Home > Google, Idiots, Techcrunch > Thanks for coming out, Google: why the Nexus One amounts to nothing.

Thanks for coming out, Google: why the Nexus One amounts to nothing.

[tweetmeme]So Google just held their press conference where they announced, officially, their Nexus One phone. You’ll notice that I am, finally, admitting that the thing is real despite never being given a review unit. Initially I was really upset that Google didn’t give me the phone — after all, I’m the goddamn kingmaker — but then I realized why it doesn’t matter that I didn’t get it: the phone doesn’t matter.

Seriously, Google went through all the trouble of announcing the phone, only to make it irrelevant in the same press conference, all of 45 minutes later. What’s the matter, Google, couldn’t handle being a market leader for more than 15 minutes?

For a few minutes during the press conference, I’ll admit that I was worried. Some of the features are pretty nice: the Snapdragon processor is great, phone-wide voice control is good, it’s got a fantastic screen, and for a time I thought it might drive Steve into his quiet corner, weeping like a well-designed child over this imminent threat to his world domination, but then I realized that what I’d realized before still applies: this phone won’t change anything, because no one will buy it.


Because it costs $530.

Fuck off, Google.

I know that the good folks over at TechCrunch say that despite the astounding price, this still changes everything, somehow. I suspect that TechCrunch and much of the flaks calling themselves tech journalists have got their goddamn heads shoved so far up their asses that they don’t realize that nobody else thinks like them. Lookit:

Unlocked doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t. A normal person walks into a store and buys a phone as part of their experience of signing up for a new plan. When they qualify for a free or discounted upgrade, they walk into the store and buy the phone.

At $530 a phone, they’re pricing themselves into oblivion. There’s no way around that.

But wait! What about the fact that you can get it as part of a plan? That’s true, you can, but so what? You can get every phone for cheaper on a plan. Shut up.

Everyone was all psyched about this goddamn phone, because oh, look, it’s made by Google and it’s going to revolutionize everything. But with all the rumors now behind us, it looks like the only new thing about this phone is that it’s got itself a URL at Google. Beyond that, though? It’s just a phone. HTC went to pains in the press conference to say that Google didn’t design the phone, which makes it like every other Android handset HTC has put out. It’s a technically nice phone, but who cares? One of the key “features” of this new phone, one of the innovations, is something that nobody will take advantage of.

I’ve said it before, and I’m still right: nobody but nerds will understand the philosophical point to be made about unlocked phones. Everyone else will see a way to get an expensive phone, and a way to get a cheap phone. And they’ll pick the cheap one.

So, yeah, way to revolutionize the phone industry, Google.

Shut up.

  1. Stirling Hewitt
    January 5, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    This is the same thing i keep telling these unlocked tards. ATT, Sprint, VZW are NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU A DISCOUNT for bringing your own phone. The only advantage is you dont sign the 2 year contract. Big fucking whoop. Basically you pay all this extra money for the ‘unlocked’ phone only to go on and pay the exact same amount for your service. But wait, you can leave and go and sign up with a different carrier half way through. OMFG who gives a shit. YOu will then proceed to pay them the same amount you were paying the other company for the same damn service.

    I guess if you are a fan of throwing away 500$ phones 1 year after owning them then buying unlocked makes sense. If you are real human being that doesnt own 7 yachts then you will stick to your 200$ deal for the same service as the asshat that payed 560$.

  2. January 6, 2010 at 5:24 am

    I agree with Sterling Hewitt. Who the f*** wants to pay $570 for a cell phone? I saw that with a service plan from T-Mobile you can get it for just $170. Why T-Mobile Google? Who wants T-Mobile’s sh** service? They should have gone with a decent provider like Verizon or AT&T. Then the $170 would have been worth it. Like your blog Mosspuppet. I’m adding you to my Blogroll on my site.

    Blog: http://tgenews.wordpress.com/
    Twitter: @TGENews
    My Twitter: @ThisIsDavidAli

  3. Bob
    January 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Is is being released on Verizon in Spring 2010. See http://google.com/phone
    I guess around $150 with contract.

  4. Chad Estes
    January 6, 2010 at 10:33 am

    $530 is for the UNLOCKED, unsubsidized price. The iPhone costs more without a contract, and is STILL locked to AT&T. You can get the phone for $179 with a contract with T-Mobile, the only local provider that has the right frequency for 3G in North America anyway.

    I don’t see what your gripe is. If you go to Europe phones are priced like this everywhere. Heck, if you go into your local AT&T/Sprint/Verizon/T-Mobile store and try to buy any phone at the non-subsidized price, you’ll be stuck with a massive bill similar to this.

    And no, more than nerds will realize the benefits of an unlocked phone. The group of people I’m talking about are called non-Americans.

  5. Dan
    January 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

    First and last time I’m reading this blog. Alarmist, entitled, and mostly incorrect. Bonne chance.

  6. shafe
    January 6, 2010 at 11:30 am

    i laugh to myself when i read your article Walt. you sound bitter that Google didn’t send you a review unit. and really? $530 for an unlocked, unsubsidized phone? last year, my dad paid $450 for a brand new unlocked palm treo pro to take overseas. my buddy paid $500 for a iphone 3GS that was unlocked and not on contract. how much do you think phones cost when they aren’t attached to a carrier plan?

    I just searched for an unlocked, contract free iPhone. I found a first generation 3G 8gb model for $500. and, how bout a 32gb 3GS model? $949 from buy.com. here’s the link: http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=211493259&listingid=57253857.

    so quit bitching about the full retail price of an unlocked, contract-free phone.

    and the phone is coming to verizon. i’ve spoken to our vzw account rep, and he assured me it’s early spring rather than late spring/early summer when this will be available.

    “it’s technically a nice phone, but who cares?” really? I care. In fact, I prefer nice phones over piece-of-shit phones. don’t you?

  7. X
    January 6, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Wow. You consider yourself a real technology journalist. You can’t even afford a domain name. “No one will buy it.” I beg to differ. Who cares about the unlocked price really? Don’t pay that much for the phone, just take the extra money the unlocked version costs, and save it for an ETF if you really want to go to another company with the same phone.

    Do you know anything at all about the mobile industry? I highly doubt it.

    Most phones unlocked are around this price range. This isn’t some unheard of price. You do know the ETF is to save people from buying unsubsidised phones, and protects the cellular service company.

    So yeah, you’re correct in assuming that no one cares about unlocked, yet you still freak out over the unlocked price? The carrier price is a great deal, $179 with T-Mobile, around the same price with Verizon.

    A killer processor, more features, more RAM, more everything, and still cheaper than the iPhone.

    Then you complain about not getting a review unit? Seriously? Are you twelve years old or something?

    You use WordPress, with the default theme, and can’t afford (or figure out) how to use your own domain name. You are not even a real review site. Someday after high school, maybe they will trust you.

  8. dude
    January 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    This author needs a vacation or get laid or something. Even though I agree with most of the points about the N1, the writing is just terrible, sounds like an angry psychopath that was wrong by Google for some reason in the past. (former disgruntled Google employee perhaps?) The angry egotistical writing style is not original.

    • January 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm

      Where did I say I was the first angry egotist?

  9. January 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    You guys are missing my point, and in doing so making it for me. I’m not saying the phone is too expensive as a phone. I’m saying that it’s too expensive to change anything, because it costs the same as other unlocked phones. So your responding to me by saying “but other unlocked phones are this much!” shows you’re either idiots, or you weren’t paying attention to what I wrote.

    I’ll be charitable and assume the latter interpretation.

  10. January 6, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I cant believe I took my time to make a comment on this p.o.s article. Really if you wanted to be professional, you wouldnt be so stupid on writing how Google did not give you a review unit. I’m sure if they did the first thing you would do is bash the phone and not give it a fair review. You can say what you want but is stupid if I buy a iphone without contract I’m still stuck with att and I pay a hefty price for it too. This whole Iphone and ATT think is bad for the consumers. If they can get away with this sooner later where gonna be told were we can take a dump at and shit.

  11. jerry
    January 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I love how Walt is proud to be one of the stupid people who will gladly pay any price as long as it is spread out. This phone is $530 unlocked or $180 with a TMo contract. That is similar to any other phone out there. TMo is the only carrier to do things properly–they charge less for your plan if you bring your own phone so that you can pay less over time if you just buy the thing outright. You somehow take it out on Google because Verizon and ATT and Sprint don’t charge a lower rate for unlocked phones? I don’t get it. This is a nice device on par or better than most smart phone out there. Having a problem with unlocked pricing reminds me of the morons I used to see when I spent a summer working for Rent-A-Center back in college. People would rent-to-own things like HDTVs and pay twice the normal cost in exchange for stretching the payments out over two years. Why not stop disparaging those of us who budget for large purchases and don’t let the costs get inflated because we need everything to have a monthly payment plan. If I need a monthly payment plan for anything other than a car or a house then I can’t afford it.

  1. January 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm
  2. January 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm
  3. January 6, 2010 at 11:41 am
  4. January 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

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