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The Google Phone?


There is this thing about the Google Phone which I really can not grasp. Read e.g. this article.

So HTC is obviously making an unlocked phone called the Nexus One. And just because it is unlocked it is said to be a Google Phone. What most people in US seems to have missed is that there is a big market for phones _not_ sold through operators. They are unlocked, open and available through retail-chains. China is a huge market for those kind of phones where the operators channels some 10% only of the total volumes (150-200M phones).

But the amercial blgosphere being usually ignorant about the rest of the world, this is not very surprising. Everything surronding Microsoft, Google and Apple. They probably never heard about Mediatek. Mediatek provides a low-cost chipset with a full OS/UI implementation and they probably accounts for about 10% or more of the world's phone market.

The US sold "Google-Phone" will probably sell a few million units - less than a percent.

Maybe I have missed something.

1 Comment

Hi David,

We are actually very familiar with Mediatek here in the U.S. In fact, I mentioned them in my report on "Highlights of the 2009 International Solid State Circuits Conference", which you can download for free.

The whole topic of carrier-subsidies and locked vs. unlocked cell phones warrants a more extensive discussion.  To me, the most interesting aspect of the latest Google phone story is how the media, both popular and the technical industry, flock like sheep to any rumor involving Google. I mostly agree with Sascha Segan at PC Magazine, who described the phenomena as a "nearly hysterical frothing about the "Google Phone".

Having an unlocked Android-based phone available for developers is not a new concept. That is still the primary purpose of the latest device, in my opinon.

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