back to article Google to flog unlocked phones in January

T-Mobile has been fingered as the preferred US operator for the Google phone when it launches in January, while the search giant will also punt an unlocked version to run on any network. The phone could be available through the operator as early as January 5, Reuters reports. Google clearly thinks it is now powerful enough to …

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Boffin

The start of desktop domination

This isn't about phones, it's about the Google desktop. I used a Droid for about a week and it may as well have been a thin client sitting on Google's LAN. Just about anything of value (voice recognition, navigation, attachment rendering, productivity apps, etc.) ran in Google's cloud and was simply rendered on the phone.

In the week I used the Droid I became so tied to the Google environment it was scary. Give folks a way to transparently transition that same environment to the desktop (along with all their data) when they get to work or home, and it's a done deal. Looks and works the same at home, at work or in your pocket. Friggin' brilliant. MS will never know what hit them.

(And why did I return the Droid? Too much Google for me - or more accurately, too much me for Google. I guess I'm one of the few that doesn't want to share every detail of my life with an advertising company.)

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Bronze badge

Yes, but...

...how much dollar?

iPhone excepted, I doubt the circa £450 unlocked phones have much of a market impact overall, discounting amongst Reg Readers, natch.

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Anonymous Coward

agreed

The price is the thing. If the unlocked one is a sensible price, I would consider it. If not then like many people, I could probably take it or leave it. A smartphone could be fun, but isn't an essential for me. My old Nokia is pretty decent for all the usual phone stuff- so I wouldn't pay a fortune for the "toy factor".

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FAIL

Dream is the G1

The "Dream" is the HTC name of the T-Mobile G1. Please don't confuse your facts.

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Flame

Unlocked devices

I wonder if they'll screw users of their own unlocked phone the way they have with users of sim-unlocked phones from other manufacturers by preventing access to any copy-protected applications on the Android Market. Can't wait to find out and then complain to the Fair Trade Commission for abuse of their market position when they don't put the same restrictions on their own device.

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FAIL

Unlocked /+ rooted

I have a sim unlocked Android phone and have full access to paid apps even though I have root access.

Unless you're talking about the developers only edition which is (amazingly) only intended for developers.

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Thumb Up

As Do I!

SIM Unlocked, Firmware Rooted, and I have all the Google Applications, Google Navigation, and Market Access. Not to mention all the features in the custom Firmware.

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WTF?

bugger the USA release date...

When is it released in the UK?

My iphone contract is now up and I want to punish O2 for locking me in to an 18 month contract when the iphone update cycle is every 12 months.

And before anyone craps on about over consumption blah, blah, blah. You're right. However, I would be handing down my current iphone to someone with a black and white nokia with ductape on it, so it would go to a new loving home. And besides, I *need* a faster device as I'm finding the iphone annoyingly slow and I still can't watch movies without re-encoding them for it.

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Yes... and no

Selling an unlocked phone is a bit of a game-changer, as I doubt many users are even aware that they can do such a thing. However, the telcos usually fail to offer cheaper prices to those who bring a phone with them.

So if I turn down a subsidised phone, I don't have to sign a two year contract... but still pay the same per month. If you were intending on using the phone for at least two years anyway, there's little benefit.

Sadly.

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Oh yes they do

Plenty of operators offer really cheap, month-by-month deals for those bringing their own phone with them. O2 do simplicity for £10 a month with free minutes and texts. My local (cable and wireless) do something very similar but you choose free texts or free data. I'm fairly sure T-Mobile do something along those lines and I'd be surprised if others don't too.

Besides, PAYG is usually cheaper. I would never consider buying a phone on contract. Unless you spend a fortune on calls they are a complete rip-off. I get 1GB of data, free texts plus free calls to my wife and two friends for £5/month on PAYG.

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Anonymous Coward

Of course they do

I use the Vodafone PAYG SIM (with a low end voice and data plan) from a previous phone in my iphone, thus not paying for an "iphone plan", plus I've pre-pay SIMs for two other networks that I use in it on occassion.

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No Dream

The Google Nexus One is the HTC Passion - the Dream HTC's name for the G1.

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Stop

Dev Phone

Does anyone else think this kerfuffle is just about Google upgrading the Android dev phone to newer hardware? Up to now the dev phone has been a sim-unlocked, Google branded, HTC G1/Dream (http://developer.android.com/guide/developing/device.html#dev-phone-1).

Presumably the G1 is going to start to struggle with Android >2.0 thus they are updating it to the next HTC phone in the pipeline (which looks quite similar to the recently leaked Bravo, supposedly their 'performance' offering).

Thus the January release date and contract-free nature of the phone aren't really news? Especially as it looks like it will still be offered on contract, for those who want it, as the original dev-phone was?

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Grenade

Horse - stable door - bolt......

Yes yes, that's all very well, but I bet the UX is as bad as all the other Android phones..

It's no wonder Apple do so well, instead of getting engineers to design their stuff, they work on the UX first.

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Coffee/keyboard

Lock it into T-Mobile

And no one will touch it, they're the worst network of the lot and they're losing money hand over fist.

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Alien

You can pretend all you want

but as the first poster pointed out, there's a lot going on here. People who dismiss it with the 'nothing to see here/seen it all before/move along' are completely missing the point.

Google are pretty much gunning for everyone, Apple, Microsoft, Mobile carriers and anyone else that gets in the way.

Apple have a very nice phone, thousands of mainly useless apps, a hamstrung excuse for an operating systems, and a pretty limited wider infrastructure. If they need to trumpet things like 'push notification' which are fairly basic OS/networking capabilities, then they can rightly claim the title of 'MS-DOS of smartphone systems'.

Microsoft have a mobile operating system lead that they've thrown away and a mixture of web based infrastructure that tries to tie you to the desktop, because they're too short sighted to see what's coming. A bit like when the internet first appeared and MS jumped on the bandwagon a couple of years later by retrofitting their existing apps then trying to re-invent/subvert the existing internet standards in their own image.

Google have a cloud which is designed to deliver anything anywhere and scale to ridiculous levels. If you've been watching what they've been doing recently, its scary the speed with which they can enter and change markets, and its all based around the cloud and mobile technology. Recent examples are Google Navigator for Android - Tomtom 10% share devaluation, UK houses for sale on Google Maps - Rightmove 10% share devaluation - Google voice search/Google Goggles, Public DNS servers, partnerships in underwater high-speed data cables, threats of mobile manufacturers/carriers and this is all in the past month or so. Now you've got Google moving to create their vision of connecting people to their cloud, via Android mobile phones, your got to be pretty dense if you can't see how important this is to their strategy. Think it will fail? Yeah ... right.

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Re: Oh yes they do

Not in the US, they don't- and I assume that is the T-Mobile we're talking about here.

Trust me, I know- I moved to the US just under a year ago and a such have no credit. So have an incredibly hard time getting anything like phone contracts, and no operator (or GSM operator at least) offers a PAYG option with anything higher than a 100MB allowance.

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Unlocked? Hardly.

To me, "unlocked" means, "works with any carrier." Wake me up when that day comes...

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FAIL

Google == fail

@Alistair 7 - You're right. T-Mobile is one of the shoddiest when it comes to prepaid. I have a contract account (that I shelled out $500 USD deposit for), and a prepaid, and I own a G1, that works just fine on a regular contract plan (which is expensive enough), but doens't work on prepaid at all, when I know a lot of people use prepaid.

Personally, while these phones (outside of the original G1) look really good, Big Brother is prevalent enough in the world (especially the US), that I don't need my phone information aggregated by Google to be put into the hands of the US government. Or any government, for that matter.

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Thumb Up

Meanwhile...

My 2004 Nokia 6310i just keeps on going and going... Does what is says on the tin, and the battery lasts two weeks.

Nice.

Up yours Google!

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