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Summary:

First the Verizon Nexus One fell through, and now comes word that Sprint will not be offering Google’s flagship phone, either. There are better Android handsets out there anyway, so this is not a big loss. Strangely, an surely mistaken tip has Sprint getting the iPhone.

Nexus One thumb

It seemed that an EVDO version of Google’s Nexus One was a sure bet. Google had been promising a Verizon version of the Nexus One since launch, and that was followed by word that Sprint would also be handling the phone. Recently Google itself dropped the promise of the Verizon model, and today comes word that the Nexus One is off the Sprint table, too.

This is not that big a deal to either carrier, as Verizon has the Droid Incredible and Sprint is preparing the launch of the 4G-enabled EVO. It probably does spell the end for the Nexus One, Google’s flagship phone for its experimental business model aimed at removing the carrier from the phone business. I guess the carriers are thumbing their collective noses at Google. It’s not clear if Google will ever release another phone.

In the “totally unlikely to come true” department, yesterday I was told that Sprint will be getting the iPhone this summer. You heard that right, while rumors have long pointed to Big Red getting the iPhone this year, never has it been mentioned that Sprint would be selling the iPhone. I can’t believe this is true, although the source has been reliable in the past and does work for Sprint. I’m not holding my breath.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Marketing Handsets in the Superphone Era

  1. Just got a 4G overdrive from Sprint for my iPad since the higher speed will be online sooner. I certainly wouldn’t have a problem giiving them all my business.

    On the other hand, two networks less waiting.

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  2. Unsubsidized phones get no love. Apple at first tried to have a unique way of selling it’s first Iphone and that model failed for them. Google tried something different and it failed for them. I wish the Nexus One had both T-Mobile and AT&T 3G bands so it could give some carrier independence.

    I’m also guessing the Andriod manufacturers didn’t like Google competing with them. But it would be nice to see a Nexus 2 even if it is just a “development phone”

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  3. :( I guess Sprint tricked me into staying on for a few months when they promised Nexus One support, but now I will switch to T-Mobile. Crippled Sprint-controlled phones scare me.

    Seriously, how can they just back out after promising this? Everyone knew about the Supersonic/EVO at the time of that announcement, so it’s not like they planned this all along?

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    1. ???

      Sprint phones have never been crippled… you must be thinking of Verizon. :)

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  4. I really want an iphone. please put on sprint network!

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    1. Ditto! iPhone and Sprint!!!!!

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  5. I hope this is true. Man… I can only imagine.

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  6. Sprint called me a few weeks ago wanting to “add value” to my plan. She told me that in a meeting they were told they would be getting an iPhone this summer. I have the pre, and had high hopes for Palm but they fell short on the hardware. Give me a choice between an iPhone and an EVO and I will be in heaven!

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  7. Shame, nexus one is a good phone and choice is always good. Doesn’t look good for a Moto nexus two.

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  8. If the EVDO iPhone comes out on Sprint and not verizon, verizon is going to see some serious consumer churn. Most verizon users seem to be recovering sprint users who need better coverage and suffered through the dark days of poor CS. Now that sprint coverage is really good and has high speeds and non-crippled phones and cheap rates, this could be huge. Not only that but it would dramatically shift the mobile market to three viable carriers instead of two (which is where we are heading).

    Plus I would serially consider Sprint, but after being an Alltel customer swept up into verizon, I will never go back to the high rates and crippled phones of verizon.

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  9. I surely hope so. Sprint has great for 4 years for me. It would be a fine match for both Apple and Sprint.

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  10. Hard to see the iPhone on Sprint this summer in light of Apple just confirming that AT&T got a 5 year exclusivity deal (2007-2012) as reported on several other sites yesterday.

    Regarding the Nexus One CDMA phones dying on the vine, do we actually have confirmation that it was the CARRIERS that dumped the phone, and not Google or HTC? Sprint was crowing they’d have the N1 real soon now just a couple of weeks ago. Why do that if they were thinking of canceling it?

    I own a Nexus One, and it’s got some great features, but it’s got some serious flaws as well. The touchscreen is sub-par compared to even three year old iPhones; it’s flakey and inaccurate. Touches often don’t get registered in the right place (makes typing a pain), and sometimes not all, requiring you to cycle the screen (sleep mode).

    The N1 also has some serious radio issues (at least on T-Mobile) with the poorly placed antenna. Holding the phone the way you naturally do causes your palm to block the antenna signal and seriously deteriorates signal strength.

    Perhaps these technical issues were too much to overcome for the CDMA version and HTC or Google canned the projects. Perhaps sales were just too low for the T-Mo and AT&T versions that Google decided it wasn’t worth the effort for more market fracture on the device and canned the project.

    I’m not too happy with Nexus One on T-Mobile. That’s mostly T-Mobile’s fault (missed calls, no signal, no 3G in many areas of Los Angeles I frequent), but the touchscreen issue, and another $580 investment (you guys forget the 10% sales tax when you quote the price) makes switching to AT&T with the N1 not too exciting a prospect, especially in light of the HTC Incredible (if you’re a Verizon nut), the Sprint EVO 4G (this is currently top of my list as potential N1 replacement) and the imminent iPhone 4th gen (I won’t call it the iPhone 4G because it doesn’t support a 4G network). I’m not sure why anyone would be buying a smartphone in the next 6 weeks without knowing what Apple’s got up its sleeve – unless you’re just dead set against the iPhone or AT&T.

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