But I made a mistake with the G1. It was after all the original Google phone and while I felt like I paid to be a beta tester, I think Google has finally got Android right with version 2.1, the rumored Android version that is suppose to ship with the device.
At the same time, I like the fact that it'll be unlocked if we buy it from Google directly. No contracts. The number that's being thrown around on the Web is that it'll be around $200 unlocked but I think that's highly unlikely.
Here are what I think are the likeliest scenario as far as prices are concerned:
- $400 unlocked right off Google's website - there will be no need for contract
- $199 for a subsidized N1 from T-Mobile. I'm not sure ATT will be carrying despite what the media is yapping about it. It's only because it's a GSM phone and ATT has the only other large GSM network in the United States.
- $99 is also possible but I'm not sure that'll happen. At this entry point, Google maybe taking a bit of a hit in its profit. I only mention it because it isn't out of the realm of possibilities for N1 to be subsidized to $99.
There is one unlikely pricing model that I want to throw out there: Google will sell the N1 at a loss hoping to drive large scale interests in an attempt to shift the mobile market to its favor. In order to do this, Google will try to recoup the initial through advertisement. Essentially, users will be asked to view ads in order to get the N1 cheap or free. And for those who would rather do without the ads, they can pay for the phone outright.
We'll know in a few weeks whether Google is going to really release N1 for the general public. I think after my G1 experience, I'll probably be a week or two behind everyone else to make sure that the N1 is going to provide me with the the Google mobile experience that the G1 should have been.