EXCLUSIVE: The new Google Nexus One smartphone will not be launched in Australia, nor will consumers with an Australian-issued credit card or IP address allowed to buy the phone online, according to US Google sources.
Australian media have also been stopped from attending the launch event, which will take place in the US on the 5th of January 2010, which is the 6th in Australia.
According to a Google invitation seen by SmartHouse, Google will hold a press conference at 10 am in California on January 5, with “demonstrations” scheduled between 11:30 am and 1 pm.
The Google US executive who SmartHouse approached today in an effor to attend the US event said, “No Australian media is allowed to attend the media event as we are not launching the phone in Australia. Other markets have also missed out.”
When asked wh,y the US executive, who did not want to be named, said, “We don’t have to give any explanation.”
The phone, which will be officially launched tomorrow in the US, is set to be sold online into Europe and key Asian markets as well as the US.
All that SmartHouse has been told is that a decision has been taken in the US to not include Australia, with senior Google staff in Australia denied access to the launch event in the US.
One insider said that HTC, which is manufacturing the new Google phone and has a strong market presence in Australia for Google Android phones, requested the ban; however, this has not been substantiated.
Google’s free Android software is currently used as the operating system on more than a dozen smartphones from vendors including Motorola LG, HTC and Samsung.
The HTC-built phone runs Android 2.1 and has a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, a 3.7-inch, 480 x 800 display screen, 512MB of ROM, 512MB of RAM, and a 4GB microSD card.
The new phone also has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash.
According to HTC sources, the new Nexus One is no different than several other Android 2.1-based phones, while Engadget is claiming that the new model is faster than the Motorola Druid phone that is currently being sold in the US.
One noticeable difference, sources say, is that the new phone is significantly faster than the iPhone.