Google’s Nexus One to Work on Verizon, Too
Verizon reportedly balked at selling Google’s new Nexus One Android smartphone when the search behemoth first approached the carrier.
And for good reason: Verizon (VZ) had worked closely with Google (GOOG) and Motorola (MOT) to develop Droid–the flagship Android handset it was marketing the hell out of this past November–and was presumably a bit irked to learn Google was working on an Android flagship of its own.
All that money spent on those hyperbole-filled “Don’t Be a Sissy ads” for what? For Google to come along a few months later and spew forth a state-of-the-art Android device right from the bowels of the mothership? There can only be one Android flagship, right?
Well, evidently Verizon’s had a change of heart. Because the company is adding Nexus One to its product lineup after all, peddling the device along with T-Mobile and Vodafone (VOD).
For the time being, only T-Mobile will support the phone, but Google executive Mario Queiroz just announced that Verizon Wireless and its corporate sister, Vodafone, will be supporting the phone in “spring 2010.”
For now, you can buy an “unlocked phone” from Google for $529, or pay $179 if you agree to a two-year contract with T-Mobile. No pricing info is available yet for Verizon and Vodafone, but presumably those carriers will also subsidize the cost of the phone for subscribers.
The key point here is that Google is trying to make a fundamental change in the way the mobile business works, particularly in the U.S. The company wants you to buy the phone first, then pick a carrier and plan. If it works, it will “further weaken the power of the carriers,” as Walt Mossberg notes in his review of the Nexus One.