The gPhone

 Forrester Research reports that smartphone ownership is now 17% of all US cell phones, up from 11% last year.  And they are proclaiming 2010 as “the year of the smartphone”. The Forrester blog post says that because of the number of carriers that offer Android and Blackberry devices, and the variety of those devices that they are selling, surely growth will increase substantially this year.  Bad news for iPhone maybe (somehow I doubt it), but good news for Google.  Right after the vacation ended, Google launched the Nexus One, the high end mobile device that it is calling a convergence between Web and phone.  What is special about that  is – actually nothing.  You could really say the same about a Blackberry or an iPhone. 

From all reports, it’s very neat.  All features on the phone are voice enabled, for instance.  But, as we reported before the winter hiatus, the big news about this phone is the way that it will be carried.  It can be purchased through a Google online store with or without service, thus breaking the lock that carriers have on hardware.  It is being sold for $529 (GASP!!) unsubsidized and currently to new T-Mobile customers for $179.  Other carriers will begin offering it in months to come.  Says Mediapost “The company’s focus on marketing and advertising will be reflected in the tools used throughout the entire phone — and on pursuing opportunities from mobile advertising that agencies have expected for years, rather than making money on the margin sales of the hardware.”

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