Google to Offer New Phone Direct to Consumers in 2010
Android was a nice start, but…
For sometime now Google has been offering its custom built mobile OS – Android – to various carriers and manufacturers. News has been released however that the company plans to offer its very own phone direct to consumers by Quarter 1 – 2010.
Here’s what seems to be the consensus among the community, mostly based on leaks, or supposed leaks from Googlers.
- Hardware: HTC built
- Software: Android 2.1
- Screen: OLED
- Keyboard: soft only
- Pictures: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/12/nexus-one-google-phone-picture/
(Though i am skeptical of the authenticity as the background does not match the typical “open work area” that Google promotes for employees)
Analysts see this as a direct move against Apple, and their popular iPhone. With Eric Schmidt off Apple’s Board of Directors, there is no longer any conflict of interest with such a product line.
The Google Phone – offerings
There is not yet too much known about the device – many speculate pointing to the HTC built unbranded phone being carried by some Googlers dubbed “Nexus One“. HTC has already done a great job delivering hardware that runs Android OS.
What about service?
Google has not announced plans to enter the telecommunications business – but it hasn’t stated it won’t either. The new phone, sold direct from Google to consumers will most likely be an unlocked phone that you bring to your current carrier in order to get service. The phone relies on GSM – meaning T-Mobile and AT&T are the only players who could support the phone currently. Other rumors fly that Google may rely on a concert of Carrier negotiations to get user’s connected. Alternately some theorize it would rely entirely on the ever-propagation and nearly ubiquitous attributes of Wi-Fi. Is Google Wireless their next big endeavor – unlikely.
Costs and Pricing
Google has not been keen on charging consumers directly in the past for any of its services. Typically they rely on marketing and IT budgets of larger companies to foot the bill. Would a Google phone be any different? unfortunately it seems so. Consumers may even expect inflated costs since the phones are not being heavily discounted by a carrier trying to lock you in for two year stretches.
But one can be hopeful – Maybe the voice and data plans will be subsidized by audio advertisements that play during ring-times. Instead of hearing your friend’s favorite R.Kelly hit (ughhh) when their phone rings, the ring back might just be an advertisement for Aspercreme – and I think I would actually prefer that
Update – Confirmed
Google is confirming the internal testing of a new phone, shared with employees from the recently created “mobile lab” – http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/12/android-dogfood-diet-for-holidays.html – but not sharing much more details
Unfortunately, because dogfooding is a process exclusively for Google employees, we cannot share specific product details. We hope to share more after our dogfood diet.