Nexus One for $180 (With Contract) or $530 (Unlocked)?

Gizmodo reported late yesterday that according to leaked screen shots of yet-to-be-posted Google (GOOG) web pages, the Nexus One Android-based smart phone expected to be unveiled next Tuesday will be priced at $530 unlocked, or $180 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile at $79.99 a month.

That’s a far cry from the (wildly?) optimistic predictions that Google might offer the Nexus One (which was reportedly built by phone manufacturer HTC under Google’s strict supervision) unlocked with its own subsidy, the idea (perhaps) being to make up the difference through advertising or simply to grab as big of a user base as possible.

Indeed, some (hey, me too) had hoped that an unlocked Nexus One for a Google-subsidized $199 was in the cards, but if the $530 unlocked price tag is true, that would make the slick new phone essentially “just another Android handset, albeit a very good one” (as Gizmodo puts it).

After all, consider the fact that you can get a no-contract, Android-powered Motorola Droid from Verizon Wireless for $560, or a Motorola Cliq from T-Mobile for $400 on a month-to-month basis.

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