Covering mobile phones for some time now, I’m no longer surprised by the level of hype and hyperbole that surrounds some phones months before they are even released to market, or even before any concrete details are known about them. The usual focus of such fanboy ferver is Apple and the next iteration of its iPhone. But right now Google seems to be making speculators salivate with its Nexus One phone.
The phone – supposedly to be manufactured by HTC – is interesting in may ways. Google’s plan is to sell the phone without carrier partnerships, directly to consumers. There is talk about using advertising to subsidize the cost of this. That’s worth talking about, but it’s not half as interesting as the platform that powers the device – Android 2.0.
Android is an OS that has come into its own over the last few months and the latest iteration is starting to surface on some impressive devices. The Motorola Milestone will be the first in Canada to use it in the New Year (a very similar model is sold south of the border as “The Droid”). You can expect other manufacturers to use this open source platform to power impressive smart phone devices that can support large, hi-res touch screens and are customizable in more ways that you probably even realize.
It’s the Android’s use across multiple manufacturers and its direct extension into the Web that makes it far more interesting that the iPhone OS. Google’s open approach ensures that it will eventually win over more developers – and more consumers. Whether the Nexus One lives up to the hype or not, Android will survive on in a myriad of forms independent of the “Google phone.”