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Android's Budget Future, Now: Droid Eris Free On Contract [Dealzmodo]

Super-spec'd premium phones like the Droid and Nexus One are only part of Google's long term plan for Android. What we have here is a glimpse of Android's other future: Free. Android handsets are the new flip-phones! Sort of!

Today's Motorola Devour launch at Best Buy Mobile brought some extra goodies, including an awkwardly priced Droid, which seems to render its new stablemate kind of unbuyable, and this little surprise: A Droid Eris, which is Verizon's version of the Sprint Hero, priced for free on contract. Not a single dollar! (Except for the 60 of them you'll have to pay out for two years, but who's counting that money, right? Right.)

Point is, budget Android phones are a verifiable thing right now, and even if they're sometimes loaded with out of date version of Google's OS or terrible custom interfaces, they are categorically better than virtually any feature phone. And as data plans become more ubiquitous and (dear god please) cheaper, always-connected, internet savvy smartphones will graduate from the massive trend to the status quo.* And Android, without any licensing fees for carriers or handset manufacturers, will play a huge part in this.