Google Nexus One Phone Priced at $530 Unlocked, $180 on 2-year T-Mobile Contract?

thumb_450_Nexus One pricing 1

If the internets are to be believed, Google is setting pricing on their HTC built new Nexus One Android flagship smartphone at $529.99 unlocked, or $179.99 if you take it alongside a 2-year, $80 a month T-Mobile contract. Here are the deets:

  • Existing T-Mo customers can't keep their current plan if they want a subsidized phone.
  • The subsidized price only works on accounts with single lines. Family plans, Flexpay, SmartAccess and KidConnect plans must buy the phone at the full $530 unlocked price.
  • You can onliy buy five Nexus Ones per Google account.
  • Looks like it can be shipped outside the U.S.
  • It'll be sold at
  • And if you buy the Nexus One at the subsidized price and cancel before 120 days have passed, you have to pay the difference -- $350 -- or return the phone to Google.

Now the original iPhone 2G sold for $600, locked on a 2-year AT&T contract. The current iPhone 3GS 16GB sells for $199 + ~$450 in carrier subsidy = ~$649 (it's currently sold unlocked by for about $695). Nexus One has higher, presumably pricier specs, so is Google eating their profit margins, or is their massive advertising-based revenue model more than going to make up the difference?

No doubt the unlocked, unsubsidized sales model appeals to us geeks (it tempts me!) but will mainstream consumers go for it? Nokia hasn't had luck with that in North America. Could Google do better? And would you like Apple to follow suit?

[Gizmodo via Android Central]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter,, Google+.

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There are 46 comments. Add yours.

sting7k says:

What good will unlocked do in the US if it doesn't support AT&T's 3G bands? Unless of course it does...

Sireg says:

why on a mac running firefox? shouldnt it be on chrome or windows at less

moesess says:

how is this a game changing phone?

Mcdoobie says:

At $199 unlocked with 3G support on AT&T I was tempted to buy it, but the $530 is too steep to just have EDGE speeds.

chrisr says:

Android 2.1 looks great. I really hope iPhone has an os update soon cuz I am tired of seeing android os to pass us by. On the other hand it is a good thing these other phones have stepped their game up makes apple really have to push the envenlope. With the nexusone having a 1ghz snapdragon and the better resolution has me excited about what the 2010 iPhone will be

cardfan says:

tmobile is crap. Doesn't even matter what the Nexus does if they can't get it on a decent carrier.

JeGra says:

This will be a great option for Wind customers and potential Wind customers in Canada as they are currently the ONLY Canadian carrier offering unlimited everything. I'm excited for that reason. Bye Rogers you've gouged me long enough.

rod says:

So ATT users really do care about 3G coverage. How does it fill to have such a same high speed network? You are not much better than t-mobile att/iphone.

fathom614 says:

They better make another version for at&t 3g or sprint, verizon cause t-mobile coverage in my area is non existant which is disappointing to say the least. Nexus One unlocked for your carrier of choice now thats game changing.

jakej914 says:

@Rod - AT&T 3G coverage is actually very good in my area. TMO, on the other hand, has terrible 3G coverage in my area. So please, save your negative post. People choose their phones with carrier in mind.

Dbo says:

why not just buy it unlocked at $530 and then order that new service from Clearwire for just $30 a month, Clear does internet only but you can then make phone calls via google voice right?

Greg Foster says:

Let me just say that i am not in the least interested in this phone, an android or anything else, love my iPhone. However, Apple needs to release a MAJOR software update and slightly different looking hardware wouldn't hurt either.
Just saying...

Trey says:

I'm tired of my iPhone now I need a change so I'm gonna get this next week

Trey says:

Ppl need to stop hating cause it's not coming to there carrier.

jakej914 says:

@Trey - Actually, I love my iPhone and wouldn't even consider switching. I left Verizon for AT&T and couldn't be happier.

jakej914 says:

@Trey - It's their, not there. Please refer to a dictionary next time you decide to post something.

chrisr says:

I love my iPhone too. We need a os overhaul to keep up in the os department with these other phones. Are hardware is still great though

chrisr says:

Another thing is I love apple products but I have drank the koolaid enough to say that androids os isn't past our os. It would real be nice for apple to show up on the 4th of January the day before the nexus one annoucement. With a os upgrade to upstage them (ain't happing though). The hardware upgrades no doubt will come with the new phone in June/July. But apple we need something. And no the islate iBook or whatever they call it will not suffice

chrisr says:

"but I have drank the koolaid enough to say that androids os isn’t past our os"
Should have said I haven't drank the apple koolaid enough to say that androids os isn’t past our os

frog says:

Android is awful compared to iPhone OS. The app market on android is also very poor - most of their "apps" are themes for other apps.

chrisr says:

The apps for iPhone is the bomb. I am saying that we should have jailbreak features standard on the os. I for one don't want to jailbreak my phone. But a buddy of mine has one and is home screen and his multitasking apps are awesome

Macintosh says:

Thats really funny to hear that you need to hack your iPhone to multitask.... Apple lovers you are not allowed to complain because its Apple and you should love it. They cant mess anything up!!!

chrisr says:

I agree Macintosh!!!! I love my iPhone however they defintley need to step it up. I beleive they will but the wait is killing me. Is it possible for them to drop a os update at the end of January without any beta versions floating around first?
Maybe they are playing the wait game. However the android market is picking up steam with the droid then this.
I do llike the fact though that iPhone sticks to one phone a year. The nexus looks like it will be better than the droid. everybody that jumped to droid mijt be mad when they see this thing. It looks super fast with that snapdragon processor However tmoible sucks. But ATT in my area is awesome. I actually prefer ATT out of all the major carrier. I even have ATT dsl and phone service so it is very simple for me when I pay bills

frog says:

So it's just another HTC phone, nothing particularly new/different.

Macintosh says:

@frog - MUHAHAHA - Original iPhone June 2007 - 2nd gen iPhone July 2008 - 3rd gen iPhone came out June 2009!!!

jordan says:

@frog android= FULL customization of ur homescreen/wallpaper/widgets/3-7 desktop screens. plus multi-tasking. iPhone= NO customization whatsoever/endless rows of program boxes that u can't move or remove from the homescreen. no multitasking. android's market is a little over a yr old while apple's appstore is 3 yrs old. of course apple is going to have the upperhand in that lol. I've owned an iPhone and jumped ship to android as soon as I was able to play with my boy's myTouch. what advantage does the actual apple OS have over android's other than it takes less time to get acquainted with? id like to hear. everyone who has an iPhone their phones look exactly tthe same. way to be a sheep. I love my macbook to death, but I cannot stand that cookiecutter be-like-evryone-else princess phone.

Mystic says:

Wow. Some Android fans are so full of hate and spite. I wonder why?

Trey says:

Only thing that keeps the iPhone going is the app store you put the app store on anyother smart phone and ppl will live it

Trey says:

And if they didn't make a jailbreak for the iPhone I wouldn't have kept mine for so long that also keeps it going. It's the damn app store that's we live not the iPhone

cMc says:

To be honest, I've had a cell phone since '01 and only changed carriers once. Unlocked phones do not appeal to me (unless it meant lower monthly charges ,which it doesn't). I've played with android and other then the spec sheet I've not been overly amazed. 3 years later I'm seeing new innovations with the iPhone. I'm happy with my phone.
@Jordon, princess phone...really, come on! Sounds like you've changed from the blue kool-aid to the red , just because everyone else was drinking the blue.

Trey says:

App store we love not the iPhone

frog says:

I was simply referring to the rumours that the Nexus One was revolutionary in some way, it turned out to just be another developers phone.
@jordan. android is a mess. It's inconsistent, laggy, and lacks alot of polish that other platforms have (iPhone, WinMo, S60, WebOS)
It has multitasking, and for apps that don't - push notifications work faster than multitasking on android anyway (tried RSS, Twitter, MSN, Email) ; and without the battery hogging/lagging.

Macboy74 says:

@Jordan first off the apple app store has been opened since July 10 of 2008. We are in dec of 2009. That's 17 months which is a little over a year. Not 3 years!!!!! And you left the apple iPhone because you played with a mytouch??? Great choice!!! My brother had just got a droid for Christmas he wanted one since it came out in nov. He got it five days ago. Talked to him on tuesday he is returning it today. Says he does not like it now that he got it. He says the following..... The keyboard sucks. The os is laggy and choppy. It takes forever to start up the phone after you shut it off. Multitasking is good but kills the battery. Says he had to charge It 3 times on Saturday and 3 times on Sunday. It froze on him twice since he has had it. He also says it being his first 3g verizon phone it loads pages slow as hell. Switching to a bb tour. Sad sad........

Pimp Lucious says:

I'm calling BS Macboy. 6 charges in two days. At least try and keep it in the realm of possible. Unless of course he had a defective unit/battery.

Bear says:

@Dbo - no, you will always need a regular phone number for Google Voice. It's just a feature rich call forwarding service, not VOIP.

Trey says:

Well this isn't a verizon phone it's tmobile and it has a 1 ghz proc it won't lag plus the screen is better then the iPhones iPhone is runnig on 600mhz witch is still fast if u have a 3gs I'm getting this phone until the new iPhone comes out in July then I'll be back to the iPhone. Overall yea iPhone is the best phone out and that's cause of the app store which is a plus plus plus for them.

Dennis says:

I'm disappointed by this pricing rumor.... But I think it's a little bit early to say much about what's going on here until we hear more from Google. Is this just another Android phone, or is Google up to something that they'll reveal on January 5th? I.e., what does it mean that Google and HTC will be providing support directly? Google branding and support has to mean something more than just Android as it exists now, or it doesn't seem like it makes much sense.

E says:

When this phone comes out I will think very seriously of switching. Let me explain. I love my iPhone almost as much as life itself. I run my entire life through it and if I could take only one thing with me to a desert island, it would be my iPhone (even if there weren't cell service on said island).
That said, Apple has grown rich and fat. They have switched from a company that encourages competitive innovation to a command and control tyrant. I can't control the interface on MY phone. I can't put things like google voice on MY phone. Very legitimate apps that would help make MY life easier aren't allowed on MY phone.
This is downright un-American. Frankly, I don't give a $%^& if the google phone isn't quite as pretty as the iPhone, etc. I have grown so angry with the inability to control MY phone and MY user experience that I yearn for freedom more than the prettiest piece of hardware.
At the end of the day, the iPhone--I am sure--is a better product. The answer for Apple is simple: release the chains and allow people to customize their experience and put on a few apps that you might not like (like google voice). No single person wants to use their phone for exactly the same things. This is the beauty of customization: I can make minor tweaks to the UI and so on to make my phone perfect for me while someone else can do something different.
It is true that Apple needs to release a new OS with new features (like a darn notification shade). But they also need to realize that what the customer wants is supreme, and the customer wants freedom.

Therealtruth says:

6 charges in 2 days isn't in the realm of the possible? Really? Actually I think it's inevitable depending on what your doing with the phone. Streaming radio while surfing the Internet for instance...

ThisBrian says:

Just get along and like what you like. My iPhone rocks and some of the android phones do to.

Dennis says:

@E: But it's also true that we wouldn't be in the favorable position to be able to argue that we should be able to do whatever we want on our phones, if it hadn't been for the efforts of Apple and its subsequent competition. It's also true about DRM on music digital downloads. Apple had to work with the Big Four in the recording industry and made compromises to bring them all to the table, while advocating for the removal of DRM. Only after the iTunes Store is a success were the Big Four willing to give Apple competitors a reduced DRM requirement, in order to get leverage against Apple for something that was more important to them (in this case, pricing flexibility).
Getting back to the iPhone, Apple acquired control from the carriers over what runs on the phone. Then, the other carriers have to compete against the iPhone by opening up their networks to Android.
It's the circle of life. Lions are born as cubs, but they're also run over in a stampeding horde caused by Jeremy Irons. And only in this way does the lion prince become the lion king -- just as Elton John has explained so well.

Trey says:

The iPhone wouldn't be ish without the app store and they wouldn't have sold so much if it wasn't for the jailbreakers. There's a good percent that brought the iPhone and they don't have a AT&T contract in the u.s pit the app store on this new gphone it would prob be in the same spot. Apples just more well put together with the syncing of iPhone to iTunes and updates through iTunes makes things easier

talkin73 says:

Anyone that needs to charge their iPhone 6 times in 2 days has a bad battery or way too much time on their hands playing with the iPhone... consider getting back to work, study or whatever it is you should be doing. New phones from new carriers stimulate competition and this is not a new concept. No matter how you slice it, companies continually trying to up their game will generally mean more features for customers. Only time will tell if Google's efforts stimulate Apple to turn up the heat on their next device and OS. I appreciate the benefits of multitasking and improved management of system alerts and hope Apple adds these. But, the iPhone works for my needs right now so I'm sticking with it. The complaints about an iPhone looking like everyone else's phone are perplexing to me. The need to be different from everyone else is generally a developmental milestone that people grow out of in their teens. Unless you invented your own phone and forged the parts yourself, it's gonna look like someone else's phone ;-)

Jerry says:

@Frog ... STOP THE LYING !!!
Most of the apps are not themses one of the sites like ANdro lib had a breakdown of the themes... and it's not even close to 10% .. I forgot what the figure was ..

E says:

@Dennis: First, thanks for the Lion King reference... fantastic.
I agree with pretty much everything you said. I guess my real point is that now to compete they will have to ease up on the restrictions. That is how they can keep me, at least...

Nexus One says:

Hi, love you blog;)Happy new year!