Mobile

Google hints at no Nexus One for Verizon

Verizon users been waiting patiently for Google’s Nexus One smartphone since it announced the device in January. At the time, it said the phone would be headed to Verizon stores sometime in spring. But now it looks like Verizon may be the only provider not to get the device, according to a recent blog post by Google (via GearLog).

The post, which details some recent Nexus One partnerships, recommends that Verizon users check out the recently-announced Droid Incredible instead. Google is also displaying a similar announcement on the Nexus One’s purchase page.

The Incredible is a better phone in practically every way — it sports a better camera, runs HTC’s Sense UI software that improves the phone’s interface, and would likely not have the hardware issues Nexus One owners are seeing. It would make little sense for Google to continue with its plans to bring the Nexus One to Verizon with a superior device coming soon. Still, I know many Verizon users who were eagerly awaiting the Nexus One and who would have appreciated a quicker response from Google on its availability.

Google’s lack of communication about the Nexus One on Verizon affected developers and the Android ecosystem as well. Developers didn’t know when to expect the device on Verizon, which could have had an impact on the production of their apps. Being unpredictable like this isn’t doing Google any good, particularly when it needs carriers on its side.

The Nexus One was initially announced for T-Mobile, which sold it for $179 with a new two-year plan or $529 without a contract. Google later brought out an AT&T-compatible version of the phone for $529 with no contract, and Sprint announced that it will be receiving the phone as well.

Most likely, Google held off on bringing the Nexus One to Verizon because it knew that Verizon was going to push the Incredible as part of its popular Droid line of Android phones. Verizon’s strong marketing machine positioned the Motorola Droid as a sort of anti-iPhone — the Droid was faster, more capable, and less “girly” — and that was a major contributor to the phone’s sales success. The Incredible can fit in well with Verizon’s marketing image. If Google had made the Nexus One available on the carrier, it would have only diluted Verizon’s marketing efforts for the Incredible.

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