Vodafone first with Google Nexus in Europe

Having missed out on the iPhone and Palm Pre, Vodafone has at last grabbed the opportunity to be first to launch a new smartphone in Europe--Google's Nexus One. The company said that it would make the handset available soon--probably in the spring, with a contract price of around €200 with a monthly subscription of €50.

However, Google's launch announcement also made reference to O2 and Orange being able to offer the Nexus One, but was vague on details other than it would be this year. Pricing information provided further clues by claiming that, for France, the Nexus One would be sold SIM-free for €450.

The HTC-designed handset, which Google has labelled as a new category of device called superphone (without defining how this class is different from a smartphone), contains a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 3.7-inch organic light emitting diode display, voice-enabled keyboards, a three-dimensional photo gallery, Google Maps Navigation and the latest Android 2.1 operating system.

While Google's entry into the smartphone market is sure to have a significant impact - and place further pressure on Nokia to respond, a new survey by ChangeWave Research discovered that, of those people who are going to purchase a smartphone over the next three months, the majority will choose an iPhone, while devices based on the Android operating system followed a close second.

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