Ever since Verizon announced that they were not selling the Google Nexus One phone, there has been speculation about whether Sprint would do the same. Today the speculation has ended with an announcement from Sprint that they too have decided to not sell the Nexus One. Sprint customers should not be too disappointed, however, because they can buy what may be the best Android phone to date, the HTC EVO, which supports Sprint’s 4G network.
The announcement by Sprint rekindles talk about the success or failure of the Nexus One. In truth it is difficult for anyone other than Google to really know. We don’t truly know why Google chose to directly sell a mobile phone, and more importantly, we don’t know how much the Nexus One costs Google. The phone is manufactured by HTC and was developed in a partnership between Google and HTC, which is not different from how all other Android phones made by HTC have been developed. What makes the Nexus One different from other HTC phones is that it does not include HTC’s software and it is sold only from Google’s web site rather than from HTC’s or from carrier stores. I expect that inventory for the phone was in HTC’s facilities and that the phones shipped from HTC facilities.
I have been very happy with my Nexus One and I expect one of the benefits I will see from owning the “official” Google phone is getting the next upgrade to Android before it is available for Android phones sold by the carriers. I still believe the Nexus One is the best smartphone that I have owned even though I think it suffers from a design flaw that affects radio performance. The issue of oscillation between Edge and 3G is well documented, but I also find the Bluetooth connection to not be as good as with my other phones and I also see occasional problems with Wi-Fi.
While the fate of the current Nexus One is now pretty well known (GSM only, available for the T-Mobile and AT&T networks in the U.S.), the question will be whether there will be a Nexus Two. I suspect we won’t know Google’s answer to the question about the success or failure of the Nexus One until December or January, when Google has historically provided new phones for free to their employees that later were sold to consumers.