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The Nexus One … who’s buying one?

Oh it’s an interesting time in the industry, isn’t it? Just a week ago I couldn’t be bothered to even think about the marketplace (given the stagnant year that was 2009) but it’s all NexusNexusNexusOne this week. The hyperbole has been on overdrive for quite a few weeks already, ever since rumours started floating across the internet.

I’ve been eyeing up the various pictures and video with a degree of interest.

My first problem with the device is that it doesn’t have a physical keyboard. That’s not a deal-breaker for me per se, it just means I can’t use it as a primary device. I need a physical keyboard. But then I do have two iPhones so I’d welcome the opportunity to add the Nexus One (at least in theory) to my toolset.

I do like the fact that Google have clearly had their say with the device. It does boast some pretty interesting specs (all ‘rumour’ until actually confirmed today) and it does look a cut above the current marketplace.

What’s interesting is the fact Google are selling it. How many will they flog? I don’t know exactly, but that doesn’t really matter, does it? This is yet another example of operators being used simply as a finance house. Google are heavily educating the general American populace that you can buy a (decent) handset without a nasty contract. This can only be good news. European mobile users are far more aware of their ability to ‘bring their own’ device and acquire their GSM connection from whoever they wish — American normobs are sorely in need of this awareness to help balance the market away from direct mobile operator influence.

In America, though, there’s little or no discount to be had for bringing your own device. Right now you’ll typically pay the same amount of money per month for your Nexus One whether you bought it outright or whether you got it subsidised by the operator. That’s not entirely fair. In Europe, T-Mobile have been particularly adept at telling folk to bring their own handset and offering a substantial monthly discount in return. When you’ve got a marketplace accustomed to demanding ‘free’ £700 handsets every 18 months, anything operators can do to try and avoid having to splash out on subsidies is a good thing.

So educating the market will be useful. A lot of people will, I’m sure, thoroughly enjoy the experience of buying ‘from Google’. I suspect they’ll get a ton of orders from the Silicon Valley zipcodes. How many British folk will be stumping up the equivalent of £400 (or thereabouts) for a Nexus One? I really don’t know. A lot of the uber-loyal Android fans won’t be able to resist the ‘ohmigodGoogle’ lure.

MobileTechWorld picked up French newspaper Le Point’s story reporting that the Nexus One will retail via SFR in France (Q1) for €199 with contract or €450 without.

Standby for the full details — I don’t think we’ll be able to move for Nexus news from the mainstream press over the next few days. You can already get the Nexus One ‘official review’ from Engadget here.

Are you buying one?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

19 replies on “The Nexus One … who’s buying one?”

TMobile USA has recently adopted a new pricing model where users who bring the own mobiles get a reduced contract fee. I don’t think its as nice a reduction as you get on that side of the pond, but its a start.

I’m not getting one – where’s the innovation? Its just another Android mobile IMO. Where’s the context shifting user interface (ain’t like Google doesn’t have the info to build that into Android), where’s the nice leveraging of online and offline storage for media beyond email?

I’m as much a fan of mobile as anyone (heck, I run my website off of Nokia’s Mobile Web Server); but innovations are few and far inbetween. Haven’t we moved past “just features?”

No I am 95% sure I will not be getting one of these, even when they do eventually go on sale in Finland. BUT, I am really excited as to what this phone, and it's follow up models, will do for the business as a whole. It's going to be a fantastic few months!!

I'll be buying the Nexus One. Reasons are simple:
1. I need a new phone (my G1 was broken), and I'm not under contract to anyone
2. Right combination of features and price
3. Google Voice integration – not available on the iPhone (and it appears that no one cares anymore)
4. T-Mobile network just named fasted network in the US (who would have thought).

Looks like the real consensus is: if you are a G1 fan and out of contract, the One is for you.

Otherwise, if you have the cash, wait-and-iPhone-see.

I get the feel from all the coverage and having taken the web tour, there just *isn't* that magic bullet…that Apple-esque wow factor of seeing something truly new…like (in their day) a compass, or Streetview, or coverflow.

Something consumers will queue for.

The geeks know whatever's here will also be inside every other Android 2.1 device soon. And cheaper, on their network of choice. And despite what Ewan says, network choice does matter. Voda may be a brilliant network, but if they don't cover in *your* house or *your* workplace, then they are dead to you. Ditto if they don't do HSPA+, or a tariff that meets your needs. Or offer a killer service you cannae live withoot, like Spotify, or Skype.

Unless Google are going to punt many millions into advertising, they will still be reliant on MNO's and CPW/P4U etc to educate consumers about the device and its benefits. And even then it's just not that different.

I wanted it to be more.

🙁

I thought you might pick me up on that network point, Mike 😉 I defer to your example. You're absolutely right. If I get my phone from Google, it still needs to work in my home/office. And if I don't have signal… who's going to give me my money back or sell me a VAG? (“Vodafone Access Gateway”)

Bought one direct. Have been using Win Mo for many, many, years and never tried Android before. iPhone (let's face it, Apple) users just a tad too fanatical for me, and I've never liked the lock-in that comes with Apple products. This thing finally has the beef to compare with my Touch HD, and with any luck it'll have the UX that will make me wonder why I didn't leave Windows Mobile years ago.

Shaky at best, at least technologically speaking, though the experience was as promised in terms of design and interaction. Dodging between browsers did the trick, but to be honest I didn't expect much performance from the site. As a web professional myself I'm only too aware of how difficult it is to judge demand, and even with Google's might I doubt they really knew what was coming next. They are just people after all …

I'm giving some thought to it, Jim. My biggest issue is a personal one — I really prefer physical keyboards. So much so that I am still using the G1 as my Android handset. Old, I know..

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