Google Nixes Verizon Edition of Nexus One

Google has quietly canceled plans to release a Verizon version of its Nexus One phone and is instead steering customers toward the HTC Incredible, a phone described as a "Nexus One on steroids" by one analyst. As a result, industry watchers are weighing the news and what it means for the search giant's foray into marketing its own smartphones.

Customers visiting the Nexus One shopping page recently began seeing a change in its text, which had previously stated that the Verizon Nexus One was coming soon, but now reads: "For Verizon’s network, you can buy the Droid Incredible by HTC, a powerful Android phone and similarly feature-packed cousin of the Nexus One."

Verizon Wireless, the mobile phone joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, will begin offering the well-reviewed HTC Incredible on April 29. HTC also makes the Nexus One for Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), which first launched in January of this year on the T-Mobile network. Since then, Google has expanded to offer an AT&T version of the phone, with a Sprint phone coming soon.

"We won't be selling a Nexus One with Verizon, and this is a reflection of the amazing innovation happening across the open Android ecosystem," a Google spokesperson said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com. "Verizon Wireless customers who want an Android phone with the power of the Nexus One can get the Droid Incredible by HTC."

That's not to say Google is giving up on the Nexus One. Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering at Google and head of the smartphone initiative, told the San Jose Mercury News this past weekend that Google is in it for the long haul.

"There's going to be another one and another one and another one and another one. It's just going to get better," Rubin told the paper.

Avi Greengart, research director for consumer devices at market research firm Current Analysis, believes Google never intended to be a mass phone seller, merely to show what the Android operating system it backs can do.

"You could say Google got what it wanted, regardless of how it had been achieved," Greengart told InternetNews.com. "Google's goal wasn't to sell a ton of branded handsets, but [to demonstrate] that this class of handset was available, and as long as it's available from its licensees, there's no need to compete with its licensees."

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Google, Android, smartphone, Verizon, nexus one