I watched Google's media event today announcing their new Nexus One Superphone. There was one large surprise - That it will be available on Verizon spring of 2010. Make no mistake about it this is a HUGE hit to RIMM's Blackberry phone franchise.
The Nexus One (and other Android phones/devices) will keep Apple's Iphone honest. This is great news for consumers who have a love/hate relationship with Apple. By offering a competitive device (a better device in some regards), Apple will now have to speed up it's product roadmap that has always remained closed, and proprietary. Possible changes that might be forced on Apple include - Allowing for the consumer to add memory, and swap out their battery as wanted/needed. Better and more powerful camera. A faster and more powerful processor. Ultimately, I believe Apple will need to license their Iphone OS - or face the same single digit market share they have VS Windows in the PC space.
For Motorola, Apple Palm and anyone else in the Smartphone space - this is the 'first shot across the bow' in commoditizing the Smartphone space, just like low end cell phone space has become. With an Open Source OS platform (Android) product differentiation becomes more difficult. Going forward the only way for Smartphone hardware guys to differentiate themselves will be via faster processors, better battery life, better cameras.
For wireless carriers (Verizon AT&T TMobile and Sprint) - Android has nasty mathematical consequences. For the first time, your customer is not necessarily locked into your network. More importantly, Android will accelerate the "ramp" to Superphone devices - which are HUGE consumers of data - hence Bandwidth. The amount of *new* CAPEX to keep up will not mirror the new revenue streams as new Superphone users come online.
Now for the suckiness.... As a consumer, expect to see the Wireless Carriers to start implementing tiered pricing (no different than the Cable companies have). If your streaming music or video, or doing all those fun things that Superphones allow for - get ready ...Your bills gonna be a lot more expensive in a year. All you can eat data will be dead.
You can discuss this with Andy further on Twitter