Google gets ready to unveil Nexus One cell phone

January 4, 2010 7:15:30 PM PST
Now that the shock and awe of New Year's fireworks have faded, it is Silicon Valley's turn to generate head-turning excitement with an array of new products to entice consumers. Google kicks it off Tuesday with the widely anticipated debut of the Nexus One, its own version of a mobile phone using its open source Android platform.

For Google, the Nexus One is a major announcement because it will be the company's first foray into a consumer product. Google launched the Android mobile phone operating system a year ago and it led to the development of several devices by existing cell phone manufacturers.

It is a big risk, according to Michael Malone, a veteran Silicon Valley technology author, editor, writer and columnist. Malone points out that Google must carve out a niche in the marketplace that is already dominated by Blackberry (focused primarily on business users) and Apple (whose iPhone is popular for entertainment).

"With all the smart people they have and all the money they have and the expectations and the world waiting for a counter-balance to the iPhone, Nexus One should have just knocked us backwards, and by the first looks of it, it's just a very nice phone," he said.

The tech blog Engadget has a video posted on its website that demonstrates the Nexus One's capabilities and shows off its graphics and touch screen. It appears to be fast and easy to use, using finger swipes the same way the iPhone operates.

"I'm not going to give up my Apple," Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor,, said. She got to test drive the Nexus One, and called it an improvement over other smart phones.

"It's a better screen, it's a much better camera, there's much better mapping and integration with Google services obviously, just like the Apple iPhone has good integration with Apple services," she said.

An array of other new devices will make their debut later this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and Apple will close the month with what many expect to be the unveiling of a new tablet device that is a cross between an iPhone and a laptop.