Google unveils ‘superphone’

The phone, dubbed the Nexus One, marks the first time the 11-year-old company has designed and sold its own consumer hardware device, and could provide Google with a viable challenge to Apple Inc’s popular iPhone.

The new phone pits Google against a variety of players in the increasingly crowded smartphone market, including Research in Motion, Palm Inc, Nokia and Apple. It will ship immediately from Google’s online store for US$179 with the purchase of a two-year contract from Deutsche Telecom’s T-Mobile USA, or US$529 without a service plan.

Executives said the phone will “soon” be carried on Verizon Wireless’s network in the United States, and eventually on Vodafone’s in Europe.

The Nexus One phone comes a little more than two years after Google jumped into the mobile market with the announcement it was developing a free, smartphone operating system. Google’s Android software is currently available on more than a 20 phones from vendors including Motorola Inc and Samsung Electronics.

Google worked closely with HTC to develop its own phone, which uses a 1 gigahertz Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm Inc. The Nexus One is 11.5 millimeters thick and weighs 130 grams – which executives said was lighter than a Swiss Army knife and no thicker than a No. 2 pencil.

The phone will feature a 3.7 inch touchscreen display. It will run the 2.1 version of the Android operating system and feature OLED display technology, a trackball for user interface control, an accelerometer chip, and a 5 megapixel camera.

Google is the world’s number 1 Internet search engine.


Technology not as advanced by 2010 as some had hoped

Not everyone expected to be living like The Jetsons, the space age television cartoon series of the early 1960s, but the Zogby International survey of more than 3,000 adults in the United States showed many were less than enthusiastic about how far we have come by the dawn of a new decade.

“The age group most likely to be disappointed with the current level of technological advancement are 35 to 54-year-olds (36 per cent),” Zogby, which conducted the survey commissioned by the website ScoopDaily, said in a statement.

About 21 per cent of people believe we are more technologically advanced than they thought we would be by 2010, while 37 per cent believed we are on target for their expectations.

About a third of people 70 years and older said they thought current technology was more advanced than they thought it would be.

“First Globals, those age 18-30, are much less likely than older generations to say the technological advancements up until now have exceeded their expectations,” Zogby added.

Not surprisingly, men were more likely than women to say they thought there would have been greater advances by 2010 to the Jetson lifestyle with its flying saucer-like cars and robotic servants.