Last Updated Jan 4, 2010 9:13 AM EST
Consider the factors in play at the moment:
- Introduction Date -- Although this is the time of year for CES, where many companies announce upcoming new products, often the announcements are for products not on the verge of shipping, but scheduled a few months off. Why? Because we've just come through the holiday season, and given that people have been spending their discretionary funds, this is not a traditionally strong time of year to introduce new devices. Yet, Google handed units out to its employees and now Engadget's got one, so this isn't something waiting on future production, and signs are that the announcement comes tomorrow.
- Price -- There was speculation aplenty about whether Google would use ads or its own cash flow to subsidize the phone and get people going for it in large numbers. But information leaked to Gizmodo suggested that the company would take a conventional approach to pricing, with an unlocked and unsubsidized unit running over $500 and the one subsidized through T-Mobile about $180. That's no price to get people to make the decision to move to an Android device as being too good a deal to pass.
- Business Partners -- Google has its own reasons for giving away Android, called getting people locked into its mobile ad platform, because that's where its future growth lies. But for such a well-branded company to sell its own version of a phone based on its OS is almost like Microsoft selling a PC. It's the sort of activity that makes equipment manufacturing business partners distrustful and resentful.
Image courtesy Engadget.