Google quietly announced that it will discontinue the direct sale of its Nexus One phone.
This week we received our last shipment of Nexus One phones. Once we sell these devices, the Nexus One will no longer be available online from Google. Customer support will still be available for current Nexus One customers. And Nexus One will continue to be sold by partners including Vodafone in Europe, KT in Korea, and possibly others based on local market conditions.
To ensure our developers have access to a phone with the latest Android OS, Google will be offering the Nexus One through a partner for sale to registered developers. Visit the Android Market Publisher site and log into your developer account to purchase a Nexus One.
This officially marks the end of the N1 experiment. There are many opinions why this experiment failed. Google has certainly learned a lot about the complexity of the US wireless market and retail operations in general. The N1 offered a glimpse at carrier independence, with unrestricted software access and real-time Android updates. The 3G reception problems and the resulting finger-pointing between HTC, T-Mobile and Google highlighted the inherent problems with this direct sales model.
I believe, that the US wireless market with its carrier specific 3G data frequencies and incompatible wireless network technologies is a key reason for the failure of the N1, and Google’s direct sales model. Why buy an expensive phone without contract subsidy, if you can’t switch wireless providers because the phone wont work on another carriers network?
So Verizon is sticking with the “Droid” branding for its most anticipated Android phone yet – the HTC Incredible, now officially confirmed to be released on April 29th.
Update: Pre-ordering starts online on Monday April 19th.
The rumor mill now spinning at maximum velocity. This new phone with its impressive specs is likely to dethrone the Motorola Droid as the Android King at Verizon.
- 8 megapixel camera with autofocus
- Memory: 512 MB ROM, 512 MB RAM (320 free to the user)
- Android 2.1 with HTC’s Sense UI
- Optical Trackpad
- 3.7″ WVGA (800×480) AMOLED Screen
- 1300mAH battery
- FM Tuner
- 802.11b/g WiFi
- 117.5 mm (L) x 58.5 mm (w) x 11.9 mm (T)
- 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, underclocked to 768Mhz.
Sorry, no love from Google – they are not offering the phone at cost as some had speculated.
So, it’s $530 unlocked or $180 on a two year plan with T-Mobile. There seems to be only one plan for $79.99/month and lots of other small print to consider.
As previously rumored, January 5 is an important date for Android and the Google Phone. The company has scheduled a press conference for next Tuesday.
With the launch of the first Android-powered device just over a year ago, we’ve seen how a powerful, open platform can spur mobile product innovation. And this is just the beginning of what’s possible.
Google with support from T-Mobile, is scheduled to launch a new Android device in early January. The Google Android phone will be sold solely by Google via the web. Support for this device including troubleshooting and exchanges will be managed by Google and HTC. T-Mobile will offer service support, including billing, coverage, features and rate plans.
So it looks semi-official: Google will be selling and servicing its own phone.
Speculation around the arrival of another Droid in the Verizon lineup was refueled again over the last couple of days, by the discovery of a new website. The site simply displays the image (enhanced) below, although it is so faint that you may miss it on a bright LCD screen.
A whois lookup on the domain doesn’t reveal anything about the owner, other than that the domain was created in September.
The HTC Passion/Dragon is a much anticipated Android 2.x phone by HTC with very impressive features. Neither HTC or Verizon have commented on or even confirmed the existence of the device, but rumors about an imminent release keep reappearing.
Clever viral marketing plot or Internet prank? Only time will tell, but I have my doubts that Verizon is going to release another top-shelf Android phone before the end of this year, having just invested $100M into the Motorola Droid campaign.