What we know about the phone is that it looks like the HTC Hero, which isn’t surprising because it’s made by HTC, but the still yet to be disclosed hardware under the hood is supposed to make it an iPhone killer (where have we heard that line before )
Rumors today say that Google plans on selling it outright (sans plan) as early as the first quarter of 2010, and possibly as early as January. There’s unconfirmed reports that the phone might be sold by T-Mobile, but not exclusively and not subsidized.
What has me beat is the risk assessment of Google selling its own phone. In the for column the reasoning is fairly simple and logical: despite the promise of Android, no one has really delivered a true iPhone killer yet, and those that were suppose to deliver either didn’t, or fell just short (the Verizon Droid.) With Google dictating the specs on a phone operating its own OS, in theory you might actually get a phone that Google had hoped that others would deliver.
Counter to that though is Google possibly delivering a market leading phone that not only competes with the likes of Apple, but other Android handset makers such as Samsung and Motorola. I exclude HTC from the list because HTC is making the Nexus.
Perhaps Google has become impatient with Android uptake and is abandoning its get Android on as many handsets as possible strategy; will the likes of Samsung and others continue to develop Android phones when the operating system is being used on a Google designed and sold competitor?
Not impossible, and in the case of Motorola less likely because Motorola came into the Android space in a difficult position; the Droid is seen as a growth opportunity for the beleaguered mobile phone maker. But Samsung and other potential Android handset makers still offer non-Android phones, and not supporting Android in the future (given that what ever they produce will be compared to the Nexus One) won’t be a difficult decision to make. If the Nexus One is as great as the rumors suggest, phone makers will want to deliver different products, and that will most likely mean products that don’t run Android.
Any speculation that Nokia might deliver an Android phone in the future should also now be considered dead; why deliver an Android phone when potentially it offers a similar or lesser experience to a potential market leader, the Nexus One.
On the bright side is the consumer benefit: Google could potentially finally finish the change in the mobile phone market that Apple started, taking the power away from the telcos and delivering the ultimate control to the handset makers. If that happens, you won’t hear me complaining.
(image: Cory O’Brien)