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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?

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