Google-branded smartphone to be subsidized by T-Mobile USA and also sold unlocked in early January

“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,” Nicola Leske and Alexei Oreskovic report for Reuters.

“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 Jan. 5, according to the source,” Leske and Oreskovic report.

“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,” Leske and Oreskovic report. “Another version will be linked to Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA, which will subsidize the cost of the phone for U.S. consumers who agree to a service contract, the source said. Pricing details were not available.”

Leske and Oreskovic report, “Until now, Google has partnered with many handset makers by offering its open-source Android software as a freely available operating system for smartphones.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And what of Google’s zuned “partners” like beleaguered Motorola? Google must’ve run the numbers on Droid and the rest of the Android handsets vs. iPhone and seen a future they do not like. Google move to try Google-branded cellphones, if true, reeks of desperation.

35 Comments

  1. Still not sure I believe this story, but if it is true… “Don’t Be Evil”, eh Google? Who could have predicted you’d be quicker to zune your mobile phone partners than Microsoft themselves?

  2. What could Google possibly be worried about ? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> Google has Admob. Isn’t that enough to control the mobile market ?

    Meanwhile, an idea occurs to me … What to do with Apple’s server farm in North Carolina ? Apple could start its own advertising network.

  3. The new google phone could coexist with their partners. It could offer leadership, and expand the market. It would only be Microsoft-ian if google decided to arbitrarily make apps incompatible between their phone and their partners, the way Microsoft made Zune DRM music incompatible with the DRM music used by it’s partners.

  4. “What could Google possibly be worried about ? Google has Admob. Isn’t that enough to control the mobile market ?”

    Not sure what point you intended to make, Google NEVER needed to be in the Phone business to sell ads. Now they make their own OS to push their Google Services. Sure, cool.

    But this still isn’t a Google Phone. Google doesn’t make hardware. Its just an Android phone. Made by HTC.

  5. That’s the other shoe.

    If Apple builds a good search engine and makes it the default on Safari (Mac & iPhone), they automatically take the top end of the market for search. Advertisers would be stupid to ignore consumers with the most spending power, Apple has those consumers.

  6. “But this still isn’t a Google Phone. Google doesn’t make hardware. Its just an Android phone. Made by HTC.”

    No one makes their own hardware anymore. Okay, so Apple designs their iPhone hardware, but they don’t make it.

    This is totally a Zune move — stabbing your platform partners in the back.

    I think it will definitely slow adoption of Android. I would assume Motorola will eventually stop selling Droids and pursue something different for a platform strategy. Certainly make Palm a more desirable takeover target.

  7. Desperation? No. but Fragmentation is the big worry. Google must have decided to offer a “standard” product to try to get all OEM’s and telcos to follow its lead. but the effect will be just the opposite. instead they will all have to offer something quite different to compete and push their own services, stores, etc. and the telcos do not want to compete simply on plan pricing.

    instead Google should have published a limited “open spec” that they will specifically write all Google software to fit. that might have worked.

    consumers will soon be totally confused.

    btw, is the unlocked phone GSM or CDMA? or both?

  8. “If Apple builds a good search engine and makes it the default on Safari (Mac & iPhone), they automatically take the top end of the market for search.”

    Absolutely so, disposableidentity! I’ve been wondering what all those servers in North Carolina will be doing next year. Sure hope this is part of their activity.

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