Google took the wraps off of a new Web-enabled smartphone on Tuesday that the Internet giant will sell directly to consumers.
The company announced a new way for consumers to purchase a mobile phone through a Google hosted web store
. The goal of this new consumer channel is to provide an efficient way to connect Google's online users with selected Android devices, Google said.
The first phone Google will be selling through this new web store is the Nexus One. Nexus One the first in what Google expects to be a series of products which we will bring to market with the company's operator and hardware partners and sell through their online store.
Manufactured by HTC, the Nexus One features dynamic noise suppression from Audience, Inc., a 3.7" OLED display for deep contrast and brilliant colors and a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. Running on Android 2.1, the newest version of Eclair, the software includes features like a voice-enabled keyboard so users can speak into any text field, fun Live Wallpapers, a 3D photo gallery for richer media experiences and lots more. Of course, it also comes with a host of popular Google applications, including Gmail, Google Voice and Google Maps Navigation. The Nexus One is 11.5 millimeters thick and weighs 130 grams, the company said.
Today, the web store allows users to purchase the Nexus One without operator service for $529 without a service plan or for $179 with the purchase of a two-year contract from Deutsche T-Mobile USA. Google expects to add more operators, more devices and more countries in the future, including Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and Vodafone in Europe.