Internet buzz surrounding the shadowy new "Google Phone" became a full-blown cacophony over the weekend after Google employees began Tweeting about demo versions they'd received. Google has since officially confirmed the phone's existence, while declining to weigh in on whether it will, as rumored, be called "Nexus One" and go on sale as early as Jan. 5. Of particular note: According the the Wall Street Journal, Google will sell the phone directly to consumers, bypassing wireless carriers (Although T-Mobile will also distribute it non-exclusively.) Will the "Nexus One" turn the smartphone war on its head?
The "Google Phone" changes everything: "It's hard to overstate just how radically this changes the landscape," says Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo. Google is not the first company to try selling a phone "unlocked" — i.e. without being programmed for a specific wireless provider — in America. But given its vast corporate resources, the move sends a "powerful message" to the industry: "Google is in this to win."
"The real Google Phone: Everything is different now"
It's still about the iPhone: The excitement over "Nexus One" isn't about the device at all, says Sascha Segan at PC World, but rather about iPhone owners' "desperate wish" to use any wireless carrier they want. Still, unless Americans stop falling for the sign-this-contract-save-money gambit that most carriers use, revolutionary change is highly "unlikely."
"Why so many people are so wrong on the 'Google Phone'"
We're getting ahead of ourselves: Feel free to get excited, says Joshua Topolsky at Engadget. But, speculation aside, we don't even know for sure that the "Nexus One" will actually be available to consumers. Despite The Wall Street Journal's claims, "there have been zero...official statements" from Google. Keep in mind: "Right now, the only way to get this phone is to work for Google."
"The Google Phone: What we know... and what we don't"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- Let us now praise Billy Joel
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Everything you need to know about the voter ID controversy
- Is crossing the ISIS border actually the safest way into Syria?
Subscribe to the Week