Was the biggest Google announcement really about another Google Android phone or the iPhone killer as some have suggested? As expected, Google announced its Google Android Nexus One at a press conference Tuesday morning.
According to Google's Senior Product Manager for the Nexus One, Erick Tseng, the feature set includes everything you'd expect from an Android phone and adds a couple of unique goodies.
The Nexus One may or may not be an iPhone killer, but it doesn't really matter as the biggest Google announcement was not really about another Google Android phone. The real news at the Google event was about its online store at http://www.google.com/phone - the news that could shake up the mobile industry as it had happened during the initial iPhone announcement. The real news was about an online storefront offering that, if successful, could revolutionize the much reviled US carrier model - offering much faster, cheaper and more flexible services for mobile users. So what is really the significance of the Google announcement?
Well, Google confirmed that Nexus One, and all subsequent Google phones sold via the company's online store will be available unlocked for use on every participating carrier. By offering a lineup of phones that is essentially carrier-independent (with the radio compatibility caveat), Google has broken the two previously interlocked parts of the phone/plan-buying—phone selection and carrier selection—and has done so in a way that threatens one of the most important enablers of carrier lock-in.
In short, what Google announced today wasn't just the Nexus One, but the world's first carrier-independent smartphone store; the Google store is now the only smartphone store in the US where, for every phone on offer, you first pick which phone you want, and then you pick a network and a plan on that network. So you can comparison shop among networks based purely on plan price and network quality, because you already have your phone picked out.