Dec 14 AT 1:28 PM Taylor Wimberly 71 Comments

Android rumor report: Nexus One to cost $199

Someone will probably flame me for posting this rumor, but it is just too good to pass up. I have been pinging all my contacts and seeing what they have to say about the upcoming Nexus One phone. The device is a relative lock for T-Mobile and I was told documentation already exists that contains the launch date and retail price.

I’m not so concerned with the exact launch date because those kind of things normally get adjusted. What had me the most curious was the actual retail price. If this phone is going to have a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, we know it will be expensive (just look at the Xperia X10).

There was also the possibility that Google might subsidize the device in order to bring it to as many people as possible.

This leads me to the following tip that came from an anonymous source. Read it and make what you will of it.

1.) It’s going to be $199, subsidized by Google. That is pretty game changing from a cell phone sales perspective. Sounds like Google is going to make a big push to get a good Android handset into as many people’s hands as possible.

2.) They are apparently working on some new 3D UI elements for Android.

3.) GSM at first, CDMA version will follow.Anonymous tipster

It might sound shocking at first, but when you think about it for awhile it becomes more believable.

Verizon Wireless recently launched the Motorola Droid at a subsidized price of $199 in addition to spending $100 million on a marketing campaign. They sold the device at a loss because they know they will recoup their investment on the 2 year contracts and data plans.

Google might also be willing to sell the Nexus One at a loss in order to entrap entice customers. The phone will require a Google account, so Google will be virtually buying new mobile users. And with all the new mobile services that Google offers (including new advertising schemes), you can bet they could easily monetize the device enough to do this.

Does it all sound a bit crazy? I can’t wait for more official information. Look for the T-Mobile docs to leak over the coming weeks.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Eric Weiss

    I have been ready to buy one for a while. T-Mobile and under $200? All the better.

    This is a very smart move by Google if true. I have moved all my info to Google since getting my G1. I can only assume I am not alone.

    • Clark Wimberly

      I’ll be buying one even if it’s not $199. I’m happy with T-mobile but not so much with any of their current Android offerings.

  • http://Website archboy69

    Wow…that would be too good to be true…For $199…I would handily give over my MtyTouch!

  • http://Website Tomas Herman

    i love this rumor so much i want to invite it to dinner, get it drunk and have sex with it on the toilets…

    i really hope it will be for equal cost in czech ;]

    • http://Website Tomas Herman

      but i hope it will contain sense ui…altho it probably wont … i wish they were selling that as app for a few bucks

      • Taylor Wimberly

        Sense UI is a creation of HTC for their smartphones. It will not be part of the Nexus One (even though it is made by HTC).

    • Simon Cabron

      Which toilets? More than one? You, sir, are making me disgusting!

  • Some Random Chris

    There would be no faster way for to put my Mytouch up for sale than for this to be true.

  • http://Website Matt

    So does this mean that I could just buy this phone for $199 and not have to deal with any contract with T-Mobile? If that is the case, wow…that is awesome…I have a Droid, but this would make it possible for me to just grab one of these should the “Google Phone” turn out to be something significantly different from a standard Android phone.

    Very excited

    • Taylor Wimberly

      T-Mobile recently launched their Even More Plus plans which require no contract.

  • willmsth78

    “have sex with it on the toilets” ? These Europeans! :)

  • http://Website ontheFritz

    I pretty much love the idea of this phone… but coming from VW… Is T-mo a good move?

    • http://Website Bob

      Depends where you live… t-mobile is perfect in southern california… not so much in nebraska.

      • ciphun

        Nor in Arkansas, where I recently visited. T-mobile’s service was absolutely terrible out there… Jacksonville, AR to be precise.

  • goncalossilva

    Even if it’s only a rumor, it’s awesome that Google is working on a physical phone. In terms of competition, on the other hand, it’s quite bad… they’ll crush their opponents.

    Anyway, it’s quite sad that Google hasn’t been able to penetrate Europe as well as America and it makes me think that they won’t cell Nexus One on Europe at all (or very, very late).

    Can you confirm if there are any plans for Europe?

    • http://Website ari-free

      “In terms of competition, on the other hand, it’s quite bad… they’ll crush their opponents.”

      But we’re talking about Apple and Microsoft. Reminds me of the scene from True Lies:
      “Have you ever killed anyone?”
      “Yeah, but they were all bad. “

      • goncalossilva

        I was actually referring to manufactures like SE, Motorola and so on.

        • http://Website ari-free

          That is true…but they would much rather live in a Google dominated world than an iPhone world.

          • http://Website Kid Disco

            Nah, they’d rather live in the Noka/SE dominated world of old. But whatever, Apple’s reaching saturation point, everyone has one, they’re becoming boring. They’re great, but meh, where do they go to next?

            iPhone really needs to innovate with their next model. So far the three releases have been pretty much the same, they just added 3G and then sped it up a bit. My iPhone owning friends were impressed with my Hero, but the Nexus they’re going crazy about.

            Must be the lack of firm details and instant massive hype, apple fans go mad for that sh!t.

  • http://Website Will

    have you gone mad?

    “Google might also be willing to sell the Nexus One at a loss in order to entrap entice customers”

    If it is at £199 it will be because it will be subsidised by T-Mobile, in return for signing up to a voice/data plan costing $30-$60 per month

    Google makes $5 per month per PC internet user – much less per mobile search user. i don’t think that is quite enough to subsidising $200-$300 per handset on the basis that it will “trap them”

    • http://Website Ryan

      Hmmm… Google has $22,000,000,000 in cash and has made $3,400,000,000 in cash this year alone. Can you explain your math again or did you get dizzy from all the zeros i just typed?

      • http://Website Will

        So just because they have a lot of money they will subsidise your handset?

        • http://Website Ryan

          Yes. They aren’t buying you a handset, they’re buying an entire industry. Think about the xbox. Microsoft wanted to break into the video game industry so they sold their consoles at a loss. This isn’t much different.

          Theoretically, they could give everyone in the US age 18-64 $100 towards a phone and still have money left over (about $3b give or take). And I’m talking cash. Realistically they could issue bonds or preferred securities. But if the wanted, they could shell out cold hard cash and buy their way into the cell phone market.

          • http://Website Danny

            That isn’t a valid comparison. Microsoft can afford to sell their Xbox consoles at a loss because they make their money in games, both ones that their own studios produce and ones produced by companies that pay for the rights to produce Xbox games.

            The only thing remotely similar to this is the android market, and Google isn’t making nearly enough off of that to justify subsidizing handsets. Google is first and foremost an advertising company because that’s how they make their money. Everything else they do; gmail, android, chrome, google apps and such; is produced and distributed freely because they help promote advertising to as many people as possible and per unit cost of distribution is near zero since it’s all purely software, so there’s no manufacturing cost or expensive distribution channels.

            The same would not be true if Google were to distribute hardware for free or significantly under per unit production cost . If the $199 price tag rumor is true, I think there would have to be some stipulation similar to T-Mobile’s upgrade policy (which, even as an early G1 adopter, I don’t qualify for again until next October), and those that don’t qualify will have to pay a significantly higher cost per unit.

          • http://Website Ryan

            So let’s say i’m on a street corner and I’m hungry. I pull out my google phone, log into my google account, pull up my google maps, then see some google ads that tell me about a restaurant i would enjoy based on my previous eating habits that they’ve been tracking.

            I’m going to take a wild guess that there’s a dollar to be made in that scenario…. aside from becoming the microsoft of the handset market, tracking users personal information and spending habits, serving targeted ads, and bridging the gap between the internet and the real world. ;)

    • http://Website Max Barren

      You have to devide between the price you pay and the component costs. For example, the production and components of an iPhone cost only about 180$ ( The difference is Apples profit (ok, the also have to pay for ads or development).
      Now to Google: They dont want to make a (big) profit with their sells. So they just sell it at the manufacturing price.
      Google wants customers to browse and of course search the web on the go, thats the thing they make money with.

  • http://Website BBSwany

    I think it holds some validity. Google is notorious for offering products for “free” or subsidized from an industry that charges ALOT for them (Google Navigation, anyone?).
    You make another valid point with needing a Google Account. They are essentially integrating those customers into Google and taking them away from other services.
    Like I’ve said before with Google, it’s not what the phone is, it’s what they are trying to do with the mobile phone business.

  • http://Website Matt

    @ontheFritz: Yes. At least in my area, it is. Verizon and T-mo are essentially equals out here (“Chicagoland”), and T-mo’s monthly fees are nearly half those of Verizon… with ***no contract***.

  • Elliot

    How can anyone argue with $199 unlocked? I can almost sell my G1 for that

  • timdawg919

    Looks like I’ll be selling my cliq as I can’t part with my G1 (ok so i’d keep them all). Yes while I love full keyboard I don’t have to much problems with iphone other than its edge and not 3g on tmobile. $199 I can do with no problem as I paid full price for my cliq and mad cause it came with 1.5! Hope they upgrade to 2.0 soon or will sell it. I switched and have the no contract even more plus plan with tmobile.

  • zlander

    After the droid/tmo debacle I was counting down the days until my tmo contract expired…now I can wait to reneww..go tmobile!

  • http://Website James

    This would be…. amazing. I’d sell my Hero like that! *snaps fingers* :P

  • http://Website JJ

    Good solid rumor. Thanks for making that distinction. ;-)

    I don’t agree with your price comparison to the X10. SE has always charged premium prices for their smart phones. Just because SE wants a your next-born for it’s Snapdragon phone, that doesn’t mean HTC and/or Google will. It also doesn’t mean the Snapdragon is the reason for the high price. A couple of logical fallacies there.

    As far as Google and T-mobile selling this phone. Perhaps T-mobile will be selling for the subsidized price of $199 and Google will be selling the phone unlocked for a higher price.

    I, for one, hope that this phone is the game changer that it’s rumored to be.

  • http://Website cintra

    What is the point of all this absurd rumorizing?

  • http://Website Jeff

    Depends on whether I can get this phone, data only, for less than $29.99 a month. I don’t want to “drop” my iPhone, but I really want Google Maps Navigation.

  • http://Website Jack

    Any word on when this will be dropping in uk/europe would be awesome. If it came down to it would it be possible to import it from the us and use it over here? Im not sure how the differering systems work on the networks over there and here.

  • http://Website DrCheap

    oh lord, please let that cdma version come quickly… or better yet, let’s get a cdma/gsm worldphone version, yes?

  • alan W.

    Many years ago, there was an interactive disc standard called ‘CD-I’. It was a Philps invention. It was hoping to be a consumer and industrial how to, game, and learning platform. It was sophisticated, hard to program and author for, etc. Eventually, CD-ROM generalized platforms won. Not the point though.

    The initial boxes were prices at like $1000, then Philips dropped the prices across the board to 499, then 299, then 199. Eventually the platform lost support. I asked a big wig a Philips USA how they lowered the cost to quickly with such low volumes, he said, “we had to price them as if there were 500k units already in the market”.

    So there.

  • http://Website ari-free

    Google thinks about the long term. They don’t want a world where everyone uses Apple which will have a veto over Google Voice and other google services. They certainly don’t want a resurgence of Microsoft, which would replace Google search with Bing. So they might be subsidizing today for the sake of the future.

  • Charbax

    It costs $150 to manufacture such a device. They would NOT be loosing any money selling it at $199 unlocked. I post my speculations here:

  • Josh Chambers

    Taylor: How credible do you think the “CDMA Later” comment is? Any idea what “later” means?


  • http://Website NQ Logic

    Google is moving down in the stack to challenge B2C opponents with an open architecture and new sets of standards. In creating a post-revenue business model, Google can only manage success if consumers accept a co-branding and outsourced manufactured device … NQ Logic recommends reading about the rest of the new Google’s mobile strategy at

  • OrganizedFellow

    A few odd points (opinions):

    Remember when Google announced the latest Google Maps? Within minutes, stocks from TomTom, Magellan, etc. all plummeted. It won’t be long before THEY use Android!

    How long do you think it will be before the U.S. Government begins outfitting some hardware with Android? Mobile gadgets, simulators, HUD units, etc. The possibilities are endless!

    I’m certain Google can sell their phone fairly cheap!
    It’s the greatest communication network ever devised :)

  • http://Website Richy

    Since i’ve been slapped in the face by Samsung’s trunk with the Galaxy and have no chance of getting 2.0, if i sold now (while the phone is still worth something) how long dju reckon i’d be waiting for this?

  • fractalbit

    “…but it is just too good to pass up”

    Actually, it is just too good to be true :(

  • http://Website Thorpeland

    Google is Skynet. And I love it! lol

    • http://Website michelle

      Bwhahahaha! I say that all the time also. :D

      I, for one, welcome our Android overlords.

  • http://Website Androidawg

    I swear to God if they release a super phone at 199.00 on Tmo I’m taking my myTouch to a Tmobile retailer and throwing it at someone.

  • http://Website Tomas Herman

    well imo, its not impossible to be true…imo for all google cares is to spread android…so they only _NEED_ people to pay for manufacturing price…and i think 200$ sounds about right

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  • http://Website Jack

    If the phone goes for $199 I’ll give it a few weeks to see if it’s worth selling my iPhone for. I do miss having 3G. What am I going to do with all my iPhone accessories though… :C

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  • Sam

    This is the phone that will finally end years of using a BlackBerry

  • http://Website z

    i have bought all the t mobile android phonees.. and hell yea i will pay 500 for this one… with or without 3g.. but guess wat it has 3g… so am about to pre order… this bitch… WOW.. incredible by google

  • Etienne

    If the rumor is true, I think Google will succeed to get a large portion of market share from Apple, Nokia and RIM.

    The “Google” brand is widely known and I bet that new buyers will be more inclined to buy a Google branded phone than an Android phone… and at 199$, even more! :)

    Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

  • erik

    I don´t think that the nexus one is so cheap because the OLED Display cost a lot of money

    • http://Website Knight

      The iPhone only costs $200 to produce per unit. If HTC can make this phone for even $250-$300, Google can more than make up the cost difference in ad revenue and long-term mind-share and market penetration.

      This mysterious source was correct about the latter two predictions, it seems. And the first rumor seems like a very reasonable way for Google to go.

  • Klae

    Why I am definitely not getting the Nexus One:

  • http://mongolia mongolia

    I want to buy nexus one. how to buy nexus one. I want to buy nexus one 199$.

  • ano

    it’s very nice of phone I love it
    but in website that tell me that :
    your country is not available

  • g405

    Google is becoming to be every things in hight technology
    may in the futher as soon as possible google will creating
    a Human Robot . ^_^!

    I Love you Google

  • http://Website Janet

    The price I saw was $529, unless you go with T Mobile – then it’s $179. T MOBILE????

  • http://Website Oliver Scott

    still trying to figure out how much the monthly fee on this phone rates compared to iphone (as a t-mobile client). if i could get solid numbers that would just make my day :)

  • Amy from Free Nexus One

    $199 would be excellent. Unfortunately the SIM free nexus onw is available for preorder in the UK at the moment. For £599.99 – £649.99 or ~ $940 – $1020. I don’t think that anyone in the UK is going to pay that for a handset. iPhone slayer? Sorry Google, maybe next time.

  • cheap bunk bed

    WoW! It’s good price i would to take it.

  • chepa bunk bed

    I love this phone very much. It’s good price. :)

  • Broken Xbox 360

    As far as Google and T-mobile selling this phone. Perhaps T-mobile will be selling for the subsidized price of $199 and Google will be selling the phone unlocked for a higher price.

  • David from My Free Nexus One

    That is a brilliant price. It costs about £599.99 in the UK which is about 9 times that so I doubt that they will knock the iPhone the top, but they may over time.

  • best electronic keyboard

    I love android very much. and i think this the best android phone.

  • buy laptop backpack

    i prefer galaxy s.

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