At today’s Nexus One event, Google announced that Nexus One phone is the “first of many devices,” says Android product manager Mario Queiroz, and that in the spring a CDMA version will be coming to Verizon in the U.S. and Vodafone in Europe. The phones will be available on Google’s new online phone store, and will be available with a service contract. It doesn’t appear that the CDMA Nexus One, at least, will be available as an unlocked device.
Google’s phone store is a branded consumer channel for people to buy Android phones “with or without service,” says Queiroz. This is radical departure from the way most people buy phones in the U.S. today, which is directly from each carrier or, in the case of the iPhone, in an Apple store. But even with the iPhone, you have no choice of carrier.
Today, you can buy a GSM Nexus One with a contract in T-Mobile for $179 or an unlocked one for $529 (read our review), which you can use on AT&T’s network (but only on its EDGE data network, not 3G). Google is shipping phones to the U.S., UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
The plan is to offer more phones through the Google phone store to more operators in both the U.S. and abroad, and to more countries. Google is clear that it is the merchant of record for these phones. More Android phones will become available over time on the store. And while Google provided no details on future phones, there is clearly an opportunity to fill out the Nexus One family with niche devices targeted at different types of consumers much like Palm did with the Palm Pixi.