If you’ve been following the journey of the HTC Dragon/Passion, which has recently been dubbed the Nexus One and passed through the FCC, you’re probably excited about the prospect of it being the legendary Google Phone. Google even had the gall to tease us about some mystery phone they were playing with over the weekend, although didn’t mention any helpful details. Some fresh information indicate that this might be at least half true (although the level of Google’s participation remains a point of contention),
The latest rumours are pointing to a January 5 release on T-Mobile for $199, but with a few catches – for one, Google will also be selling it from their front page unlocked (presumably for a higher price. This alone is huge, because people could see a link to an Android device before they even have the time to type “iPhone” into a Google search. Selling unlocked could be a risky preposition depending on how it’s priced, but if reasonable, the Nexus One stands a chance at cracking a market beyond the hardcore mobile users who are willing to shell out $800 up-front for a phone.
Secondly, T-Mobile’s price is apparently being subsidized by Google itself, which is obviously a great way to undercut competitors and push their Android operating system even further. And hey, Google can afford to throw some money at carriers from atop their glimmering mountain of gold, or at least cut them a good deal. While a lot of the details surrounding pricing and release date are nebulous at best, the Nexus One is very real – we’re hearing it will have a 5 megapixel camera, 800 x 480 capacitive touchscreen, a 1 Ghz processor, GPS, and Android 2.1. For those holding out for a CDMA version, there was word that Verizon would be picking this one up, and likely the key differentiator between the Dragon and Passion codenames.