Despite Google's persistent denial of its development over the past few months, the long-rumored "Google Phone, alleged called the Nexus One, has been unofficially confirmed to exist and to be released very soon.
Google has just announced an Android-related press conference on January 5th, and everyone is expecting them to announce the Nexus One and explain its business model. TechCrunch and Engadget have had pictures since mid-December, as Google apparently gave out a bunch of prototypes to its employees. Just this week, T-Mobile announced that it will "officially support" the device, though at this point it's still unclear exactly what that means. It has been speculated that Google will sell the Nexus One directly to consumers as an unlocked device (not specifically tied to any service carrier, but also not subsidized by a service carrier), instantly turning the mobile phone world upside down. It's also been speculated that T-Mobile will be an exclusive carrier of the device, as they have been for numerous Android-based devices previously. It's also possible that the Nexus One is simply the next Android developer phone, though this scenario seems less likely as more buzz is generated as the January 5th date gets closer.
Engadget claims to have the official specs for the Nexus One, which are impressive indeed:
- Android 2.1
- 1GHz processor
- 11.5mm thick
- 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM, 4GB microSD in-box expandable to 32GB
- 5 megapixel camera with mechanical AF and LED flash
- HSPA 900 / 1700 / 2100, 7.2Mbps down and 2Mbps up -- in other words, yes to T-Mobile 3G and no to AT&T 3G, though you'll still be fine on EDGE
- 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED display
The pictures depict the Nexus One as a touch screen device with no physical keyboard, similar to the HTC Hero, but with a larger display. If Google were to successfully sell their phone unlocked, the implications for the industry would be drastic, as it would provide an option for fans of high-end smartphones (like the iPhone and Droid) to purchase a fully supported (not jailbroken) device without being tied to specific provider and without signing a contract of any kind. Given all the bad press lately about AT&T's data service and Verizon's strict and pricey contract terms, this could really be a game-changer on the mobile market, forcing service carriers to compete fiercely on terms and level of service alone. Regardless, the Nexus One is bound to be a popular phone that again shows Google's ability to shake up entire industries by changing the rules in favor of the customer.
We'll keep you updated as we learn more.