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Sprint Won't Sell the Nexus One

Illustration for article titled Sprint Wont Sell the Nexus One

First, Verizon changed their mind about the Google Phone after releasing the similar HTC Incredible. Now Sprint, weeks before the release of the Evo 4G, has done the same. And with that, the CDMA Nexus One is all but dead.

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When Sprint's Michelle Leff Mermelstein told us that the company wouldn't be selling the Nexus One because of the "upcoming availability of the award-winning Evo 4G," it didn't change much for your average user. The Evo, like the Incredible, looks at least as enticing as the Nexus One, and even shares a lot of the same hardware. Where it diverges, Sprint says it's a "more robust, full-featured device," which, well, it is.

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But what about the Google Phone? It wasn't just a handset, it was an idea. It was Google.com/phone. It was a brand, sort of. We were told to wait for other carriers to jump on board, and that's what a lot of us did. And now it seems that the Google Phone, only sold on contract with one major carrier, its launch partner T-Mobile, has suffered the same fate as so many of its fellow handsets: It has become just another Android phone.

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DISCUSSION

I don't understand why Verizon or Sprint get to cancel the Nexus One. The headline says "Sprint won't sell the Nexus One" but as far as I'm aware it was never the plan for Sprint to sell the Nexus One. The whole point was that Google sold the Nexus One, and they'd give you one that you could activate on Sprint if you wanted.

You can get a Nexus One for AT&T even though they never endorsed the phone in any way. Why is it that anybody can sell a phone for GSM carriers but it's so hard to sell a phone that'll work on a CDMA network? I know CDMA phones don't have SIM cards, but you can still switch accounts to any phone through the carrier's website in basically the same way using the serial numbers, can't you?

Why can't Google just say fine, if you don't want to subsidize the phone then we'll just make one available that people can bring to your network the same way they did for AT&T?