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Nexus One

The wait is over: Nexus One coming to Vodafone UK on April 30th

Vodafone UK have just announced that the Nexus One will be available to buy online and through Vodafone retail stores from April 30th. Those waiting for the UK release will now be able to pick up the Nexus One for free with a £35/month 2 year price plan which includes 1GB monthly data allowance. Not the exactly the most generous plan around but reduces up-front cash outlay for the handset to zero. Pre-orders begin today.

Vodafone Press Release

Buy via Vodafone’s online store.

This is an outrageous hack. Imagine the iPhone being able to duel-boot into either iPhone OS or Android. 

Nexus One Car Dock now available to buy

Featuring handsfree, Car Home app with speakers and volume controls for in-car media, and of course charging, Google have just added the Nexus One Car Dock to the online phone store now available to buy for $55.

Starting today, you can purchase a Nexus One Car Dock from Google’s web store, giving you the perfect place to put your phone when you’re in the car. In addition to holding your Nexus One, the car dock also charges your phone’s battery, lets you use your phone handsfree, and provides faster access to voice and navigation apps…

[Google Nexus One Blog]

How To: Install a Better Keyboard on your Nexus One

The Android software keyboard which ships with the Nexus One is very capable, but its international character support only covers the world’s more widely spoken languages and comes with fairly limited options for customisation. I’ve been on the lookout for a keyboard which supports Czech characters for a while now and tried out several solutions from the Android Market, none of which really impressed me enough to use as my default keyboard. I was pleasantly surprised however when I came across an XDA modified version of HTC’s Touch Input keyboard which turns out not only to support a much wider range of languages, but also allows greater degree of customisation than the stock Android keyboard which ships with the phone, something I didn’t realise I was missing out on until I tried it out.

After using Touch Input for a couple of weeks I’m impressed enough that even if I didn’t need Czech character support I’d still keep it as my default keyboard. Text prediction and word completion is very nicely implemented, and an extended settings menu offers an almost bewildering array of customisation options as well as a user dictionary and 3 different keyboard layouts. In addition to the Android keyboard’s language support, Touch Input also supports Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finish, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish and Turkish. 

To install Touch Input, download the zip file and follow these steps: (Or install using adb if you’re familiar with that method)

  • Unzip the downloaded file and copy HTC_IME.apk to your SD card. 
  • If you don’t have it already, install the apkInstaller app from the Android Market.
  • Open up the apkInstaller, find the HTC_IME.apk which you copied over to your SD card and install it.
  • Go to Settings > Language & keyboard and select ‘Touch Input’ to enable.
  • Open your keyboard (the stock Android Keyboard will appear). Press the ?123 key and select Input Method and then Touch Input from the popup dialogue.
  • Press the back key and then open the keyboard again and you should now see the HTC Touch Input keyboard.
  • Enjoy.

Verizon compatible Nexus One launch could be imminent

The rumoured launch date of 23rd March for a Verizon compatible Nexus One has come and gone, and although it’s certain that a CDMA version of the phone exists, and has even left the HTC factory, a specific launch date is still proving elusive. 

Verizon customers looking to get their hands on a Nexus One may not have much longer to wait however, if a recent screen-grab by a NexusOneForum user proves accurate. NexusOneLove reports a Verizon subsidised Nexus One making a brief appearance on Google’s phone store, available to buy for $199 before being removed a few minutes later. This could of course be the work of an over-eager fan trying out their photoshop skills, but it may just be that we’ve glimpsed the Verizon Nexus One being added to the online phone store in preparation for an imminent launch. 

HTC: Nexus One good for HTC and for Android

Speaking at the CTIA Wireless conference in Las Vagas, HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou heralded the Nexus One as a ‘halo’ device which will draw more customers to HTC and increase awareness of Android regardless of sales volumes.

We can quickly leverage that credit to show that we are the top Android brand. Google’s goal with the Nexus One was to really show how good Android can be. In that regard, I think it has been an achievement.

Forbes

iPhone 3GS vs Nexus One infographic

iPhone 3GS vs Nexus One infographic

Five Short Links: 18th March 2010

  • Sprint issues a press release confirming that the Nexus One will be available on their network in the US. Pricing and availability to be announced soon.

  • Google issues a statement on Nexus One sales asserting that the company’s primary interest is in overall Android handset sales rather than sales of any individual handset.

    We’re pleased with our sales volumes and with how well the Nexus One has been received by our customers. The Nexus One is one of a fast growing number of Android handsets which have been brought to market through the open Android ecosystem. Our partners are shipping more than 60,000 Android handsets each day compared with 30,000 just three months ago.

  • Google confirms that the Android Market now boasts 30,000 applications, almost double the 16,000 apps that it contained 3 months ago in December 2009. Impressive growth.

  • HTC issues a press release stating that it intends to fully defend itself against Apple’s patent lawsuit. Good news for Android.

  • Jon Wilcox thinks that Apple’s lawsuit against HTC is a bluff. Here’s reason 6 from 8 reasons why Apple is suing HTC and not Google:

    The patent claims are likely not as sure as they appear. Since most of the claims are really about Android, Google is the more sensible target of any lawsuit. If Apple lawyers were truly confident of winning against Google — and in reasonable timeframe, they would file a lawsuit against the search giant.

    The full article is worth a read for those following the Apple vs HTC case. 

Nexus One shipping to Canada, now compatible with AT&T 3G

We were wondering when Google would announce the version of the Nexus One which passed through the FCC recently with support for additional WCDMA bands. Here’s the answer:

Starting today, an additional version of the Nexus One is available from the Google web store that is compatible with AT&T’s 3G network. This new model can be purchased as an unlocked device without a service plan. In addition to AT&T’s 3G network, this device will also run on Rogers Wireless in Canada. And like the first version of the Nexus One, it can be used with most GSM operators globally.

[Google]

Google will continue their gradual roll out of the Nexus One with both Verizon and Vodafone UK expected make announcements some time in the next few weeks. Initial sales of the device are reported to be relatively slow and increasing availability and compatibility will be crucial in building some sales momentum, as Google’s Nexus One marketing campaign has so far been virtually non-existent.

Four Short Links: 16th March 2010

  • DigiTimes is reporting that first shipments of the CDMA version of the Nexus One have left HTC’s factory bound for the US. The handset is rumoured to be launching on the Verizon network on 23rd March and will available to buy direct from Google’s phone store.

  • Opera Mini 5 beta - now available to download from the Android Market. Ultra-fast thanks to the fact that it compresses pages server-side before sending them down to your phone, but still seems to have some minor rendering issues to iron out from our time with it so far.

  • Tim Bray joins Google as an Android Developer Advocate and straightaway confirms his reputation for controversy with a blog post bashing Apple’s vision of the mobile internet. Interesting reading, but when you join a company which claims to do no-evil, it’s maybe not the best idea to badmouth your competitors on the very first day.

  • The Guardian portrays a delayed Nexus One Vodafone launch as a major setback. Google have always maintained that the device will launch with Vodafone in Spring 2010 so an April launch is not a huge delay but it makes good headlines. It is in Google’s interests to get the Nexus One rolled out across more carriers and in more territories as quickly as possible though, and negotiations with carriers are frustratingly slow for those eager to get their hands on the device. The article also states that the Nexus One will be free to anyone willing to sign up for a £35 monthly contract, the first substantial rumour so far on a possible UK price.

Google runs into a problem with Nexus One trademark application

Google filed an application for the Nexus One trademark back on 10th December 2009 for use in connection with mobile phones. It would appear however that whoever handled the filing didn’t spend a lot of time on the initial conflict search report, as the Trademark Office has recently issued a notice of refusal:

SECTION 2(d) REFUSAL – LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION

Registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the mark in U.S. Registration No. 3554195.

The refusal has been issued on the grounds that the mark could conflict with an existing NEXUS trademark (3554195) granted on December 30, 2008 to Integra Telecom under the same class with a description which includes the provision of telecommunication services and the transmission of voice and data. The refusal goes on to explain the Trademark Office’s objections:

In this case, the following factors are the most relevant: similarity of the marks, similarity of the goods and/or services, and similarity of trade channels of the goods and/or services.
The goods and/or services of the parties need not be identical or directly competitive to find a likelihood of confusion.
The applied-for mark encompasses the registered mark. Likelihood of confusion is often found where the entirety of one mark is incorporated within another.

No doubt Google will be contesting this refusal, which they are entitled to do under the trademark registration procedure. I’m by no means an expert on trademark law so can’t comment on how likely Google are to overcome this hurdle but will be watching this one closely.

NYT: Apple increasingly concerned by the rise of Android

Two years earlier, Google had acquired the start-up that was developing Android. At the time, the move was largely aimed at Microsoft and meant to ensure that it didn’t wind up controlling the market for mobile devices. But when Microsoft faltered in the emerging smartphone market, and other companies like Research In Motion and then Apple began to dominate instead, Google continued to push ahead with Android and its vision of a more open mobile phone ecosystem…

Google did proceed cautiously with Android, at least initially. The first versions of the software, which appeared on devices in 2008, didn’t feature multitouch. The phones were slow and unwieldy, and Google insiders joked that they looked like bricks

But as Android-powered devices kept improving, Apple became more concerned. When Mr. Jobs returned to work from a prolonged health leave last year, he faced an array of emerging Android-powered phones like the Motorola Droid, with sleeker lines, improved performance and, like the other Android phones, the ability to run multiple applications at the same time.

Apple believes that devices like smartphones and tablets should have tightly controlled, proprietary standards and that customers should take advantage of services on those gadgets with applications downloaded from Apple’s own App Store.

Google, on the other hand, wants smartphones to have open, nonproprietary platforms so users can freely roam the Web for apps that work on many devices. Google has long feared that rivals like Microsoft or Apple or wireless carriers like Verizon could block access to its services on devices like smartphones, which could soon eclipse computers as the primary gateway to the Web. Google’s promotion of Android is, essentially, an effort to control its destiny in the mobile world.

The complete NYT article on the increasing rivalry between Apple and Google is well worth a read.

Nexus One appears on Vodafone UK’s coming soon page

Recently reported rumours of the Nexus One coming to Vodafone UK in April are now looking more likely than ever with the phone appearing in the coming soon section on Vodafone’s website. It’s still not absolutely certain that Google will to continue to sell the phone exclusively through their online store, there have been hints that Vodafone may also sell the device to customers, but then that would be a departure from Google’s direct sales model. The Vodafone UK launch will be interesting as it will give more indication of exactly how Google intends to partner with carriers as the company rolls out its phone store in other countries.

Analysts revise Nexus One sales estimates

Revised sales estimates from Goldman Sachs are predicting that Google will sell around 1 million Nexus One handsets in 2010. It seems that these figures are based mainly on estimated first week sales of 20,000 units and first month sales of 80,000 units, both of which extrapolate to around 1 million handsets in the first year, assuming that the phone continues to sell at the same rate. 

We previously estimated that Google might sell 3.5 mn Nexus One units in 2010. Initial data-points were disappointing, possibly due to limited marketing and customer service challenges. Flurry estimated (based on mobile traffic) that Google sold 20,000 in the first week, and 80,000 in the first month, both annualizing to 1.0 mn. We forecast that Google sells 1.0 mn Nexus One units in FY2010, benefiting from US carriers other than T-Mobile, and non-US carriers such as Vodafone, promoting the device too, but suffering from limited marketing activity. We assume that Google rolls out a second Nexus handset, markets it more aggressively, and makes it available offline, and therefore forecast that Google sells 2 mn handsets per year in 2011 and future years. — Goldman Sachs

Sales of the device may be down on what analysts were forecasting, but we can only speculate as to whether or not the Nexus One is meeting Google’s sales targets. Andy Rubin, Google’s VP of Engineering, said in an interview in January that the company expected to sell around 150,000 handsets by the end of the year, an almost ridiculously small number considering the potential size of the smartphone market. It’s likely that he was being deliberately conservative in his estimate but at the same time it also gives a clue to the scope of Google’s ambitions for the phone. It seems clear from the way that Google launched the Nexus One that it isn’t a device which the company expected to sell in large volume.

Read More

Android’s US market share more than doubled between October 2009 and January 2010 up from 2.8% to 7.1% according to yesterdays report from comScore. Whilst Google’s Android platform is still a relatively small player in the market it continues to enjoy the most rapid growth. RIM and Apple, who currently control around 60% of the US smartphone market saw slight increases with both Microsoft and Palm loosing ground over the same 3 month period. [Gizmodo]

Android’s US market share more than doubled between October 2009 and January 2010 up from 2.8% to 7.1% according to yesterdays report from comScore. Whilst Google’s Android platform is still a relatively small player in the market it continues to enjoy the most rapid growth. RIM and Apple, who currently control around 60% of the US smartphone market saw slight increases with both Microsoft and Palm loosing ground over the same 3 month period. [Gizmodo]