Posts Tagged ‘ Android ’
Google smartphones are either a daring foray into the telecom world or a misunderstood test of the next-generation of the Internet giant’s Android mobile operating system.
Analysts interviewed Friday were divided over what to make of the “Nexus One” smartphones that Google is having workers test internally.
“We are having a big discussion whether this is going to kill Android or make it,” said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley.
“It looks like Google is moving to see if they can do the Apple thing.”
The Google phone will use what is probably the fastest smartphone chip on the planet and become the first non-Windows smartphone to tap into this kind of processing power.
The phone itself is being built by HTC, with a lot of input from Google. It seems to be a tailored version of the HTC Passion or the related HD2 (Unlocker scored some leaked pictures back in October which are of the same phone).
Here are the details known so far about the phone: It will be called the Google Phone (update the official name is “Nexus One”) and will launch in early January, 2010. It won’t be sold by any one carrier, but instead will be an unlocked GSM phone. In the U.S., that means T-Mobile and possibly AT&T, whose exclusivity deal with the iPhone is about to run out. It will be running Android 2.1
The phone is “really, really fast,” says someone who has seen one in action. It runs on a Snapdragon chip, has a super high-resolution OLED touchscreen, is thinner than the iPhone, has no keyboard, and two mics. The mic on the back of the phone helps eliminate background noise, and it also has a “weirdly” large camera for a phone. And if you don’t like the touchscreen keyboard, a voice-to-text feature is supposed to let you dictate emails and notes by speaking directly into the phone.
Google Inc plans to sell two versions of its own-branded cellphone: one with a service contract with T-Mobile USA and another that is unlocked, a source familiar with the matter said.
The phone, manufactured by HTC, has a number of code names such as HTC Passion, Dream or Nexus One and could be available directly though the Google website as early as January 5, according to the source.
Google said on its official blog on Saturday that it was testing a new mobile device with its employees. Media reports have said that Google will sell an unlocked version of the touchscreen phone, allowing consumers to pick a carrier of their choice to provide wireless service.
Another version will be linked to Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA, which will subsidise the cost of the phone for US consumers who agree to a service contract, the source said. Pricing details were not available.
“In the long term Google will become a seller and get commission from operators,” the source said, adding that other operators are expected to follow T-Mobile’s lead eventually and agree to Google’s terms.
The phone is similar to Apple Inc’s iPhone but has, among other features, an exchangeable battery, a somewhat larger screen and the ability for consumers to add a memory card to the device. Any operator who wants to make the phone available to its customers will have to go through Google, the source said.
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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