Not many surprises here today at Google’s headquarters, or even celebrity appearances. As speculated, it is launching the Nexus One, which is the latest Android handset that it will be selling directly to consumers through a newly launched web site at Google.com/phone starting today.
Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is calling the device, built by HTC, a “superphone,” and as that name would imply, it does sport a lot of the latest hardware and has some software surprises, but it’s not revolutionary. That said, it’s a very solid device that provides a nice competitive offering to the iPhone.
The phone will be sold by Google online for $179 if customers sign up for a contract with T-Mobile USA. If they buy it unlocked, the device will cost $529. The online store is part of a new Google program that will start retailing certain high-profile devices. In a Q&A following the initial news, Motorola’s Co-CEO Sanjay Jha dismissed concerns that Google’s retail presence is a threat to his business, and said it actually expands the potential sales channels that can “take our innovations to consumers as fast as we can.”
While the announcements today seem small in scale for a company that has promised to completely revolutionize the industry, Google’s Andy Rubin promised that more is coming. He would not comment specifically on questions about whether ad-supported phones were coming, or radically different business models, but added: “Before you can revolutionize the world you have to have a mechanism in place in which you are selling products. Let