Google (News - Alert) is expected today to unveil its much-hyped “Nexus One” Android smartphone in a news conference at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show, an annual gadget fest to be held in Las Vegas Jan. 7-10.
Though Google has stopped short of announcing the phone, which would be its first, details have been leaked by multiple news sources.
For starters, Google is expected to offer consumers two options for buying the Nexus One, according to multiple reports. Users can opt to pay $180 and sign up for a two-year T-Mobile (News - Alert) contract, or they can pay $530 without a contract.
But because Nexus One will rely on GSM technology – which is used by T-Mobile and AT&T (News - Alert), but not every major carrier in the United States – options may actually be limited.
The handset will be manufactured by HTC (News - Alert) and will run on Google’s Android 2.1 operating system (which is a bit faster than Version 2.0, the software on the Motorola DROID), according to reports. The Taiwan-based electronics company already manufactures Verizon’s Droid Eris and other Android-based phones for U.S. service providers.
The device will reportedly come with a 1-gigahertz processor, a 4-gigabyte SD flash card for storing programs and media files and use track ball for navigation, according to Engadget.
In its invitation to today’s Android event, Google reportedly stated that the wireless market had only seen “the beginning of what’s possible” with the free Android operating system that it introduced for mobile phones in late 2007.
Calling Nexus One “the most anticipated phone since the advent of the iPhone,” market research firm In-Stat’s (News - Alert) analysts said in a report to news media that the stakes are high for Google, as software is becoming a key factor in determining the user experience in the crowded smartphone market.
“In-Stat believes new [operating systems] such as Android will cut away at Symbian’s market share,” said Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst. “Although there are relatively few open source OS-based smartphones in the market today, the open source OS momentum is difficult to ignore. After years of hype, it is easy to see that 2010 will be the year of Android.”
In December, a spokeswoman from Google told TMCnet it would not comment beyond what’s included in its blog post “An Android dogfood diet for the holidays.”
The post only hinted at a new Android device:
“We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities,” the blog, posted by Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management at Google, stated. “We shared this device with Google employees across the globe. This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it.”
To find out more about Google, visit the company at the 4GWE Conference. To be held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami and collocated with ITEXPO East 2010, the 4GWE Conference will focus on the realities of deploying 4G technologies and delivering broadband wireless applications to a growing community of wireless broadband consumers. Google officials will be speaking during multiple sessions at the 4GWE and ITEXPO East conferences. Don’t wait. Register now.