Google is planning to sell its own mobile phone:nexus

GOOGLE plans to sell its own mobile phone direct to consumers – bypassing wireless operators in a rare strategic move – as soon as next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Called the Nexus One and made by smartphone maker HTC, the phone will run on the search giant’s Android operating system – around which Motorola and other cellphone makers have built devices – and will be sold online, the newspaper cited persons familiar with the matter as saying.

Google’s Android phones have won attention in the mobile industry lately, with Motorola and Sony Ericsson choosing to launch it with their new top models.

Analysts say the aim is to gain access to valuable consumer data that can be used to sell ads at premium prices, rather than to make money from direct hardware sales, as companies such as Nokia or Research in Motion do.

Research house IDC estimates the market share for Android operating software rose to 5.4 percent from 4.2 percent in July-September in Western Europe, a key market.

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