Technology.am (Dec. 14, 2009) — Google Inc plans to trade its own cellphone straight to consumers as soon as next year, bypassing wireless operators in an exceptional tactical move, the Wall Street Journal cited sources.
Called the Nexus One and made by Smartphone maker HTC, the phone will run on the search giant’s Android operating system — about which Motorola and other cellphone makers have built devices — and will be sold online, the newspaper cited persons recognizable with the matter as saying.
Cellular service will have to be bought independently, it added.
The Internet search leader may be sounding a confrontation to wireless carriers such as Sprint and Verizon, in addition to Smartphone makers like Apple. It marks a departure for the leader in Web advertising, which has infrequently sold devices directly to consumers, the newspaper said.
Google’s Android phones have won attention in the mobile industry recently, with Motorola and Sony Ericsson choosing to launch it with their latest top models.
Analysts say the aim is to increase access to precious consumer information that can be used to sell ads at premium prices, rather than to make money from direct hardware sales, as companies for example Nokia or Research in Motion do.
Research house IDC estimates the market share for Android operating software rose to 5.4 percent from 4.2 percent in July-September in Western Europe, a key market.
Executives at HTC, the Taiwan-based world’s No. 4 Smartphone brand, were not available for comment. Google was too not available for comment. Google began sharing a version of the Nexus One with employees in recent days; the newspaper cited its sources as saying.