Google unveils Nexus One 'superphone'

Google Inc took the wraps off its first smartphone, a device with speech recognition that it hopes can take on Apple's iPhone.

Google unveils Nexus One 'superphone'

Google Inc took the wraps off its first smartphone, a device with speech recognition that it hopes can take on Apple's iPhone and help shore up the company's dominance in Internet advertising.

Google plans to use what it calls a "superphone" -- the first of many types of smartphones that it will make -- to expand its reach from the PC to the mobile world and ensure its online products and ads get prominent placement on a new breed of wireless Internet devices.

The highly anticipated Nexus One, released on Tuesday, which marks the first time the 11-year-old Internet search titan has designed and sold its own consumer hardware device, could provide Google with a viable challenge to the iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry.

Executives said the phone -- to be sold directly to consumers -- could be profitable for Google, but it is not expected to dramatically alter the relationship between carriers and hardware vendors the industry relies on, nor is it likely to yield a revenue windfall in the short term.

It "wasn't the game-changer people thought it could be," Canaccord Adams analyst Jeff Rath said. Google could have shaken up the industry by offering the device for free, but instead chose more traditional pricing, he said.

Rath added that though his early impression was that the Nexus One was a good phone, it was unclear how much better it was than Motorola's Droid, released last year and that also runs on Google's Android operating system platform.

"It's very close to the Droid, some people will debate whether it's better. But it looks like an incremental improvement rather than a blow-the-doors-off improvement," Rath said.

The Nexus One, which was garnering favorable first reviews on tech Websites and forums on Tuesday, ships immediately from Google's online store for $179 with a two-year contract from Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA, or $529 without a service plan.

Executives said that in the spring the phone will be carried on Verizon Wireless's network in the United States and on Vodafone's in Europe. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Vodafone and Verizon Communications.


Reuters

Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2010, 23:24
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