Google Inc. has launched its first mobile phone, which it will sell directly through an online store. Up until now, the company has relied on other phone makers to market its Android software.
Called Nexus One, the smartphone is based on the Android software and features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 3G QSD8250 chipset, reportedly delivering speeds up to 1 GHz.
Consumers in the U.S., UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong can initially buy the phone from a Google web store one of two ways: without service (meaning any GSM network SIM card can be inserted into the device), or with service from one of Google's operator partners.
Google believes that as more phones are sold using this type of retail channel, consumers will benefit more since they will have the ability to match a phone of their choice with a service plan that meets their needs. Operator prices and plan details will be featured on the online store.
In the near future, the company says Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and Vodafone in Europe plan to offer services to customers in their respective geographies. Google also expects to launch more phones with Android handset partners and to expand the web store to more countries.
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