Google Nexus Two to “break carrier control”? Not likely

Image representing Nexus One as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

Rumours abound that Google is working with Samsung to bring a phone that’s being touted as the “Nexus Two” to market. Even though Eric Schmidt made it pretty clear in an interview with The Telegraph that there would be no Nexus Two along the same lines as the Nexus One, it actually makes sense for Google to get behind this. At the very least, it needs a phone out there that’s running stock Android so that developers have something that isn’t encrusted with crapware and “value added” interface elements.

Inevitably, because it has the Nexus label attached, this has got commentators spinning. Kevin Tofel, at GigaOm, has written a post on “5 ways a Google Nexus Two could break carrier control“, which, I think, epitomizes the kind of froth which surrounds Google and phones. 

Now I should say up front that I have massive respect for Kevin. He’s one of my favourite writers on mobile, and him and James Kendrick make the mobile section of GigaOm a go-to site for me. But I’d file this post under a “miss” for him. It’s a little like writing a post on “5 ways Apple could improve Windows” – nice speculation, but just not going to happen. 

Why not? Simple: Google has precisely zero interest in “breaking carrier control”. Far from it, in fact – consider how the company “amended” its position on network neutrality in order to get into bed with Verizon. If it’s willing to drop its principles faster than a hot potato to curry favour with mobile phone carriers, why would it rock the boat? 

What’s more, the vast majority of mobile phones are sold direct, though carriers. Google’s experiment with selling phones direct was a resounding failure (which is why “Nexus Two” won’t follow the same model as Nexus One). The company has managed to gain traction and support from carriers who want an alternative to Apple, which they see as a far greater threat. Why would Google undermine that? Answer: It won’t.

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