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12/30/2009
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Google Nexus One Said To Cost $530 Unlocked

The HTC handset, expected to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show next week, may represent a unified platform for the Google Android smartphone.

With Google poised to unveil its Nexus One mobile phone next week, the $530 unlocked handset ($180 subsidized by T-Mobile) is already taking the wind out of the sails of other exhibitors at next week's Consumer Electronics Show.

Google hasn't said much about the phone, but enough information has leaked out to produce a profile of the HTC-built phone. It will operate on GSM networks, meaning the Nexus One could also work on AT&T's network, but not on Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel networks.

Qualcomm's fast Snapdragon processor is slated to power the Nexus One, which raises the question whether Qualcomm's chief operating officer, Len Lauer, will be involved in the Nexus One. Lauer has worked closely with Google on its Android Open Handset Alliance, but is scheduled to leave Qualcomm Thursday to become CEO of another as-yet unnamed firm. Lauer's predecessor in the Qualcomm COO post, Sanjay Jha, left to become co-CEO at Motorola, where he has been directing that firm's Android project.

Previously Lauer said the Snapdragon, which boasts a 1-GHz speed, could eventually operate with Google's new Chrome browser.

New details on the Nexus One were provided by Gizmodo, which reported that it had received information from anonymous sources.

Specs reported for the Nexus One mention Wi-Fi connectivity, a 5- or 6-megapixel camera, and a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen. Broadcom's BCM4329 chip, also said to be included in the Nexus One, is capable of providing 802.11n, Bluetooth, and FM technologies.

The Nexus One could represent a unified design for Google Android phones, thereby eliminating some of the complaints of application developers that existing Android phones are fragmented. A recent survey of 30 developers found that many were dropping Android work and returning to application development for the iPhone because the multiple Android designs made it difficult and uneconomical to develop apps for Android handsets. A unified Android design could attract more developers to the Android.

An unlocked Nexus One Google phone would likely please the Federal Communications Commission, which has been complaining about the exclusive marketing deals that exist between mobile phone providers and carriers. The T-Mobile Nexus One will carry a stipulation that users will pay a stiff fee if they opt out of the phone's contract before its completion.

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