News Analysis: Android users are faced with a string of smart phones with the version number "two" tacked on. Will the Nexus Two be any different?
Today's round of breathless Android phone
excitement comes from rumors that Samsung and Google will announce the
Google Nexus Two Android phone on Nov. 8. The rumors are by no means
substantiated, although they come from sources, Gizmodo as well as eWEEK's Clint Boulton
, that have been reliable in the past.
But right now there's considerable disagreement
as to whether the Nov. 8 announcement will be for the Nexus Two or for
some other phone. The only thing we know for certain is that it's not
for the Verizon Wireless version of the iPhone 4.
The next questions are all fairly obvious. Why
a Nexus Two? Why is it from Samsung, which already has a line of highly
successful Galaxy S phones? And what's with all these phones named
First, the Two thing. Tech companies,
especially consumer tech companies, like to tack a Two on a product
when the original was very successful or otherwise groundbreaking. It
makes people remember how cool the previous product was and helps them
associate that coolness with the new product. In some cases, such as
Verizon Wireless and the Droid 2, it's a pretty good
Verizon Wireless has been selling a line of
Droids after the success of the initial product, resulting in the Droid
Incredible, the Droid X and the Droid 2. Of the three, the Droid 2 was
the most obvious descendent of the original. Calling it the Droid 2
T-Mobile, meanwhile, has just launched the G2
which is clearly intended to be the next step from the highly
successful G1 phone. The G1 was the first Android phone on the market.
The G2 resembles its predecessor in many ways, but of course is updated
with a much newer version of Android and with support for T-Mobile's
very fast HSPA+ network. Again, the G2 is a very capable phone that's
obviously a descendent of the original, but thoroughly updated.
But what about the Nexus Two? The original was
built by HTC and was sold through Google's Website. It was an unlocked
phone that you could get with T-Mobile service, or without any service,
and just insert your own SIM card. The idea behind the Nexus was to
provide a pure Android platform with a lot of features. The device was
aimed at developers. Part of the deal was that Google would ensure that
the Nexus was kept up to date, giving developers assurance that they
were developing on the latest available platform.