The Web is buzzing with reports that Google is going to release an Android-based smartphone called the the Nexus One under its own brand name next year. Google itself tells a very different story, though.
What’s undoubtedly true is that many Google employees were given a smartphone at a company meeting on Friday. They clearly weren’t sworn to secrecy, because they immediately began talking about it on the Web.
From their descriptions, this device is almost certainly a version of the HTC Bravo, a model that expected to hit the market next year. As such, it has a tablet shape with a 3.7-inch, WVGA, AM-OLED display and optical trackpad. Inside is a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, a 5 MPx camera, and support for both AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s 3G networks.
Saturday morning, Google posted about this device on its official blog:
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, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe. This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it.
An Unofficial Report
That might have been the end of the story, but no less a source than the Wall Street Journal says that Google will release this device under its own name in 2010.
This report says the Nexus One won’t be sold through a wireless carrier like AT&T, but will instead will be sold unlocked, directly to consumers, who will be responsible for getting voice and data service separately.
If this is correct, it will be a significant departure from Google’s previous strategy, under which it developed the Android operating system but allowed other companies to make and sell products based on it.
It would also make the Nexus One the first product Google has ever sold to consumers.