With Nexus One on Sprint, Google Finally Flips Sales Model

nexus one thumb

And then there were four. Sprint today announced that Google’s Nexus One is coming to the Sprint network, although the exact date is still forthcoming. It also sounds like the two companies are chatting about qualifying plans, so unlike the AT&T version – just announced yesterday — there could be a specific Sprint plan for use with the Nexus One. That makes sense because GSM-based unlocked phones have plans tied to the SIM card — CDMA phones typically have no SIM, so the plan is tied to the phone. Sprint does point out that its Everything Data 450 plan at $69.99 a month — the same plan I used with my Palm Pre — would offer a great value for the Nexus One. I suspect that any of the Everything Data plans will be choices for the phone.

There’s nothing new in the way of specifications — Sprint is getting the same Nexus One as the other three U.S. carriers. In fact, the whole Sprint press release looks more like a Google PR to me. The release even points out how useful Google Voice is for managing calls and voicemail transcription. And the phone will be offered online, which continues the Google direct-sales model.

It’s interesting to note that for first time in recent memory, Google has finally flipped the traditional U.S. cellular sales model. How’s that? Typically customers here pick their carrier first and then decide which of the phones that carrier offers will best meet their needs. Once the Nexus One becomes available for all four carriers, customers can pick the phone first and the carrier second. That assumes they want a Nexus One of course, but I’d expect more Android phones added to the Google sales desk. And it’s probably not the first time this has happened — everyone offered a RAZR, if memory serves — but it’s the first time I recall it happening with a cutting-edge smartphone so quickly.

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

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