Out of the blue, Google has begun selling the Galaxy Nexus through its Play Store for the nice price of $399 - Unlocked. Something that has not been done before and certainly reminds of the beloved Nexus One which was the first phone to be available to buy from google.com/phone but something that is bound to turn a few heads and annoy a carrier or two. Not only was it sold by Google, it was sold Unlocked - no contract, no SIM locking (something I see no point of) - a nice rescue from the TelCo giants. The Nexus One kicked off something big, perhaps not mainstream big but, it certainly received its fair share of attention - even if it didn't do that well. Google announced this with a post on their mobile blog with the following excerpt:-
"First available in the U.S., Galaxy Nexus costs $399 and arrives at your door unlocked, without a carrier commitment or contract. You can use it on the GSM network of your choice, including T-Mobile and AT&T. It also comes pre-installed with the Google Wallet app which lets you easily make purchases and redeem offers with a tap of your phone. Best of all, we'll give you a $10 credit to get you started with your new mobile wallet."
The Nexus One was, for me, the device that finally turned me on to Android, it got me looking and it got me interested more than I had been before. When the time came for me to put down my iPhone for good it was the Nexus One I was after, the design, the power, the freedom. For years I had been running Linux on and off since 14, its main attraction was the freedom and choice I had for every aspect of the OS, something this PC-in-my-hand - thanks to Apple - didn't give me. The Nexus One and Android were something to give it me. I didn't get the Nexus One in the end as I was locked to O2 and the financially viable thing to do was get a free HTC Desire - the Nexus' cousin - and run AOSP ROMs on it and from then on I was hooked. Android was in my life and going nowhere.
Whilst I might not be an average user case, I'm certainly not alone. A quick YouTube search for "iPhone vs Android" or some such will bring you to numerous videos stating Android has greater choice and flexibility. What better way to show this than to sell you and Unlocked device from the Play Store - the now hub of all content on Android? For $399 this seems a little steep for the device but, then again you can run this using the plan you already have or with another plan. Best thing of all is this phone becomes your phone, it's not Verizon's Galaxy Nexus, or Sprint's Galaxy Nexus it's your Galaxy Nexus, from Google of course.
The above is exactly why I bought my Nexus S last year (yes I was late to the party, sue me), I wanted a new device as mine was running a little long-in-the-tooth but I certainly didn't want to double up on my phone contract so, I ponied up the cash and bought an unlocked Nexus S (the i9020 for the die-hard fans) and I absolutely love it. The feeling of having stock, beautiful and fast stock Android on a device that is mine to do as I wish with is brilliant. Google played it a little different - at least here in the UK - and sold the Nexus S exclusively at Carphone Warehouse. A place which I don't really enjoy going to but, I did get to see it's wonders before slapping down my hard-earned cash down. Something that is important to me, there's only so many video reviews you can watch, so many reviews you can read, if you don't like it then you don't like it. It's always nice to try before you buy.
It's not just the Galaxy Nexus on the Play Store that has piqued interest today but, also the opening of the "Devices" section, a section that I feel will become full of other devices soon, imagine if Google let manufacturers sell their international devices unlocked? That would certainly be a dream come true for many. What does the near-future hold for this new section you wonder? Well, wouldn't it become a great place for that Nexus Tablet we've all heard so much about to set up camp?