Another year and another new smartphone is unveiled. After so many leaks and speculation, the Google Nexus One mobile phone was officially announced yesterday… but you still cannot use it on any network you feel like! That is supposed to be the big selling point of the Nexus One. Ideally, you should be able to buy an unlocked Smartphone along with an Operating System of your choice, and then use it on any Carrier! The reality is very different.
In North America, the Carriers have a “medieval wall” locking particular phones to particular networks: AT&T has the Apple iPhone, Verizon Wireless has the HTC Droid Eris, and Sprint has the Palm Pre. In that part of the world, freedom to use any phone with any carrier looks like a distant dream and leaves countries such as the U.S.A. lagging woefully behind some developing countries. The Nexus One is provided by Google without being tied to any particular Carrier but those Carriers have to allow you to use it on their networks, and shamefully, it can only work with T-Mobile.
Google’s solution to this lock-down is to release a separate version of the Nexus One for Verizon Wireless later this year and a separate one for Vodafone in United Kingdom. Hardly the game-changing Smartphone that the world expected, I am left a little disappointed especially as I did not see any amazing features and it does not even support multitouch!
Comparison between Nexus One vs. iPhone vs. Droid vs. Palm Pre:
(courtesy of Billshrink.com)