Google announced yesterday to close their online phone store selling the Nexus One.
When Google announced their plan to sell a phone unlocked, many thought this will disrupt the carrier phone sales model. I still think that consumers would like unlocked phones and the free choice of a carrier. The problem is merely that Google is good at free services, but a newbie to sell and offer customer service for devices. Additionally Google has competing with its Android OS partners by selling phones direct.
Apple is selling the iPhone online in their store today. It is not unlocked, but I think Apple would be also successful selling the iPhone unlocked. Apple would of course face a major backlash from carriers. Steve Jobs and his smart Apples would have to think about a business model that would give the consumer free carrier choice, but also give carriers high enough revenue opportunities from iPhone users.
It would be great if the phone market some when will be like the car market. You buy a car from one vendor, but you are free to choose at which gas station you fuel it. You can choose to lease, buy or finance a car and you can sell it.
I would love to have a functioning market for used phones. This way you can recoup some of the cost and go treat myself to a new phone when I want to.