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frankspin

Google is planning to sell 5 Nexus devices via its Play Store.

The WSJ has gotten some information that Google may be announcing it's plan to announce 5 unlocked Nexus devices at the upcoming Google I/O event. There is no word yet on who will be making the phones but the report states they're planning to partner with a variety of OEMs to make this happen. Oh and the cherry on top, they'll be rocking the latest version of Android which at I/O will be Jelly Bean. The one thing that wasn't mentioned was which carriers this will work with but given the fact these will be unlocked devices you can bet they will be GSM only. I doubt we'll see CDMA specific phones but you don't want to rule any possibility. There will also be some region limitations as this "will be sold directly from Google ... to consumers in America, Europe and Asia."

Google tried this in the past with the original Nexus One but it failed, pretty badly at that. The one main detractor working against them at that point was marketshare. Android was still very new and not a lot of people wanted to try out the OS. With such a big marketshare and a lot more positive attention it was only a matter of time before they gave this a go again.

Do you think Google can pull this off or will it fail like it did last time?

www.engadget.com­/2012­/05­/15­/google­-planning­-multip...

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21 replies
wyldtek

This is ideal for me. I haven't had a contract in years. The last phone I purchased from a carrier was a WinMo. My last 3 phones were the HTC Dream (from Canada), the Nexus One (from Google), and the GS2 (from Europe). I NEVER plan to buy a "carrier infested" phone again. And I'd much rather have a pure Google experience phone than one with Touchwiz or Sense mucking up the interface. CM9 has saved me, but it would be nice to want CM instead of needing it.

And don't get me started on the whole GSM vs CDMA thing. I'll never allow myself to get trapped on a CDMA carrier. I like the option of picking which carrier has the best plan for me. And I can switch between devices by just swapping the SIM card. I also buy pre-paid data plans from foreign carriers when I travel abroad (far cheaper than buying an international data plan from AT&T). I currently have an insanely cheap data plan that I would not be allowed to have if I bought a phone from AT&T directly.

Hopefully these devices are pentaband like the GSM Galaxy Nexus so they will be fully compatible on both AT&T and T-Mobile. It would be nice if they had AT&T LTE bands but I'm not getting my hopes up.
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phi

Theoretically, by years end, we won't have to worry so much about pentaband since T-Mobile is refarming their PCS spectrum to support HSPA+. So any phone that works on AT&T will work on TMO 3G & 4/FauxG
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NeuroMan42

I use Virgin Mobile for my provider and have since 2000. They run on the Sprint network and have been the best provider I have ever had. Never had a single issue, and always have a great signal. They also have a REAL Unlimited Data plan. If Google offers a phone that will work with them, then I would purchase direct from the G.
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gRagib

The real reason why the Nexus One plans didn't pan out is that Google didn't anticipate the difficulties in verifying customer credit details and hooking into the carriers' billing system. Hence, this time around, they are only selling unlocked devices, devoid of any carrier relationships.
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evcon

If they had offered this off the bat with the Galaxy Nexus in November/December, I would have done it, and paid half as much as I did to import. The market has changed since the Nexus One, and I think everything is getting to the place where they could at least be mildly successful.
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scouseok

the market has changed since the nexus one like you say so i think it will be a big hit now than previous attempt as now most mobile devices are Android & IOS and a little part of the market going to window's for mobile with that said Android is still the main one with so many different types of handsets and makers of them it will be a very good thing for google to do now.
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Eric6052

I would consider it. The largest limiting factor to me would be switching to a GSM network. I've been a Verizon customer for 10 years because I get reliable service and coverage and the Lte on my Rezound has been great. That being said I would consider going prepaid and using a service like straight talk where I could save money every month if I pay retail for a phone with no subsidy.
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z0phi3l

Really depends on pricing, but I would love to get my phone directly from Google
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frankspin

If the Galaxy Nexus was $399 I'd expect these to be more in the $529-$699 range.
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TgD

I agree with your expectation. It will be interesting to see, because at that price point, the carrier subsidy on a 2-3 year contract will be significant enough to possibly pull people away from purchasing from Google. I would possibly be more tempted to get a $99-$199 phone on contract than a $599-$699 phone outright, given the choice.

Now I realize I was brief in my earlier post... I hadn't had my morning coffee yet and was a bit bitter about the region limitation, but I find it interesting that Google is making a big deal about these phones being unlocked. I am fairly confident that Google has NEVER locked any of its nexus phones. Nexus One, Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus are all factory unlocked, even if you purchase it from a carrier. It is something Google strongly believes in, and I doubt they would start to lock phones just to incentivize people buying the phone directly from them.
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frankspin

Your point on contract is a good one. I don't know how much this will benefit google because I think the average consumer is still far greater than the smaller percentage who truly care about this stuff.
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scouseok

In the UK Nexus devices are locked to a carrier here unless you buy it at full retail price from somewhere like carphone warehouse who ain't locked to selling a certain carrier's devices which is probably the only high street store that has no ties to a certain carrier so i would be happy to buy direct from playstore as it makes no difference to me as i only buy unbranded devices through carphone warehouse then get my contract to which ever carrier has the best deal at the time.
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TgD

Sigh I read the release, and Canadians are set to be snubbed again. We cannot get the $399 Galaxy Nexus, and these upcoming devices "will be sold directly from Google in unlocked form to consumers in America, Europe and Asia."

So unless I get a job in America, I will probably not get a phone directly from Google
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frankspin

Thanks for pointing out the region limitation I'm going to add it to the top post.
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sirdurable

Unless I'm forgetting my geography, Canada is still part of America, right? :) I haven't read the release though, so maybe they mention the US specifically elsewhere.
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TgD

Only part of North America :) So is Mexico by that logic

I have a bad habit of referring to the USA as America. I indeed meant the USA.

"Unfortunately for us Canadians the (WSJ) report only indicated that the “portfolio” of Nexus devices would be sold in the US, Asia and Europe, so if this is true we’ll probably see various carriers jump on board."

mobilesyrup.com­/2012­/05­/15­/google­-reportedly­-prepp...

Google hasn't included us in hardware sales before (as I said, we currently can not get the $399 Galaxy Nexus unless our friends in the USA mail one to us) and this trend will probably continue.

"First available in the US...We hope to bring it to more countries soon"
googlemobile.blogspot.ca­/2012­/04­/galaxy­-nexus­-now­-...
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scouseok

Are you serious as i thought canada comes under north america so surely you will be able to buy via google play store?
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TgD

serious. we. dont get the 399 galaxy nex, google play music or magazines
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scouseok

That just crazy with the fact you come under north America status so i would of expected you to have the same as USA and Europe.
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scouseok

I just checked my S3 to see if we get movies books music etc and yes we do so why you don't is just baffling.
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pavans4u

Yes
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