SKT, KT, Samsung uninterested
Google’s Nexus S
By Kim Yoo-chul
Nexus S, Google's brand-new smartphone is facing an uncertain future with major telecom carriers reluctant to sell it.
The latest edition of Google’s Nexus “superphone” lineup is now available in the U.S. but SK Telecom and KT are showing no signs of marketing it anytime soon.
According to sources, the problem is that Google is insisting on its distinctive software applications, making it difficult for the carriers to launch locally-customized telecom services.
The Nexus is the result of a Google-Samsung collaboration but Google is making all the key decisions such as marketing campaigns and services.
“Currently, we have no plans to introduce Google’s latest Android handset,’’ said Lee In-won, a senior spokesman for KT, the nation's second-biggest mobile carrier, Thursday.
KT, which has been selling the Nexus S predecessor Nexus One since mid-July this year, with about 50,000 sold so far, according to KT officials.
SK Telecom, the nation’s top carrier which has a stronger partnership with Samsung Electronics, is known to have made few breakthroughs with Google, according to SK officials.
SK Telecom spokeswoman Cindy Kang said her firm is still waiting for a change in Google's stance in terms of overseas marketing.
``The Nexus S won’t make a huge impact enough to break the current iPhone stronghold,’’ said one SK official, adding it’s been difficult to upload SK’s well-known software services such as T-Map onto the device.
Samsung officials say the world’s No. 2 phone maker is just manufacturing the Google devices under strict orders from the U.S. software giant.
Google representatives were not available for comments.
The Samsung-Google Nexus S is the first to run on Android 2.3. It features a powerful 1GHz processing unit, comes with a three-axis gyroscope sensor and has a smooth graphics processor that provides a glitch-free game run.
The Nexus S sports a 4-inch ``Super AM-OLED’’ capacitive touch-screen with an ``Oleophobic’’ surface, along with a curved glass screen to improve viewing angles.
But the lack of SD card support and HDMI output are cited as definite drawbacks and the battery life is average at best, which will be an issue for some people.
``I can say that the Nexus S is not that attractive in terms of profit-making, but KT will renew talks with Google as the carrier is still under pressure to recover ailing corporate ties with Samsung over its iPhone sales,” said a top-ranking industry executive.