Dec 14 AT 2:30 PM Taylor Wimberly 41 Comments

Google to sell Nexus One with T-Mobile contract? January 5th launch date?

Let us keep the Nexus One day rolling. First we heard a rumor the Google Phone was coming to T-Mobile. Then Google confirmed they had handed out a new Android phone to their employees. Next it was reported that the Nexus One slipped through the FCC with T-Mobile 3G bands. After that an anonymous tipster told us the device would be subsidized for $199.

Now, we have ABC News and Reuters reporting that Google will offer the Nexus One for a reduced price for those who agree to a T-Mobile contract. This would explain the rumored $199 price, but it doesn’t exactly explain who will pay for the subsidy.

The report goes on to say that Google will offer the device directly from their website as early as January 5, 2010. We have heard multiple reports that the Google Phone would land in early January so the date sounds plausible.

T-Mobile recently began offering no-contract plans they are calling Even More Plus. It will be interesting to see how much the Nexus One will cost at full retail price. This may be the source for the conflicting reports that the Google Phone would be both subsidized and un-subsidized.

What do you guys think? This is a pretty awesome phone for T-Mobile to promote their new HSPA 7.2 network.

Look for more live updates throughout the day. This story is getting interesting.

Source: ABC News

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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  • Andrew

    One word: wowza.

    this day is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s! so exciting to see all this news. I’ve been so wanting a 1GHz android phone for t-mobile. If this is it and it’s also Google’s own special version of Android, that means I will be a happy man.

    w00t w00t!

  • goncalossilva

    Europe, Europe, Europe!

    A Portuguese newspaper just inserted a headline on their website confirming a lot of things said here. The only difference is the price: they’re talking about 730$ (500€).

    Let’s hope their wrong.

  • http://Website brian

    I wish carriers cared more about the people that have been with them for years. I pre-ordered a G1 and I’m still not in the upgrade window, so I have a feeling this phone will be really expensive to get unless you’re on a new contract.

    They need to give it to everyone at $199. I would upgrade all 3 of my lines for that price!

    • http://Website EddieV

      Wait if you have been with T-Mo contract for over a year, I think you are still eligible for an upgrade. You just need to sign on for another 2 years. That was how I switched from the HTC Dash to the BB Curve a few years back, before I went to ATT for the iphone.

    • http://Website colinnwn

      Why should they give it to everyone? You agreed to a 2 year contract with them, you got a phone valued at over $400 for only $200. To pay that back, they use the future revenue stream of your rate plan. If you got another phone now, instead of it costing Tmobile $10/mo for the next 6 months, it would be $20 mo because of the double subsidy.

      The real answer is that the subsidy system in the USA is stupid. I really like Tmobile’s new rate plans that don’t have subsidy, but allow you to spread the payments on your new phone over the next 20 months of your service. That way if you want a phone early, fine, as long as your payment history is good enough for them to finance another phone purchase for you.

      @ EddieV
      Used to you had to be at least 18 or 20 months through your 24 month rate plan before Tmobile would allow you to upgrade on subsidy.

      • http://Website brian

        I paid full price for 2 G1′s halfway through my 2nd or 3rd contract extension. The only subsidized phone I ever got from Tmobile was 5 years ago, and it was one of the cheapo phones.

        I am more than willing to sign another 2 years if they’ll give it to me for $199, so we’ll see what they do.

        • http://Website colinnwn

          The G1 released in October 2008 for I believe $199 on subsidy or $399 without. If you purchased one then for $399, plus 2 more at a later date for $399, and have bought no other reduced price phones from Tmobile since April 2008, then you are currently eligible to receive a Tmobile subsidized phone.

          Remember subsidized doesn’t mean free. It means a phone you purchased at a cost lower than the cost Tmobile paid to the manufacturer for that phone.

          End the end, it may be a moot point, since there is suttlebutt the Nexus will be $199 off contract, possibly cheaper for long time Google customers, and subsidy customers.

          • http://Website J.

            Quote:”t means a phone you purchased at a cost lower than the cost Tmobile paid to the manufacturer for that phone.”

            Not true. It simply means purchased at a lower cost than retail. That’s all.

            For example, materials and labor cost put the build price of a G1 at $130 on initial release, not inclusive of economies of scale. At this point in the game, especially with the Quaalcom baseband being the go-to board for android, I’d put that build cost at $100. HTC is going to be running thin margins, say 7-10%, because their coin is made from volume, not markup.
            So T-Mobile is paying about $110/unit for the G1. At $399 they are minting money, and at $179, they’re still keeping the lights on, that’s for sure.

          • http://Website colinnwn


            You are wrong. When one says subsidy phone, it means a phone that a carrier pays part of their “all in” cost of goods sold plus profit, which is not recouped at the time of purchase to the subscriber, but over time through the subscriber’s monthly fees. Carriers don’t pay retail, they pay wholesale. Sometimes a manufacturer will sell to a distributor below their variable cost to produce and fixed cost depreciation. This is another kind of subsidy, but there is no incentive for HTC to do this. If you don’t believe me, you need to look up the word subsidy in the dictionary, and talk to a few people in the wireless industry.

            I don’t doubt the build cost for the G1 is about $100, but unless you work for HTC or Tmobile, you have little support they are paying $110 for the phone. And unless you work in the wireless industry I seriously doubt your 10% markup. Typical markup from the build cost by the manufacturer to the distributor or retailer in the electronic industry is 50% to 100% especially early in the lifecycle.

            Places like Best Buy will run markups on electronic devices from their manufacturer cost of between 10% to 20% due to stiff competition in that sector. Given that Tmobile likely has higher per square foot retail costs, a semi-captive audience, and financing costs from the subsidy, running a 50% or greater markup would be reasonable.

          • http://Website colinnwn


            I just noticed the error I made you were pointing out “Tmobile paid to the manufacturer for that phone.”

            That is wrong. But saying the subsidy is off retail price is inaccurate also. The subsidy is generally based on the cost of goods sold plus a reasonable markup for profit to the carrier. The retail price the carrier places on the phone is an entirely separate part of the convoluted wireless pricing system.

    • http://Website ari-free

      this is another thing about the google phone: you don’t have to worry about the latest OS updates! None of this “oh and we also have an android phone…”

      Even AT&T treats the iPhone this way. In one commercial, Luke Wilson points out that AT&T has the most popular phone and 100,000 apps but the commercial shows some Samsung at the end instead of saying ‘iPhone’

    • http://android&me tommie Lightfoot

      I agree, howeve I think I will just add a line to

  • tusic

    Hmmmm… being in a T-Mobile contract with my G1 right now, this worries me a bit. I could do $199 for a new phone. Not so sure I could do 400-500 though.

  • http://Website tim

    count me in

  • Nate

    Crap! January 5? I just got the myTouch 3G a few months ago. Maybe if I had gotten a G1 at launch I would upgrade, but it’s still too early. Too bad when it is time to upgrade the Nexus One will also be obsolete.

    • http://Website michelle

      Same here. Then again, at least by the time we’re eligible for a subsidized phone again, I wonder what shiny awesome phone will be available.

  • William

    I REALLY REALLY want this phone. The only problem is that I just got my G1 at the end of may. I ony have two sources of income: my birthday (Wednesday) and christmas. I have to pay $440 a year for the bill. I might get $1000 total this year, but that would all be used on my phone if the phone itself was $600. T-Mobile REALLY needs to offer an early upgrade for G1 owners – I might be able to call and complain to them about not being able to receive 2.0 and further updates. Idk. What do you guys think?

    • http://Website Mike Dub

      I think that you should get a job before you try to pay for a smartphone/data plan yourself.

      • William

        When you are 15 years old it is hard to have a job. I am probably going to get a job this summer, or sometime next year, but I can do nothing in my power to be able to make money while I am 15.

        • http://Website colinnwn


          I remember being a kid and wanting the coolest tech toys out there. But unless you don’t have a home/school computer with internet, or have a job/study that absolutely requires you to have mobile internet access, you made a really poor choice purchasing a $200 phone and $440 rate plan when your yearly income is ~$1000.

          When I was your age about 15 years ago, I got about $10/week in allowance. I had many things I wanted, but few I actually bought, and I religiously saved. I already had over $3,000 in the bank that helped me in my driving and college years.

          The track you are on, pining over the latest tech gadget, doesn’t bode well for your future saving, spending, and happiness habits. Rather than scheming to get Tmobile to replace your phone before you contractually agreed for a subsidized replacement, I think you should look inwards at what you really want, versus what you really need.

    • http://Website Mike Dub

      Oh, and also, most of the people who are saying “I hope they offer an early upgrade to G1 owners for being early adopters,” bought their G1 about a year and a half ago. You’re proposing that T-Mobile take a profit loss on your account so that you could have both the original (read: old) android and a new at subsidized prices. You just should have waited. With the information you get from visiting and posting on sites like this, you should have been more than well informed. Your phone will be 3 years old before you are eligible for a full upgrade discount. Enjoy.

      • William

        Well, thank you for being a dick. I’m pretty sure 99% of the people that bought this phone, along with me, thought that this phone would last 2 years in software updates, and now look where it is, after about a year, it is already not being able to be updated due to the flash chip being too small. When I bought the phone, i had little to no idea what android was, or know too much about this whole community.

  • jeremy

    I’m waiting patiently with my g1 in hand… okay not patiently but I’m waiting. I wonder what the price is going to be for employees of tmob. I know its 40 percent off full price. It will be mine if it goes to tmob.

  • http://Website Alistair Collins

    I take it you mean 5th January 2010..!! And I so hope this is real, and that they’ll launch it in the UK at the same time… Pretty please?!!

  • latinforever99

    Yep if you already have a tmo contract you just get another phone renew with tmo for another 2 years and you get the phone been with them 9 years and will never change I been with tmo so long that I was with them when they change there name and they have don it twice they went from Omnipoint to VoiceStream to TMobile that how log I have been loyal to them and with that comes 9 years of perks hehehehehehehehe and I’m not telling soooooorryyy!!!!

    • http://Website colinnwn

      And for all of us that haven’t been with them for 9 years, we have to wait for 18-20 months before they are willing to let us upgrade phones even if we sign a new 2 year agreement.

      I’m not saying I disagree with their policy, and I’m happy you get such preferential treatment for being a long time customer. But just pointing out us 4 year customers don’t have the same options.

  • http://Website Andy

    I like T-Mobile just fine. But they don’t like me, apparently … or anyone else in the Panhandle of Texas. Please release this phone on a carrier with coverage in cities under a million people.

    • http://Website ari-free

      that’s why the Droid (and anything else that comes from verizon) will still be a big deal. This isn’t the groundbreaking carrier-independent phone I was hoping for.

  • Mast3r_Shake

    Just another reason I happily own Google stock :-)

  • http://OutOfContractPrice mrbill

    I am a 3 year T-Mo customer (after 9 years with Pacific Bell Mobile/SBC Mobile/Cingular/AT&T). I am currently out of contract and still have only purchased my original T-Mobile DASH (That = 1 whole year of profit without subsidy for a new phone). I am wondering if T-MO will do what they normally do and give new subs the (rumored) $199 price and then penalize the good, long-time, solid customers by charging us more. I am perfectly willing to sign another 2 year contract and pay the (rumored) $199

    • http://Website colinnwn

      I’m confused. I’ve been with Tmobile 4 years and have purchased at least 8 phones for 5 lines from them. I have ALWAYS been offered new customer pricing on upgrade phones, as long as it has been at least 20 months since the last phone upgrade on that line.

      Are you saying that after your contract was up, they didn’t offer you the same pricing for an upgrade phone as they were offering new customers?

  • whyhellomichael

    People that complain about not being able to get the phone at the fully discounted price are stupid. You entered a two year agreement, complete your end of the contract YOU SIGNED and the terms you agreed to. No one forced you to. You can buy a new phone anytime you want. Tmo is not under any obligation to subsidize a phone for you early. They are a FOR PROFIT business.

    • http://Website Linnea K. McCrary

      First of all, it is not signed. It is done over the phone and the only reason that it is agreed to is because they force you to agree. If you want to get a different phone and the reason is that you can not get good service from them where you live they will tell you that it is your phone, the one you bought from them. I have been with them for 9 years and I am finally sick and tired of not having service in my area and recently it has gotten worse. Until you have been in that situation and seen and been told by reps at T-mobile what I have been told you should not make a blanket statement like you did. Unfortunately it is impossible for you to tell anyone anything about a contract or T-mobiles service or agreement that one has with them unless you have specifically been through each situation and had the same results.

      • http://Website beachin

        Moderator’s please change the name on my reply that I sent in to this name as I do not want my real name on the internet in a forum such as this one. Thanks

  • http://Website Jasallis3

    I just went to the Even More Plus plan, but received bad info when I signed up. A Tmo rep said my Government discount carries over, but then when I got my first bill, I was told it didn’t. So my bill actually went up about 45 cents although now I’m unlimited everything. I wonder what the price difference would be if I went back to a contract for the same level of service.

    I still feel like my rooted G1 is the best Android on the market (I haven’t messed with a Droid yet), but this… THIS, especially after it’s rooted…. WOW. I may pay the full price if necessary.

  • wondercoolguy


    I was given bad info when I made the switch from contract to non contract as well. The rep told me it would save me 60 bucks a month but actually only saved me 10. I called up T-mobile and they switched me back to my old loyalty plan.

    This google phone looks awesome I can’t wait to get one. I am original g1 owner that got it back in Oct 08. I was under contract at the time and they made a special offer to exisiting customers to get the phone at a discount rate. They will prolly do the same here to boost the sales of the phone.

    • http://Website colinnwn

      That is great to hear. I’ve always been between very happy, and just satisfied, with Tmobile’s customer service. I was warned I couldn’t go back to my family loyalty plan when I switched to even more plus. But it saved me the $40 I expected, so I’m happy. Glad they switched you back given the situation.

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  • http://Website jbn

    i never could understand why people would actually get service with att just for the iphone, iphone is lame!!

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