Google set out to revolutionize or at least disrupt the mobile phone market with its Nexus One smartphone which it only made available online. The idea was to create an online marketplace for mobile devices to be sold contract-free, something that doesn’t happen in the US. Several months later and after disappointing sales, Google seems to be sweetening its tone, at least partially.
The Nexus One is about to hit the UK shores carried by Vodafone. The phone is already available for pre-order online and will be in brick-and-mortar stores by the end of the week. It will also be available with no upfront cost, but with a somewhat pricey £35 per month plan. On the face of it, the Brits are getting a pretty nice deal. The phone is slated to go on sale in other countries around Europe under similar deals.
All this may give hope to US folks about a similar move Stateside. But, Google has made it clear that it has no intentions of selling the Nexus One anywhere else than in its online store in the US. In fact, it’s making sure that no rumors start flying around, Verizon will not carry the Nexus One in the US.
“In the US, if you’ve been waiting for the Nexus One for Verizon Wireless’ network, head over to phones.verizonwireless.com/htc/incredible to pre-order the Droid Incredible by HTC, a powerful new Android phone and a cousin of the Nexus One that is similarly feature-packed. It will be available in stores on April 29th,” Google announced on its Nexus One blog.
The interesting part of the announcement is that Google is not only not peddling its own product, but is promoting a ‘competitor,’ the HTC Incredible which will carry the Droid brand with Verizon. Of course, the Nexus One is also built by HTC and, in fact, shares many characteristics with the Incredible. The decision not to offer the Nexus One with Verizon may seem a bit odd especially since it’s already available for T-Mobile, AT&T and soon for Sprint as well.
However, Google is also in a tight position, it has to play nice with the carriers and the phone manufacturers if it wants its Android operating system to continue to grow. The Incredible is likely to benefit from Verizon’s marketing machine, like the Motorola Droid did before it, and having the Nexus One as an alternative would probably have disrupted that.