Google building a base under Android with Nexus One

Google building a base under Android with Nexus One

Summary: Google will freely let you do better, or go cheaper, and it will let you buy an unlocked handset built entirely on open source. But its market will be highly competitive, with the Nexus One guaranteeing other companies deliver value for money.

SHARE:

Assuming the Gizmodo report published by C|Net is accurate, Google plans to police the open source Android ecosystem by delivering its own phone starting in January.

The Nexus One is not designed to beat other Android phones, but to deliver the base technology at what Google considers a fair price, $180 with a two-year contract and $530 unlocked.

Other manufacturers will be free to innovate on top of the Nexus, creating their own user interfaces, applications, and price plans, but if they fall short or even sit on level terms with the Nexus One, buyers will go Google.

Note the contrast with Apple, which rigidly controls its entire ecosystem and fights both technically and legally to make certain no one goes outside the lines it draws.

Note also the contrast with Microsoft, which controls its software but avoids competing with hardware OEMs.

Note too the fears of many that by delivering an open source design Google might lose complete control of its own market. The Nexus One is its answer to that.

Google will freely let you do better, or go cheaper, and it will let you buy an unlocked handset built entirely on open source. But its market will be highly competitive, with the Nexus One guaranteeing other companies deliver value for money.

It's an interesting approach. Does it meet with your approval?

Topics: Open Source, Google, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

9 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Sure.

    I'll just bet that all the Android "partners" are jumping for joy over Google
    crashing their party to show them "The Way". Yep. You bet. Uh-huh.
    Userama
    • You are right, Userama

      I am certain the other Android makers aren't happy about this. But Google has as much right to use is software as they do. And Google isn't controlling what they do in the way Apple or Microsoft might.

      So the deal for those partners is still better.
      DanaBlankenhorn
    • RE: Google building a base under Android with Nexus One

      Note too the fears of many that by delivering an open source design Google might lose complete control of its own market. The Nexus One is its answer to that.<a href="http://ipadbagblog.com/"><font color="LightGrey"> k</font></a>
      zakkiromi
  • RE: Google building a base under Android with Nexus One

    Android is not open. AOSP is.

    Open source part of it doesn't include critical components like market and google apps driving / forcing people to use the official route instead of using a completely home cooked firmware.

    Real/full open-source doesn't work this way.

    To be true, it is just the application development that is open. Hardware support can be added in open by manufacturers but to extend android you have to suck up to the google developers and/or forget your idea.

    Application developers are already having trouble with multiple versions and flavors but can't do much as this is not for them to correct in the 'open'.
    logout@...
    • Good point

      However, for example, the Cyanogenmod ROM does not have Google Market but it does have an alternate market which is open to any developer who also wishes to use the Google Market, and open to anybody who has either AOSP or Android proper. Compare this to the iPhone which does not allow alternate markets.
      Michael Kelly
    • Logout makes a good point

      Michael Kelly and I are in agreement on this. Android is not as open as open can be. But it is far more open than any other viable smartphone platform, which means it is plenty open enough.
      DanaBlankenhorn
    • Android IS Open

      Android is open, any one can use or modify it.
      What isn't open are the "Google Experience" Apps

      But there are no restrictions on putting any other app on any device.

      The latest SDK makes it much easier for any app to run on any device, regardless of screen resolution or physical keyboard.
      al.balboa
  • RE: Google building a base under Android with Nexus One

    It meets my complete approval. The assumption that
    selling this device alienates Google from the OEMs it
    now competes with on a certain level is over rated.
    Outside of the US, UK and handful of other countries,
    the fastest growing markets are the emerging markets
    where unlocked phones are the norm. Its also the
    fastest growing market for smartphones because of the
    growth of data services on mobile networks. This also
    makes other Android OEMs work harder to get better
    devices out to market. Its an awesome strategy.
    Happy New Year Dana! Keep up the great work we know
    you for :)
    muchirinyaggah
  • No it's a complete rip off.

    I hope to see HTC offering this directly for $149. That includeds a more typical hardware profit a phone that's this cheap to build.

    HTC doe not need google to sell this phone with android. If I were HTC I'd sell it directly and get some kind of revenue sharing from google for keeping their ad services on it.
    Johnny Vegas