Screenshots leaked to tech site Gizmodo by an anonymous "tipster" suggest that Google's Nexus One smartphone will retail for $530 — more than twice what many observers were expecting. While the Gizmodo scoop also has the phone available through T-mobile for $180 with a two-year contract, it was the "unlocked" version of the phone (that is, sold free and clear from any provider contracts), which will be available through the Nexus One website, that had gadget afficianados buzzing. In theory, an affordable, no-strings smartphone could revolutionize the wireless industry, which today tends to require long-term locked-in contracts. But will the Nexus One's lofty price tag jeopardize its status as "game-changer" for the wireless industry?
It's still a game-changer: While the price makes it "unlikely" that Google will be selling the Nexus One "in droves," says MG Siegler at Tech Crunch, releasing a "completely unlocked" phone still marks "an important moment in the mobile industry in the U.S." Even at $530, the device "points to a future where the carriers don’t dominate the mobile scene with their ridiculous contracts and lock-in policies. And that’s a good thing."
"The apparent cost of Nexus One freedom: $530. Why it still matters"
The Nexus One seems less than revolutionary: The fact that the phone's pricing favors signing a contract with T-mobile "deflate[s]" any chance the phone has of changing the U.S. mobile phone industry, says Karl Bode at DSL Reports. So, "after weeks of hype," all we're left with is yet another phone powered by Google's Android software that perpetuates "the industry status quo for pricing." Is that supposed to be impressive?
"Google Phone not the revolution some expected"
Hmm...more information, please?: "To be perfectly honest, it's hard to say if this is the real deal or not," says Joshua Topolsky at Engadget. A few of the details revealed by the Gizmodo screenshots — like requiring buyers to activate their phones "via the website" — don't make much sense. Then again, "the big G sometimes works in mysterious ways."
"Allegedly leaked Nexus One purchase page answers, raises questions"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 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
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The U.S. government is actually trouncing Ebola. When will it get credit?
Subscribe to the Week