How To Make Nexus One Disruptive

The Google Nexus One was officially launched yesterday and by all accounts looks like the benchmark in Android phones. It might even be the first smartphone to give the iPhone a run for it's money. But it is not a disruptive phone that will change the way mobile phones are sold and used.

The first problem is current T-Mobile customers like me get hosed on service. I had my $200 ready to send to Google for the phone but found out after speaking with T-Mobile that the Nexus One was not compatible with my current family plan. In fact, I would have to start up a new line of service and cancel my existing line in order to upgrade; hopefully they would port my number but I was not interested in making the changes needed. It's not T-Mobile's fault, per se, but due to the way phone subsidies are done in the U.S. these days.

But Google could have sold this differently and made the Nexus One truly disruptive. All they would have to do is to sell their own data-only service along with the phone linked to their Google Voice service. It would be easy enough to come to an agreement to become an MVNO for T-Mobile's 3G service and sell a "Google SIM" with the Nexus One. Let's say they charge $50 a month for unlimited data service which would create enough revenue to partially subsidize the phone. Since T-Mobile sells data bundled for half this price, there has got to be room in the model to make the phone $200-250 with a 2 year contract. Add the ability to port your existing number to Google Voice and this would make the Nexus One very compelling. I know I would buy one and drop my existing T-Mobile service.

Google does not have the same interest in preserving the existing rate structures of mobile phone carriers. They had the opportunity to change the game here and decided not to rock the boat. Too bad for us but maybe Apple will surprise us and do something similar for the next iPhone.

Posted via email from Marketing Technopologist

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