The Ultimate Android Is Coming

Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Nexus One smartphone, once thought to be a myth by some, is apparently due to be introduced at a press event scheduled for Jan. 5.

Good. Google needs its own Android smartphone to wrest account control from carriers such as AT&T (NYSE: T  ) , and Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , among others.

The details offer no real surprises. Gizmodo is reporting that Google will sell an unlocked version of the N1 for $530, and a subsidized edition for $180. The latter comes with a minimum two-year commitment to Deutsche Telekom's (NYSE: DT  ) T-Mobile. The plan clocks in at $80 per month, the site says, citing material obtained from an unnamed source.

I'm not so sure that T-Mobile agreed to this pricing enthusiastically; it's high enough that some early adopters, fresh off memories of being stuck in a bad relationship with AT&T, will opt for the unlocked edition of the N1 and roam where they choose.

Other carriers must be cringing. If T-Mobile is playing along, it must be because it lags rivals in smartphone adoption. And yet it's a deal with a telecom devil. Account control and long-term contracts have long been the industry's twin sources of profit protection. Google is changing that, and the shift could lead to several highly disruptive ideas.

One possibility: marketing plans where users would sign up to receive a certain number of weekly pitches from Google's AdMob network, in exchange for a subsidized Nexus One handset.

Of course, regulators would first have to approve of The Big G's $750 million buyout of AdMob before any such offer could be made. But if they do, and if it happens, expect Google's Android partners to scream. Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) , notably.

Rivals, too, will be watching closely. The N1 could create further demand for Android applications, and in the process stifle development of software for Palm's (Nasdaq: PALM  ) Pre and Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) BlackBerry. Both platforms need coder commitment in order to compete in the market long-term.

Finally, let's talk timing. Google's PR team is rallying press hours before the first announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Don't be surprised if The Big G sends a few employees to the show floor with boxes of N1 handsets to give away. That's how you keep the buzz.

Yet Google doesn't need PR stunts to show us that it's determined to change the telecom industry. It just needs to deliver a rebellious handset. See you in the New Year, Nexus One.

Will the N1 forever change the dynamics of the mobile telecom industry? Weigh in using the comments box below.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers owned shares of Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Years ago, The Fool's disclosure policy witnessed an unfortunate smelting accident. It's never been the same since.


Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 2:23 PM, Fool wrote:

    Can't wait, this is an amazing phone!

    This device is twice as fast as the iPhone and has better screen quality.

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 2:39 PM, plange01 wrote:

    google will be one of the worse performing stocks in 2010.google should just stick to being a online phone book thats what they are good at....

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 5:07 PM, howman25 wrote:

    google will be a power horse in 2010 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    the stock price will be $800 by september 2010.

    google has so much in the works everything coming out by summertime, the android system is the best platform out there to date, do not be left behind without buying this stock a.s.a.p. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    you make the call, i'm already dollar cost averaging every two weeks and i am making money.

    see you all on the other side of the money

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 8:31 PM, TMFBritcodeftw wrote:

    I wish somehow they were going with Verizon or Sprint. T-mobile doesn't seem to have the coverage to make this a killer phone. Or is that an unfair assessment?

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2009, at 9:33 PM, IAM215 wrote:

    Coverage pull averages out across large areas, so ignore the carrier for this reason alone. CIP, I switched to T-Mobile soley because of coverage at my house.

    But something to add is that Flash 10.1 will hit all smartphones by next summer EXCEPT THE IPHONE. I'm puzzled by this Apple/Adobe stand-off, but it does give Google another feather. I'm w/ the $800 stock comment, but worried about a pop and P/E. Then again, data is GOD. Bummer that I own RIMM and not GOOG. What was I thinking in 2009? (Ever seen any office dweller geek use anything other than a Blackberry? I heard it was a IT security thing but no expert here, just a Canadian.)

    Once again... baffled by the complexities in this market - and I'm a Technologist!

    Happy New Year!

    21

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