Sprint Nixes the Nexus One. Shocked?

By  |  Monday, May 10, 2010 at 2:53 pm

And one more bit of Android news: Sprint, which was going to let Google sell a Sprint-ready Nexus One phone, has changed its mind. Its rationale is perfectly reasonble: Its upcoming EVO 4G superphone is essentially a souped-up Nexus One, with more power in every department that matters. It’s not clear why the company is only coming to this conclusion now, almost two months after the Sprint Nexus One was announced. Or, really, why it announced the Nexus One at all, given that it unveiled the EVO a week later, largely rendering its version of the Nexus One obsolete before it ever shipped.

Sprint’s decision follows the lead of Verizon, which also announced a Nexus One and then killed it before release. That leaves the original T-Mobile Nexus One and an unlocked, AT&T-compatible version available in Google’s online store. If Google wants to have a future as a phone merchant, it’s going to need to replenish its lineup–Nexus Two, anybody?–and avoid the vaporous quality of two out of the four U.S. Nexus Ones that were announced.

Google may have been trying to reinvent the phone business with the Nexus One, but it fell victim to a pretty basic law of phone marketing: If you announce a phone in early January and don’t actually ship it on a given carrier for months, chances are high that said phone will start to look like an antique before it hits the market. Especially if it runs Android, an platform that’s still evolving in fast-forward mode.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Nate Says:

    Thank you! This article hits the nail on the head for why this decision seems so shady.

    When Sprint announced the Nexus One in March, everyone knew about the Supersonic/EVO 4G. How can you promise to bring the phone and then relinquish it? Nothing has changed since March.

    My guess is that Sprint panicked and announced the Nexus One to prevent customers from leaving, and is now pulling the bait-and-switch with the EVO 4G. I personally would prefer the Nexus One so this is a complete disappointment.

  2. Josh Says:

    Let’s not forget that the Nexus One was supposed to be the flagship Android device. Its allure wasn’t just its specs, but the channel through which it was delivered and its iconic representation of the supposed “iPhone killer.” Now the icon has been ditched by two major carriers simply because there are phones with better specs? Seriously? Something stinks.

  3. Mike Cerm Says:

    If the Nexus One had come out 3 months ago (like it should have), or it were available for less money ($499 vs. $649 for the Evo, unsubsidized), then I don’t see what the problem would have been. Sprint is bereft of good Android phones at the moment, and has been ever since the Droid launch. The Nexus One would have been a great way for Sprint, a low-cost carrier, to have a top-notch phone, and get someone else (Google) to pay for all the marketing costs.

    Until the Evo comes out, anyone who wants a decent Android phone will have to look to another carrier. That’s not a good position for Sprint to be in. If Sprint could have just given Google the go-ahead in a timely fashion, at least there’d be something for the Sprint-faithful to turn to.

  4. Dave Zatz Says:

    I’m bummed. As compelling as the EVO is, I’d be more comfortable with a device having a larger footprint (like the Nexus One should have on all 4 carriers). Also, the N1 screen is smaller in a good way – it’s a narrower phone and thus easier to hold while talking. Now I’m thinking of going with Verizon for the Incredible. Sigh.

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