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Google Phone Lands With A Thud
An Android phone, with status quo pricing and limited carrier support?
by Karl Bode 01:27PM Tuesday Jan 05 2010
The new Google phone (the Nexus One) received lots and lots of hype, most of it focusing on how the device was supposed to revolutionize the US subsidized handset pricing model. However, leaked information last week indicated that the device was not only restricted to T-Mobile's network at launch -- but the pricing ($530 unsubsidized, $180 with two year contract) really didn't particularly rattle the status quo.

Today finds Google giving the press their first official look at the device (and/or lifting non-disclosures for those who were already given one), and reviews are -- ok. Engadget calls the device "just another Android smartphone." Others say it's good, but still trails the iPhone. Google's scheduled a press event for this afternoon, at which they officially announce pricing. Hopefully something varies from the early leaked specs -- because so far the Nexus One's carrier support and pricing model looks -- average.

That's not to say that Google can't seriously change the mobile landscape down the line. A third party offering consumers a suite of unlocked cellphones before they shop for a carrier is a model that empowers consumers. The concept helps put to bed long-term contracts and ETFs, forcing carriers to compete on (gasp) network connection quality and customers support. But launching the latest and greatest device so it only works on the wireless carrier with the smallest 3G network -- with a pricing model that completely fails to innovate -- leaves one feeling somewhat underwhelmed.

Update: Gizmodo is running a live blog of Google's press event for those interested.

Update 2: The Nexus One Google support page just popped online. Pricing is just as leaks had stated: $530 for an unlocked phone, $180 for a phone with two year contract from T-Mobile.

Update 3: Now we're making progress. Google just announced that Verizon (and Vodafone) support for the phone will be "coming soon," though no specific date was given for the revised version, which will of course require new hardware with CDMA/EVDO support.

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Rayne, LA

2 recommendations

What a waste of hype

Google does it again. Move on... Just another driod with nothing to see.