Google CEO Eric Schmidt showed off an unannounced Android device at an industry conference, which many have speculated is the Nexus S made by Samsung, Google's next flagship phone and the successor to the HTC-made Nexus One.
Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Schmidt talked a great deal about Android and demonstrated a new device that bears striking resemblance to reported images of the Nexus S. Schmidt said the device runs Android 2.3--codenamed Gingerbread--and said the new version of the platform will be released within the next few weeks. He said Google will integrate Near Field Communications technology into Gingerbread, enabling users to make retail purchases via their smartphones.
Both Google and Samsung have declined to comment on speculation about the device. Reports have indicated that T-Mobile USA will be a partner for the phone (T-Mobile was the first carrier partner for the Nexus One).
In July, Schmidt said that Google found the Nexus One "was so successful, we didn't have to do a second one." However, during his talk, Schmidt clarified that there would never be a Nexus Two, but left open the possibility of a Nexus successor of some kind.
"I said there would never be a Nexus Two. I said Two," he said. "You notice the similarities between an S and a 2."
Google first introduced its high-end Nexus One smartphone, complete with a direct-to-consumer sales strategy, in January. At the time, the company promised to reshape consumers' smartphone perceptions and fundamentally change the way handsets are purchased--a change that involved bypassing the operator altogether and challenging Google's own Android licensee handset vendors in the market. However, in May Google announced it would stop selling the Nexus One via its website, and would shutter the direct-to-consumer effort.
Schmidt defended Google's approach to mobile, in contrast to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). "The Android model is different from the Apple model, very distinctly on pretty much every point. And it's open systems vs. closed systems. And closed systems have their advantages, and open systems have their advantages," he said. "We're willing to let the carriers and the vendors and so forth set their pricing, set their distribution terms and so forth. We think that that's the right model."
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