Google launched its Nexus One Android smartphone, which will be available both unlocked and through T-Mobile (now, and with an HSPA 7.2 upgrade to its network) and soon from Verizon/Vodafone. AT&T’s high-speed HSPA 7.2 service won’t be supported, which we’re hearing (unconfirmed) is due to AT&T’s iPhone deal.
Google apparently plans a website that will offer the phone in unlocked form and also list the subsidized plans of those operators who elect to offer them. Google says it hopes this will encourage competition that would benefit the consumer (and also, clearly, Google).
The phone is pretty much what rumors had suggested, but that’s extremely fast (especially for graphics) and enabled with text-to-speech and Google-hosted facilities for speech-to-text and translation into other languages. In fact, it’s more what Google might do with the Nexus One in combination with hosted service components that’s the big news here. Operators are now looking at a Google-created service ecosystem that could end up killing their IMS plans and impacting their ability to monetize smartphones and 4G deployment. Those we’ve heard from so far are saying that the Google moves will accelerate their own interest in the service layer.