Gizmodo broke the story yesterday on the Nexus One's pricing and restrictions. Though the prices of $530 unlocked and $180 on contract are more than reasonable, we found some of their restrictions hard to swallow. The only way one could get that $180 subsidized price was by get the $39.99 Even More plan plus Messaging and Data. This includes 500 Whenever minutes with unlimited night, weekends, messaging, and data. The monthly total would be $79.99. The first question we asked was "What about family plans?" Well, if you have a family plan and want the Nexus One you must either get an individual line for the $180 price or buy the phone for $530. The other question was "What if I want unlimited minutes"? Well, Google's solution is Google Voice. The Nexus One is heavily integrated with Google Voice. Google wants Google Voice to be the primary voice service being used on the device - T-Mobile wants to be the carrier that launches the Nexus One. So, Magenta and Google came to an agreement that benefits both companies. T-Mobile profits from the 500 minutes and unlimited messaging and data, but still helps Google launch the first wireless Google Voice/mobile VoIP service. Many were also confused that it would be an "invitation only" thing. Well, the N1 is for people you already have and use Google Voice. So the ultimate idea is that T-Mobile makes money from the rate plan whereas Google builds a GV user base, prior to launching a full-on VoIP service towards the end of next year the soonest. Makes sense, right? All this comes from an extremely reliable source, but still should be taken with a grain of salt.
Have you had a Google Voice invite lately?
Google has many kick ass IP's and in my mind just needs to integrate it all into a cohesive platform. That seems to be coming with Chrome OS but N1 definitely feels like a big part of that integration-cohesion.