Google Nexus Two Rounds Out the Android Smartphone Two Redux

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 something-Two, anyway?

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 comparison.

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 made sense.

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.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...