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Google phone expected to debut in U.S. this week

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"...but buyers of the Google phone will reportedly have their choice of wireless carriers."

I think that is going to make a huge difference in terms of early sales of the Nexus and hopefully this will lead Apple to abandon their stupid one carrier policy.

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I think that is going to make a huge difference in terms of early sales of the Nexus and hopefully this will lead Apple to abandon their stupid one carrier policy.

Can't the iPhone be bought outright from apple? I know it's a little more expensive...

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Nexus One will cost $530 “unlocked”

if Google really wants a good share of the market, they should give it for free. IMO, $530 is too expensive these days.

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LostinNagoya - if they give it away free - er what are they going to make money on?

I just bought the HTC Magic in Japan - aka HT-03A on Docomo, and it runs Google android OS. It, quite simply - rocks. I think Google are going to be strong in this space.

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...hopefully this will lead Apple to abandon their stupid one carrier policy.

AT&T's exclusivity contract clause with Apple doesn't expire till some time in the fourth quarter of this year - provided AT&T doesn't sweeten the pot with Apple to extend it an additional year (which they did back in '08). I don't think Apple really cares if it maintains its contract or not with AT&T, because smart touch phones are so obsequious these days that every carrier has their own version of an iPhone. The only thing I see that the iPhone has over the other clones, is it's app store.

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android (google) has a fast growing app store as well. iPhone definitely is better populated right now, but there are many strong additions coming into marketplace now they support paid apps - i.e. commercial development.

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I just bought the HTC Magic in Japan - aka HT-03A on Docomo, and it runs >Google android OS. It, quite simply - rocks.

I just checked it out. When I checked out their Pro series the phones are non-compatible with most functions and services. You are basically buying an expensive basic keitai. It certainly doesn't do as many things as the iphone. Even their Blackberry's are quite simple. I don't see the purpose of buying a smartphone if you can't really use it.

The docomo PRO series SH-04A is the only one that will have a lot of cool features and services.

Check it out:

http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/product/

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MartyP... I'm not sure if the iPhone can be bought directly from Apple in Japan. I bought mine at a Yodobashi Camera store that has Softbank set up in their store.

Does anyone know if people can go straight to the Apple Store to get an iPhone???

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You can buy them online. With those you can get a simple plan and used the SIM card from your cheap phone. This was with the 3G model. Now I'm not sure about the 3GS.

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Doesn't compare with iPhone, which by the way you can use Google on. BUT:

"Apple’s popular iPhone, for example, is available exclusively in the United States through AT&T, but buyers of the Google phone will reportedly have their choice of wireless carriers."

THIS will make a huge difference... if of course it actually happens. I can't see the carriers so freely agreeing to it (except Docomo in Japan after making the stupid mistake of turning down iPhone).

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A friend turned me on to Fring.com . It bundles up all the sms protocols together into a single VoIP system. Haven't tried it yet but it makes sense to just be online if there are enough wifi points around you, then I wouldn't have to pay anyone for calls. I guess it would depend on the city.

This is inevitable that the phone will be a networked device. Might as well merge it

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phone networks are already digital, so a Wifi connection to it just makes the phone companies ISPs and functionally obsolete

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sf2k: True, it's inevitable. I was pretty impressed that you can get free applications on the iPhone like Skype, and figured instead of calling family overseas via regular roaming I would just Skype out. Sadly, because of 'contract conflicts', you cannot do it -- at least not in a WiFi zone, and Japan still doesn't have many hotspots (unpassword protected, anyway).

It's inevitable, but the powers that be are doing their best to make sure that inevitability is delayed. Companies have or are finding ways around becoming obsolete, as you say; in many places with WiFi you have to make a profile and register personal information, and even pay in many cases, some hourly fee. These are at places that WERE previously free, like airports, McD's, and Starbucks, etc.

When the next generation of technology comes out and everything is wireless, including solar powered and blue tooth charging, I'm sure they'll find a way to try and charge you for those as well (well, the former anyway, since you have to have your own WiFi spot to do the latter).

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SmithinJapan,

There are ways to get around the contract conflicts and use Skype. The same conflicts are put into place to keep foreign competitors from getting a comparative advantage over Japanese companies. Protectionism at its best!

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Sorry biglittleman...what is it that the HT-03a cant do? It canplay music and video and has gps, wifi, 3g, accelerometer, youtube native client, a still/video camera (admitedly not the best among android devices, plenty of goo dapps in the app store, and wow it doesnt need itunes to function. Admitedly it doesnt have IRDA, but it does have bluetooth, japan is one of the few countries whose phones still stick with IRDA. It cant do keitai wallet, well I never use that anyway. 1seg....so I can watch Japanese TV? No thanks. I dont even watch JTV at home.

Anyway, perhaps I am wasting my breath of you are just an apple fan, Im not an android fan, justa user. It does heaps and works fine for me and the contract is far far far FAR cheaper than anything softbank can offer. I almost got an iphone untill I got fed up with softbanks rubbish. Glad I switched to the HT-03A and docomo.

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If you have WiFi, Skype and an iPhone = pop the Sim out with a small paper-clip temporarily. =disable the cell network. I believe there is an app for hacked iPhones that ghosts the cell network = cell still works but the phone thinks it doesn't = Skype works.

iPhones can be unlocked for use on other networks.

Many people are buying many iPhones, not honoring the contract and selling them. Buy an iPhone for $99 ($50 refurb) and selling them for $300+ unlocked no contract.

My old edge iPhone had the audio go bad = now a wifi computer device at home. Had to use an adapter to use regular headphones with the first iPhone.

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I have a friendo who turned his Itouch into an Iphone with skype. Cheapest phone system around.

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I have a friendo who turned his Itouch into an Iphone with skype. Cheapest phone system around.

yeah, but have to find a wifi spot to use it, but of a pain in the old derriere

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also can't receive any calls unless you stay in wifi area and your ipod touch is constantly turned on running only skype.

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smithinjapan,

checkout www.fring.com and click fring is. Under how fring works, you'll find SIP information that allows you to use GSM/CDMA networks. You can then use a provider of your choice.

Yes it will depend on Wifi zones but Fring automatically connects for you, even the intermediaries.

I'm not affiliated with http://www.fring.com , nor do I even have a wifi phone yet! But as soon as I do, I'm only paying an ISP and only if I need to.

This probably explains why the guy with an iTouch could use Fring to make it a phone. From the Fring site: "Make cheap local and international calls to landlines and regular mobile contacts using your SkypeOut account or hundreds of SIP-based providers such as Eutelia, GizmoProject, VoipCheap, VoipStunt, Free World & SIPNET over fring, even from non-SIP enabled handsets "

Fring seems to merge all the fiddly bits together so I really want to try it ;)

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smithinjapan,

yes providers are sticking it to their customers. Here in Toronto, Rogers have crazy rates for data, and most blackberries are company provided not user bought.

However an unlocked phone means then I would only pay for data to a provider of my choice, if I had more of a choice.

Once that happens, people can use a base provider or use free Wifi networks, or both. Plus whatever SIP provider for local calls. Overall it would be much cheaper.

We had a new entry into the market recently called Wind. They haven't fully rolled out yet, but the potential is certainly there to oust Rogers and others.

The Google Nexus One pushes to market a totally non phone company phone. Once that idea hits, phone companies are toast.

So visit Fring, check out what it can do now. I was certainly surprised, you might be too.

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