Google may have shut down its Nexus One Web store, but the company's former Android flagship phone is making a comeback.
The Nexus One will become Google's next official Developer Phone, the Android team announced early Thursday. That means anyone who's registered as an Android developer can buy the Nexus One directly from Google, unlocked and not tied to any single carrier.
Now, that said, the phone won't come cheap: As is the case with most unlocked devices, you'll pay an unsubsidized rate -- you know, since a carrier isn't cutting the cost in exchange for a contract. The Nexus One runs $529 through Google's developer program. That's the same price the unsubsidized model had been sold for publicly back when Google's Nexus One Web store was still online.
(In order to buy the phone now, you have to have an officially registered developer's account. The phone is available in the "Development Phones" section of the Android Developer site.)
The Nexus One is actually Google's third Android Developer Phone. The first Android Developer Phone -- ADP1, as it was known -- was basically a modified version of the T-Mobile G1. At Google's developer's conference last fall, the company introduced the ADP2, which was a similar device to the HTC Magic/MyTouch 3G.
So what's this Developer Phone stuff all about? The whole idea of the program is to provide Android developers with an unlocked, globally supported device that runs the plain vanilla version of Android as opposed to any manufacturer-provided interface (HTC Sense, Motorola Motoblur, and so on). This allows developers to test anything they want on the Android operating system, without any third-party interference.
And for the Nexus One, that means a chance at a second life -- albeit, one with a slightly different purpose than its first.
This story, "Nexus One no more? Think Again" was originally published by Computerworld.