I’ve read and re-read Scott Moritz’s article in TheStreet.com a couple of times now to try to decide…
1. If I believe it
2. If it makes sense (regardless of whether or not I believe it)
Here’s the main points from the article…
1. Google is working with a hardware manufacturer to build a phone
2. The phone will be available this year (2009)
3. The phone will be available directly from retailers and not a mobile carrier
We can infer from these speculations that the phones will be unlocked GSM models. So, Sprint and Verizon will not be as negatively affected as AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. This makes sense for Verizon who made a bit co-announcement with Google recently. T-Mobile, on the other hand, could take a big hit in their effort to market the myPhone and CLIQ. Would Google take the chance of alienating the company that introduced the very first Android-based phone just a year ago? Perhaps.
Nokia’s been selling unlocked smartphones in the U.S. without threatening its AT&T relationship. Although, I should note that I couldn’t find the Nokia E71x that AT&T introduced just this past spring.
Can Google break the phone purchase lock-in that U.S. mobile phone carriers have forced us into for so many years? If anyone can pull this off, it might be Google.