The Real Google Phone: Everything Is Different Now

It wasn't supposed to exist. "The" Google Phone. Then we (and others) heard otherwise. And now, Google isn't just handing this "sexy beast" out to employees, they're going to sell it directly. Everything has changed. Here's what we know.

• The Wall Street Journal says it's made by HTC and called the Nexus One. It'll be sold online, directly by Google. You'll have to get your own mobile phone network (which suggests it's an unlocked device). Curiously, the WSJ says, "unlike the more than half-dozen Android phones made by phone manufacturers today, Google designed virtually the entire software experience behind the phone". Sounds weird, since they designed the look and feel of the software on the Droid and G1 too, except that our source had told us before that the current Android we know isn't the "real" Android. Also odd sounding: that name, Nexus One. But maybe not that odd.

• Google confirmed they handed out "a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe".

• A bunch of Google employees tweeted stuff like the phone is "like an iPhone on beautifying steroids".

• It probably looks like this:

• It's supposedly an unlocked GSM phone running Android 2.1, powered by the crazyfast Snapdragon processor, with an OLED touchscreen (no keyboard), dual mics (for killing background noise), and enhanced voice-to-text powers. It's gonna be alllll Google branding. And it's probably coming out in January. Which jibes with what our source saw a couple weeks ago, a huge screen running a brand new version of Android unlike anything out there.

• We heard it was referred to, at least in some capacity in the staff meeting where they were handed out, as the "Passion".

It's hard to understate just how radically this changes the landscape not just for Android, but what it means for Google and their relationship to the mobile phone industry. The Google Phone is a radically different model, a shift from the Microsoft one (make the software, let somebody else deal with the hardware), to the Apple and BlackBerry and one (make the software and the hardware, tightly integrated). And Google's even taking a step further, by selling it directly, bypassing the carriers entirely, at least initially.

It's a powerful message: to the companies making phones running Android, to the carriers, to developers, to consumers. Google is in this to win. Everything has changed.



    this is going to destroy the space time continuum

    If it works, I hope it will change the whole coupling situation (why can't I buy an iphone without a plan...) and help bring some of the power back to the customers...cause we're not a stupid as we seem to be treated...not all of us, not all the time...

    I'd like to have a deeper dig into the android API and this could be the device to that tips over to it.

    Looking forward to more...

    (It's going to be a long hard road, could they also have a look at movies/tv downloads as well, maybe they can come up with a model that actually works)

      Mate, not calling you stpuid but you are can buy the iphone from apple unlocked, and have been able to for a very long time....

      And if you wanted to buy an unlocked phone just eBay it. Customers already have the options, but plans are far easier and sometimes far cheaper. Some people will definitely make use of the ability to buy phones unlocked direct from the company, but those same people have been buying phones off eBay and other websites already.....


    Google don't own the carriers though, they could just turn around and not offer connections for it.

      Which would be a violation of the trade practices act. Wouldn't the ACCC love to go after Telstra etc for that.

        Um, as well as the fact that all worthwhile carriers in Australia already have service-only plans without having to buy a phone from them...

    Although Australia's carriers are all iPhone-approved, and Apple sells unlocked phones direct to the public, it still won't allow unlocked phones on an approved network to receive push notifications.

    definately it will be very nice for us to have a mobile from search giant Google and hope the handset will be equipped with all thye latest features.........

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