Could Google Offer Nexus One for $0

The big question surrounding Google’s Android smartphone, the Nexus One, is whether Google will offer the Nexus One themselves and if so can they subsidise, and if they do subsidise, just how much it will be.

To take this a tad further the question arises, could Google actually offer the Nexus One for $0 as a free smartphone in an attempt to get their Android device into the hands of as many people as possible.

Well the guys over at android guys, have had a play around with this idea and say that Google does have a history of giving things away that they could easily charge for such as Google Maps Navigator which they believe monetisation will be gained via location based ads.

Then there’s targeted mobile advertising which Google is more than capable of handling the metrics and if anyone knows about advertising it’s got to be Google. So basically if Google used mobile advertising to their advantage it might just be possible for them to offer the Nexus One for free, although of course this is only speculation. One thing’s for sure if they did offer the Nexus One for $0 it would be a fast mover; what do you think?


5 thoughts on “Could Google Offer Nexus One for $0”

  1. Google’s entire business strategy is about getting more people online more often. Period.

    As the overwhelmingly dominant search engine for the entire world, the more time any given user spends online, the more money Google makes. It’s as simple as that.

    For every hour the average user spends online, they spend X% of their time performing a search. And ~65% of users search with Google. Every time they search, Google makes $X. Therefore Google’s only goal is for more people to spend more time online. Look at any action Google takes through this lens and it’s not difficult to figure out their intent.

    Nowhere is that more apparent than in all their free SaaS. The more people they can move off the desktop and into the cloud, the more time people spend online. The more time they spend online…

    Will Google offer their phone for free? I doubt it, but I don’t have the numbers to run the math. If the average Android user spends X hours online, and X% doing a search, how much money does Google make off of them having an Android? How much over the course of a two-year contract? How much do they speculate they will make in the future, using the phone as a loss-leader? And how much market share will they steal from the competition?

    In short, Google has learned from Microsoft’s past business strategies against the Mac OS, and Netscape: Let Apple do your UI research, and be a fast follower. Your product doesn’t have to be perfect if it is significantly cheaper and runs on the current commodity hardware configuration. Then whenever you need to muscle a competitor out of a product category, bundle that product to your monopoly (SaaS) and see how long your competition can compete with Free.

    For a 1 to 1 comparison: How is Google offering Chrome (full color logo/image on Google’s main search homepage with download link — served Only to users of other browsers — when has Google ever done That before?!). How is this any different than Microsoft bundling their browser pre-installed with their OS?

    For the record, I use many of Google’s products (especially their search) everyday. Not intending to bash on Google. Just being objective. Competition is good. As long as their maneuvers are pushing competitors to innovate, we will all be the better off for it.

  2. Could google take a chance on giving this away for free? Sure. Will they snub all their partners in the open handset aliance? Probably not.

    As much as we all want google to reform the wireless industry this phone won’t be it. I’m betting that this will be another dev phone, sold at cost via google and with a subsidity through tmobile.

  3. John says:

    If Google offered the phone for free what’s to stop me ordering 1 million of them and using the parts to set up my own mobile phone that I could charge $500 for and become a massive rival to Android, eventually toppling them once I move to sell shares and then conquer apple and Microsoft. What a great idea! Just a thought though. Lets be realistic here, the shipment of $0 phones will be backed up for years causing very disgruntled consumers. The phone will need to be within a range that people would be willing to trade in their old for the new…. what ever happened to the phone that just made phone calls anyway?

  4. That is just absolutely ridiculous, there will be riots and anarchy if they give it away for free. The logistics of giving away a multi-$100 device for nothing will make it a very poor decision on Google’s part, and they’re not known for that.

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