Pricing and availability details on Google's expected smartphone have been leaked, according to a report, and the device will likely be available in Canada.
The phone, which has been the subject of intense speculation online over the past few weeks, will sell in the United States for $530 US unlocked and without a carrier contract, or for $180 U.S. on a two-year deal with T-Mobile, according to gadget website Gizmodo.
The device, which will likely be called the Nexus One, also has language in its terms of service agreement that indicate it will be available internationally, the site said.
Earlier this week, Google invited select reporters to its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., for a press conference on Jan. 5. The event will focus on Android, Google's mobile phone operating system, and is expected to see the official unveiling of the Nexus One.
The following day, Google will make its first official appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Canadian media have been invited to Google's booth at a pre-CES event on Wednesday next week. Company spokespeople have declined to confirm whether the phone will be on display at CES, although Gizmodo reports that it will be available for purchase as of Jan. 5.
The Nexus One is reportedly being manufactured by Taiwan's HTC and will be positioned as a competitor to Apple's hugely successful iPhone.
While Apple shook up people's expectations of what a smartphone should be, Google may look to change the way they are sold. Typically, Canadian and American consumers buy a phone from a provider and, in exchange for a subsidy on the device, get tied into multi-year contracts.
Several years ago, Google successfully lobbied U.S. regulators to enact open-access rules, which require wireless carriers to accommodate any devices that consumers want to use on their networks, as long as the technology is compatible.
The Nexus One is expected to be a GSM phone, which means it could theoretically work on T-Mobile and AT&T networks in the United States. In Canada, it could theoretically work on the networks of all the major wireless carriers — Bell, Rogers, Telus and newcomer Wind.
The advantage with Google's approach is that consumers could buy their phone, then shop around for service plans from different carriers, as is the case in other parts of the world.
At their launch earlier this month, Wind executives said they would welcome the rumoured Google phone onto their network. Wind has adopted the same international approach, where its phones are sold at cost and without a contract.
It is unclear, however, whether the device will work on Advanced Wireless Spectrum, the newly available frequency that Wind and other cellphone companies are beginning to adopt.
According to the leaked pricing plans, U.S. customers who opt to go with a two-year T-Mobile plan and get the phone at a discount would have to pay $350 US if they cancel their service within 120 days.