Google's new mobile handset Nexus One will not be available for consumers in India. In the US, it is being sold only through the Google Web store for $529 without a service plan
Internet search giant Google has launched its much-awaited, and correctly predicted by Moneylife along with some other media, its mobile handset titled as Nexus One. Google will sell the phone through its Web store. However, it will currently be available only for US consumers.
"The Nexus One belongs to the emerging class of devices which we call 'superphones'. It's the first in what we expect to be a series of products which we will bring to market with our operator and hardware partners and sell through our online store," Google said in a release.
Google said the Web store would allow consumers to purchase the Nexus One without operator service or with service from T-Mobile USA. Google further said that it expects to add more operators, more devices and more countries in the future, including Verizon Wireless in the US and Vodafone in Europe.
The Nexus One, which was garnering favourable first reviews on tech websites and forums, ships immediately from Google's online store for $179 with a two-year contract from Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA, or $529 without a service plan.
According to Techcrunch.com, Google has a lot riding on this launch. Sure, it would be nice for the phone to be a popular device in its own right. But, as many have pointed out, it’s the disruptive distribution model that’s going to have the biggest impact down the line. Google needs to show that this new online distribution model is something that people are willing to actually use, it added.
Manufactured by HTC, the Nexus One features dynamic noise suppression, a large 3.7-inch organic light emitting diode (OLED) display and a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset for blazing speeds. Running on Android 2.1, the newest version of Eclair, the software includes innovations like a voice-enabled keyboard so that you can speak into any text field, fun Live Wallpapers, a 3D photo gallery for richer media experiences and lots more. Of course, it also comes with a host of popular Google applications, including Gmail, Google Voice and Google Maps Navigation.
Nexus One's launch, especially in the US, assumes significance as T-Mobile and AT&T's exclusivity deals with Apple for its iPhone are about to come to an end. Google's phone would prove to be a shot-in-the-arm for these carriers, who so far had to depend on iPhone for higher-end mobile handsets.
The move also marks a rare foray into direct sales for Google. With the exception of an appliance it markets as a search tool to businesses, the company hasn't sold hardware in the past.
Google became a high-profile player in the mobile arena two years ago, when it launched its Android software. A number of leading handset manufacturers, including Motorola, built phones running the software, some of which contain branding "powered by Google". But the phones—many of which hit the market in recent months—haven't sold nearly as well as Apple's iPhone.
As far as India is concerned, Google's website says "Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country". Officials from Google India were not immediately available for comments. So for Indian enthusiasts, the wait could be a little longer.
The Hinduja Group company has said that it is considering hiking the prices of its products before March due to rising commodity prices
The Hinduja Group-promoted Ashok Leyland Ltd on Wednesday said that it would hike prices of its commercial vehicles (CVs) shortly due to rising input costs, reports PTI.
"Commodity prices are going up and we are already considering hiking the prices of our products. It will happen shortly, before March," Ashok Leyland's managing director R Seshasayee told reporters in New Delhi at the 10th Auto Expo.
He, however, said that there has been a surge in demand for CVs in the last two quarters and the company expects to close this fiscal at a total sales of about 62,000-63,000 units.
When asked about the sales prospects for the next fiscal, he said, "It (growth) should be in double digits."
Mr Seshasayee also said that the government must not withdraw the stimulus package provided by it in the wake of the economic downturn.
He said excise duty reduction, especially in the CV segment, should not be treated as stimulus. The government has cut excise duty on CVs to 8% in phases to spur growth.
"The CV (segment) deserves lower excise duty, therefore that must continue," he said.
Ashok Leyland also said that it would execute orders received from 21 state transport bodies for supply of buses by 31st March this year under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission. Of the 11,000 orders placed by different state bodies, the company got 51% orders.
Byron Wien has been giving his predictions about the US economy, financial markets and politics every year since 1986. According to critics, he has a good feel for the economy and for politics with a slightly bullish bias and it is this bias which blindsided him when it came to the housing bubble
Byron R Wien, vice chairman, Blackstone Advisory Services, who has been giving his predictions about the US economy, financial market and politics since 1986, has unveiled his ten surprises for this year making 2010 the 25th year of his predictions.
Mr Wien began the tradition in 1986 when he was the chief US investment strategist at Morgan Stanley. He joined The Blackstone Group in September 2009 as a senior advisor to both the firm and its clients in analysing economic, political, market and social trends. Here is a list of his predictions and surprises for 2010.
The Surprises of 2010
1. The United States economy grows at a stronger than expected 5% real rate during the year and the unemployment level drops below 9%. Exports, inventory building and technology spending lead the way.
2. The Federal Reserve decides the economy is strong enough for it to move away from a zero interest rate policy. In a series of successive hikes beginning in the second quarter, the Federal funds rate reaches 2% by year-end.
3. Heavy borrowing by the US Treasury and some reluctance by foreign central banks to keep buying notes and bonds drives the yield on the 10-year Treasury above 5.5%. Banks loan more to corporations and individuals and pull away from the carry trade, thereby reducing demand for Treasuries. President Obama says, “The suits are finally listening”.
4. In a roller-coaster year the Standard and Poor’s 500 rallies to 1,300 in the first half and then runs out of steam and declines to 1,000, ending where it started at 1,115.1. Even though the economy is strong and earnings exceed expectations, rising interest rates and full valuations present a problem. Concern about longer term growth and obligations to reduce leverage at both the public and private level unsettle investors.
5. Because it is significantly undervalued on a purchasing power parity basis, the dollar rallies against the yen and the euro. It exceeds 100 on the yen and the euro drops below $1.30 as the long slide of the greenback is interrupted. Longer term prospects remain uncertain.
6. Japan stands out as the best-performing major industrialised market in the world as its currency weakens and its exports improve. Investors focus on the attractive valuations of dozens of medium-sized companies in a market selling at one quarter of its 1989 high. The Nikkei 225 rises above 12,000.
7. Believing he must be a leader in climate control initiatives, President Obama endorses legislation favourable for nuclear power development. Arguing that going nuclear is essential for the environment, will create jobs and reduce costs, Congress passes bills providing loans and subsidies for new plants, the first since 1979. Coal accounts for about 50% of electrical power generation, and Mr Obama wants to reduce that to 25% by 2020.
8. The improvement in the US economy energises the Obama administration. The White House undergoes some reorganisation and regains its momentum. In the November Congressional election, the Democrats only lose 20 seats, much lesser than expected.
9. When it finally passes, financial service legislation, like the healthcare bill, proves to be softer on the industry than originally feared. There is greater consumer protection, more transparency, tighter restriction of leverage and increased scrutiny of derivatives, but the regulatory changes for investment bankers and hedge funds are not onerous. Trading volume and merger activity increases; financial service stocks become exceptional performers in the US market.
10. Civil unrest in Iran reaches a crescendo. Ayatollah Khameini pushes out Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in favour of a more public relations adept leader. Economic improvement becomes the key issue and anti-Israel rhetoric subsides. Talks with the US and Europe begin but the country remains a nuclear threat. Pakistan becomes the hotspot in the region because of the weak government there, anti-American sentiment, active terrorist groups and concerns about the security of the country’s nuclear arsenal.