>It's a hybrid of the business plans of Ting (variable month-to-month pricing without penalties), T-Mobile (free international texts and data), and Apple (special SIM card).
The difference is, Google isn't doing this to make money directly. Google is doing this to put pressure on the established network operators to give users a better deal on data (and therefore use Google's core services more).
I I find most interesting is the flexibility: Going to work? Grab your normal smartphone on the way out of your house. Going camping? Grab the toughphone with the big battery. Going out to get really really drunk? Grab the cheap, lightweight semi-expendable phone.