  • there was a story last month that Google was going sell an all VOIP phone that would work on AT&T and only cost $20 for the data plan. no voice plan required. there is even some company i read about months ago that sells special versions of cell phones that need a data plan and no voice plan and all the phone calls are over VOIP. all on AT&T

    AT&T is working overtime on it's being a dumb pipe telecom strategy.

    • I think, *eventually* that is the way mobile telephony should go. . . but. . . AT&T doesn't have good 3G coverage everywhere it has good voice coverage (although, I suppose 2.5G is fast enough for VOIP, so maybe the coverage is still fairly decent). Still, one thing I know is that a phone with basic voice will currently work most places in the country, but I wouldn't be quite so confident about that with VOIP. Another concern is that, with all the problems AT&T has purportedly had with congestion on

    • That rumour came from Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, so take it with a very large grain of salt. Perhaps a salt-lick, even.

      I think it's a very interesting idea (great, even), but it would depend on what data network we're talking about, as most of them in the U.S. are pretty crappy when it comes to 3G. I'd also like to see what happens when you need to call 911 and you aren't near any WiFi access. Cell radio still in the handset for free 911 calls? That'd be a good solution, and quite possibly enough for

    • That would be all fine and dandy, except that if you go read the FCC reports on this device, the frequency bands are for Tmobile 3G, it will work on ATT's edge network, but not the 3G network.. for a purely data device, this makes no sense.

  • This is pretty much what everyone in the android community has been calling for.

    Google is finally going to push a default phone. And if I had to guess it will
    be pretty much sold at cost and be available in both GSM and CDMA. Maybe even
    a little below cost depending upon the politics with the carriers.

    Google doesn't want to get into the hardware market but this will keep the
    price of the phones down and motivate some hardware manufacturers to produce
    open phones themselves.

  • Or is that 5 versions away?

    i'll take the Sean Young model.

  • So is that unlocked as in "you can use it with any carrier" or unlocked as in "you're allowed access to the root user account"?
  • by Nerdposeur ( 910128 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:51AM (#30431726) Journal

    What will really be big news is when someone (probably Google or Apple) introduces a phone with something like the Gobi chip [], now being used in some netbooks. It's a "carrier-neutral" chip, so you can activate the device on whatever carrier you like - GSM or CDMA.

    The only reason people buy phones from carriers is to get financing (which is what carriers' phone subsidies really are - rolling the payments into your plan and sneakily continuing them forever). If people are willing to pay up front, or if the manufacturer will finance the handset, you can buy a phone and pick your own carrier, or even activate the same device on multiple carriers. This would be a real game-changer, and would push the carriers further towards being dumb pipes.

    I think this would be ideal: make carriers compete on network quality alone, and make handset makers compete cross-carrier on handset quality alone.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ergo98 ( 9391 )

      It's a "carrier-neutral" chip, so you can activate the device on whatever carrier you like - GSM or CDMA.

      Unlocking a phone makes it carrier neutral. What you're talking about is being communication standard neutral simply by supporting multiple standards, but that is increasingly a non-standard (CDMA was largely a North America only thing, but is increasingly a US-only thing -- basically Verizon -- after Bell and Telus in Canada left CDMA for GSM).

      All of this having little to do with financing your phone.


  • Nexus One (Score:3, Informative)

    by zen-o-matic ( 1699464 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:52AM (#30431754)
    It has been confirmed that Nexus One is made by HTC.
    Some pics of the beast:

    And then there's Sony Ericsson's Xperia X10 which is also a KILLER phone:

    Both are probably hitting the stores in January 2010.
  • by Ophion ( 58479 )
    I have never heard of First Google, but I would not get too excited about any product from this company, as I am sure that Google soon will sue it out of existence.
  • Wake me when they get to the Nexus-6 model, especially the pleasure units.
  • There's lots of new Android phones coming out, but HTC seems to have dropped the ball on possibly their greatest innovation - the G1 keyboard and hinge mechanism. Most phones with slide-out keyboards had small keyboards, but the hinging mechanism HTC used for the G1 allowed them to make the keyboard something like 50 percent bigger than any other phone with a slide-out.

    It seems to me that HTC needs to do a refresh of the G1, but with upgraded processor, display, Android 2.1, better camera, etc. I want the k

  • Sounds stupid... but does it play music, and if so, how much storage will it have?

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker