It may have fallen off the radar somewhat in recent weeks but the Google phone is about to launch in the UK.
Vodafone UK rolls out Nexus One
Vodafone UK has announced that it will start selling the Nexus One on Friday, April 30th 2010. That means British consumers will be the first in Europe to get their hands on the Google phone – it comes out in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands next month. For the record, Vodafone UK price plans start from £25 per month on a two-year contract, although the handset is free for those who shell out £35 per month and upwards. Customers will receive 1GB of mobile data as standard.
In case you've forgotten, the Nexus One was unveiled on January 5th 2010 just as the hype machine threatened to spiral out of all control. Based on Google's Android operating system, it featured a 3.7-inch screen and a 5-megapixel camera with geotagging. Hopes were high that it would prove to be a serious player in the smartphone market and open up whole new mobile marketing opportunities. So the theory went, iPhone ads were a mixed bag at best while Google was the undisputed master of digital advertising and had just shelled out £450 million to snatch leading mobile display provider AdMob from under the noses of Apple.
Google phone sales disappointed
However, it hasn't quite worked out that way. Nexus One sales were hugely disappointing in the US; mobile analytics firm Flurry estimated that Google only sold 135,000 phones in the time it took Apple to rack up its first million. What's more, the next iPhone should emerge later this year with Apple already confirming that iPhone OS 4 will incorporate multi-tasking and a new advertising platform called iAd. Even Microsoft is threatening to make up ground after a well-received launch for its first phone, the Kin.
It would be wrong to suggest that Google's success hinges on the fortunes of the Nexus One. Let's not forget this is a company that grew revenues by 23 per cent in the last year, posting remarkable quarterly revenues of £4.38 billion earlier this month. And the disappointment of the Nexus One was partially offset by its immensely popular Android mobile operating system, which continues to claw away market share from iPhone OS.
However, the mobile web is a huge growth area as more and more people purchase smartphones and handheld-devices like the iPad. The day is fast approaching when the majority of British consumers go online through handsets rather than laptops. In that context, Google will be concerned about its failure to tap into the lucrative US mobile marketing sector so far with the Nexus One. Time will tell if history repeats itself when the Nexus One hits Britain on Friday.