Google Takes Another Stab At Smartphone Market

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UPDATED: Google is capitalising on their own software with the release of the Samsung-made Google Nexus S with the latest version of Android, coined Gingerbread.
The new release, slated for release on December 16 in the US (under a year since the last Nexus release) will use version 2.3 of the Android operating system. Google is withholding Gingerbread from open-source until sometime in the coming weeks, being the only firm on the market with the software.

“Samsung Electronics Australia is excited at the prospect of bringing
the Nexus S to Australia. We are currently reviewing our options on how
to bring this to market locally and look forward to sharing more details
at a later stage,” said a spokesperson for Samsung.

Vodafone is the current carrier for previous Google phones in Australia, with the original Nexus One going for $79 per month of a 24-month cap plan. The US price of US$199 on a two year contract or US$529 outright has remained consistent across the Nexus One and Nexus S, so pricing with Vodafone in Australia could follow suit.

Vodafone are yet to lock in a carrier contract of any sort with Google to supply their phones, and an Australian release is also yet to be set.

The Nexus One suffered low sales earlier this year compared to other Android phones and the iPhone, but touting new technology and the latest Android upgrade could fare well for the mobile contender.

The Nexus S uses new hardware like Near Field Communications (NFC), a short-range wireless technology that allows phones to be used as e-tickets, for small payments and scanning ‘smart adverts’ that display information on the handset. The technology, which has been widely used in Japan for years, can scan objects implanted with an unpowered NFC chip that relays information back to the handset.

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