While the Nexus One has officially been discontinued stateside on Google’s website, it seems Google’s first (and probably only) phone will be headed to the cluttered desks of more Android developers as Android’s newest official developer phone.
The Nexus One has clearly enjoyed preferential treatment from the Android team since its release, but the decision to dethrone the Google Ion (aka ADP 2, HTC Magic, MyTouch 3G) is more than anything a statement to third-party developers: Get away from previous generation phones. And with Éclair now running on nearly 60% of Android devices, it’s no wonder Google wants to move the Android development platform forward.
The Android Developers blog is sure to note that Nexus One developer phones will retrieve an OTA update to Android 2.2 shortly after activation, an apparent nudge from Google to get developers on the ever-expanding FroYo bandwagon. If adoption of Android 2.2 has seemed slow, it’s now clear that ball lies in the court of carriers and handset manufacturers.
While the previous iteration of the Android Developer Phone is still available (Google Ion/ADP 2) for $399(USD), a paltry $130 more nets developers a Nexus One— an easily rationalized upgrade. It remains to be seen how long both devices will be available, but it stands to reason that the HTC Magic-based Ion may be on the way out: It certainly is a bit of a dinosaur next to Google’s brain child.
This also means that if you were biting at the bit to buy a new Nexus One in the US and missed the farewell tour, you may be in luck. Anyone with a Google account can register as an Android Developer for $25 and purchase an unlocked Nexus One for $529 directly from Google (availability of AT&T version unknown). Probably not an option for the fiscally conservative among us, but an option nonetheless.