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Google's Nexus One smartphone: Will mobile ads offset cost?

Matt Hamblen | Dec. 15, 2009
Unlocked phones haven't done well in the U.S., just ask Nokia

Otherwise, the two phones are similar in appearance, he said. The I/O conference smartphone ran an earlier Android version and was not up to the capabilities of the Apple iPhone, mainly because there were few applications and a limited interface, he said. Google in May was hoping to seed the developer community and elicit new applications, and appears to be doing the same with the Nexus One, Gold said. That name first showed up in a Wall Street Journal report.

Nexus One might have been chosen for as the name since it appears to be running over CDMA and GSM networks as well as Wi-Fi, according to a compliance report filed with the Federal Communicatoins Commission.

It isn't clear that the Nexus One phone is the same phone handed to Google employees for use and testing, and Google is offering few details.

In a blog posting on Saturday , Google said it's using Android on a phone built by a partner and giving it to employees to use. The blog calls it "a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe."

Other than that blog, a Google spokeswoman today said the company is offering no other information. Burden said the key attraction to a Nexus One phone could be its powerful processor, which is reported to be a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with a speed of 1Ghz. That would make it much faster than the next-fastest, which is a 600 Mhz processor running in the Palm Pre, Burden said. "They appear to have built a superphone," he said.

Faster processing would give the Nexus One capability to run complex applications at once, he noted.

Both Burden and Gold said it is highly unlikely that Google will ever manufacture its own devices, which would undercut existing Android device makers that now include Motorola Inc., HTC, LG and Samsung. Palm licensed its OS at one point to IBM and others while also making its own device, but the result was a "total fiasco," Burden noted.


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