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No Verizon Partnership For Google's Nexus One 206

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-you-weren't-waiting dept.
starglider29a writes with news that Google and Verizon Wireless have abandoned plans for a partnership that would bring the Nexus One to the carrier's network. "Without a Verizon partnership, Google loses access to the carrier's more than 90 million customers, potentially blocking the phone from gaining more widespread popularity. The breakdown of the deal signals Verizon may view Google as a competitor rather than a partner when it comes to Nexus One sales, which are probably at less than half a million since the phone's January debut, said BGC Partners's Colin Gillis." A Google spokesman said, "We won't be selling a Nexus One with Verizon and this is a reflection of the amazing innovation happening across the open Android ecosystem." In a brief blog post, Google recommends a similar, Android-based phone from HTC for customers who want Verizon service.
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No Verizon Partnership For Google's Nexus One

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  • A big flop (Score:4, Insightful)

    by calibre-not-output (1736770) on Monday April 26, 2010 @04:19PM (#31988588) Homepage
    Google's idea was great, but it doesn't work in the current carrier-controlled (and I don't mean this in a conspiracy-theorist way) market. The phone is just too expensive up front to compare with carrier-sponsored models that get their price dilluted into your monthly service payments.
    • by JAlexoi (1085785)
      That is why they should have started selling it in Europe first!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TemporalBeing (803363)

      Google's idea was great, but it doesn't work in the current carrier-controlled (and I don't mean this in a conspiracy-theorist way) market. The phone is just too expensive up front to compare with carrier-sponsored models that get their price dilluted into your monthly service payments.

      Their price isn't really that diluted. AT&T for example requires all phones with a full keyboard or that are otherwise considered a smart phone (e.g. iPhone, NexusOne, etc.) to have a data plan. You may be paying $199 for that iPhone up front, but you'll also be paying $30/month for 2 years. Now some phones you can cancel the data plan, but when varies from phone to phone. iPhone requires it at all times (so 2 years, 3 * 24 - $720 later). Some may be as little as 6 months, and may only require the $5/mo

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mspohr (589790)
        I took the opposite path. I ordered a Nexus One a full price and plan on getting the T-Mobile data only plan ($39/month). No phone service at all. I can then use VOIP for phone calls and have data services too.
      • by hedwards (940851)
        Actually, these days, AT&T requires a data plan for all smart phones on their network. In fact if you don't get one, even without a contract, they'll automatically add on to your package. You might be able to get data completely turned off, but typically you do have to pay for the plan like it or not.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by penguinchris (1020961)

        Be careful, I got an unlocked Nexus One (before the AT&T model was available) and used it with my previously existing AT&T plan, and they were able to detect right away that I was using a smartphone and I was informed via SMS that I needed to pay for the data plan.

        You may or may not be able to actually stop the phone from trying to access mobile data - there isn't an option in the settings to disable it. I'm sure there is away around that, but it probably won't be simple and probably will require ro

    • The whole practice of tying phone subsidies to service contracts needs to end. It should be illegal across the board. It gives far too much control over the network and innovation to a few very large companies and really makes it a lot more difficult for new handset manufacturers to enter the market.

      From a consumer fairness perspective, it's a win here also. Right now, carriers do not give you a discount if you provide the handset. They charge the same, whether they give you a branded phone for $30 or you p

      • It should be illegal?

        I'd rather the government not control business that much.

        Google and T-Mobile are offering an altnerative model here where you pay full price for the phone, and then get a discount on your phone plan since you're not paying to subsidize the cost of the phone. If T-Mobile's network didn't suck so much, I'd be interested.

        Verizon is passing on the Nexus, not because it is a bad phone, but rather because they don't want to open the door to this new business model. For instance, what happens

        • by tepples (727027)

          Verizon wants no part of [service plan discounts for bringing your own phone]. I can understand why consumers are upset. But let consumers vote with their wallets rather that over-regulate with Congress.

          Congress is already regulating by allocating spectrum through the FCC.

        • by rsborg (111459)

          It should be illegal? I'd rather the government not control business that much.

          Sure, you'd rather the unelected, rapacious telecom giants collude and control your experience (and wallet) instead. I love you libertarians, who would rather the fascist corporate control over the government boogeyman.

          Yay for freedom! (offer valid only for large corporations)

        • And how will customers vote with their wallets when the only option, as you say, has a network that "sucks so much"? At this point it's not likely that another company can get into the cell phone business, not with the infrastructure cost that the other providers (yes, built to an extent with government money) have already recovered.

    • by shimage (954282)
      Google's idea is stupid because the costs aren't just up front. If you buy the AT&T Nexus One, then you will pay the same service rates as everyone else. Basically, you will be subsidizing everyone else's phones. If you must have a Nexus One, that is fine, but I myself find it difficult to justify the astronomical cost compared to similar devices. If the service plans sans contract were less, then I'd have some incentive to buy the Nexus One, or even to hold onto my old phone. But since I'm going to end
      • Re:A big flop (Score:4, Informative)

        by Enderandrew (866215) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [werdnaredne]> on Monday April 26, 2010 @04:58PM (#31988986) Homepage Journal

        That's not Google's idea. That is AT&T's idea.

        If you buy a Nexus One and sign up with T-Mobile, you get a discount on your monthly rate since you're not subsidizing a phone.

        • by shimage (954282)
          It was Google's idea to release the Nexus One, and that idea is stupid because only T-Mobile discounts rates.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Atmchicago (555403)

      I'm not sure it was a flop. Did Google make money on it? Did they get new customers onto the Android bandwagon?

      Then, there's the other perspective. I just got one, my dad got one, and my brother is considering one too. It's cheaper over the lifetime of a 2-year contract than a subsidized phone. I'm not tied into a contract with T-mobile, and the price is reasonable. The phone works well and synchs with my google contacts, mail, calendar... And if I want, I can change phones whenever I feel like upgrad

      • I'm not tied into a contract with T-mobile

        What other carrier does your phone work on? Are there any carriers operating in the U.S. other than T-Mobile that offer a discount for bringing your own handset? You're just less tied to T-Mobile.

    • Re:A big flop (Score:5, Insightful)

      by astrashe (7452) on Monday April 26, 2010 @04:56PM (#31988938) Journal

      The problem is that you don't get the advantage of having an unlocked phone, which ought to be portability.

      The ideal situation for me would be a world in which I buy my phone, and sign up for monthly service with my carrier. If the carrier sucks, I can cancel my service and go to another one without paying any penalties.

      That doesn't work for lots of reasons. Some of those reasons seem to be policies that deliberately create lock-in (termination fees, even if you buy a phone for $579!), and other reasons seem to be reasonable technical realities (T-Mobile and Sprint use different kinds of networks).

      The government has imposed number portability on the carriers, and that works well when your contract is up. But we still live in this 2 year contract/carrier subsidized phones/early termination fees universe.

      I get dropped calls on my iPhone every day, too. And it would cost me a fortune to leave.

      • by sznupi (719324)

        Don't you mean "The ideal situation for me would be a country in which I ... But we still live in this 2 year contract/carrier subsidized phones/early termination fees country."?

        • Immigration (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tepples (727027)
          Switching to a different country is far more difficult than switching to a different U.S. wireless carrier.
    • A real-world example to support your "a big flop" argument:

      My wife & I were shopping for smartphones and it came down to the Nexus One vs. the Motorola Droid. We already had T-Mobile service. Using the discount for new members and the cheapest two-year data+phone contract T-Mobile offered, the total two-year amount was cheaper than if I had purchased the unlocked phones and used T-Mobile's month-to-month plan for 2 years. Of course, we were ineligible for the new customer price, and T-Mobile could/wo

      • by hedwards (940851)
        In general you don't recoup the price, the carriers usually make out like bandits on the deal. Unless you haven't got the cash to pay up front, you shouldn't get the subsidized phone. At very least you have the ability to walk away from the carrier at any point. You might be stuck with edge instead of 3g for the data, but you can take your money elsewhere.
    • by mspohr (589790)
      Yes, you're right. Google should have done something like partner with a carrier such as T-Mobile to offer a subsidized phone for $179 along with a two year contract at a high enough price to recoup the subsidy for the phone... oh wait!... you mean that they did do this?
    • by fermion (181285)
      I don't think there was any good idea in it. They wanted phones to run an OS that would benefit them, but focused on Google instead of the customer. They then did what Apple did and created a phone that was designed for the customer, not the mobile phone carriers, but then told everyone that it was not a Google phone, and we have no support, and, if you don't like it, we will bill you card an exorbitant amount, on top of the exorbitant amount you already paid. And now we learn that they were lying when t
    • Re:A big flop (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday April 26, 2010 @06:50PM (#31990888)

      Google's idea was great, but it doesn't work in the current carrier-controlled (and I don't mean this in a conspiracy-theorist way) market.

      I don't think the success or failure of the effort depends really depends on how many Nexus One phones get sold. Google isn't trying to compete with Apple as a phone manufacturer, they are trying to prevent any one company -- whether its Apple, RIM, or anyone else -- completely dominating the smartphone market, because that's what keeps open, web-based services (like Google's) important for the smartphone platform, whereas if any single proprietary system dominated smartphones, that system's owner would be able to serve as a gatekeeper to services available on the platform, and that is a threat to Google's fundamental business model.

      A number of Google offerings (notably, Android, Chrome browser, Chrome OS) aren't intended to dominate markets, they are intended to disrupt and prevent market dominance of closed platforms in their respective market. The Nexus One exists as part of that strategy for Android, and as long as it is drawing attention and serving as a tool to promote Android (even if most of the actual sales end up going to other Android phones), its working.

  • No shock there... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nweaver (113078) on Monday April 26, 2010 @04:20PM (#31988590) Homepage

    The HTC Droid Incredible has a better reputation anyway: its faster, and has HTC's UI enhancements not present on the HTC Nexus One...

    So why should Google put its name directly on an inferior phone through Verizon when there is a better HTC phone available soon on Verizon's network?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spikeb (966663)
      not to mention, there is already a kickass android phone on verizon's network: the motorola droid
      • by ckaminski (82854)
        If the Droid is the best the mobile handset market has to pit against the iPhone, I'm convinced it'll die as soon as Apple dislodges AT&T from it's bloated teat and opens the phone to other networks.

        I have a Droid because I need tethering over texting accuracy, and I need service reliability over ease-of-smartphone use. The Droid is good, but it's not polished. Not in a way the iPhone is. And 90% of the Market reviews are spam. Android has potential, but I miss the polish of the iPhone I had for a m
        • I found iPhone 3Gs to be sluggish and painful to use, as compared side-by-side with the Nexus One on the same network. Once iPhone gets multitasking, it'll be a lot better.

          No doubt Android needs more polish to get to where iPhone OS and WebOS are, but I'd take a small learning curve over lacking functionality, any day.

          Droid is a nice device, but I don't like the keyboard. I have a personal preference for the Pre Plus.

          It'll be nice to have some choices when the Incredible and the Evo 4G come out.

    • I don't think its any faster - its the same exact hardware (different display I'm told).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by peragrin (659227)

      That is the single problem with Android phones.

      There is no consistent user Interface. HTC has one Interface, motoraola another, Google yet a third. how can droid hope to compete with the iphone if users can't expect the same interface on all models?

      let alone some models have horrible interfaces which will put end users off on the entire line. you use a motorola droid and hate it. you will think twice about picking up an HTC android model even though the HTC is superior.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        How the hell will things ever improve if no one does anything different? Standardisation is not the answer to everything. If a company thinks they can change something to improve the interface, I'm all for it. It's software Darwinism, with users playing the part of nature.
      • how can droid hope to compete with the iphone if users can't expect the same interface on all models?

        Why would users be bothered? It's not like they walk around juggling several phones. You usually have and use one at a time.

      • how can droid hope to compete with the iphone if users can't expect the same interface on all models?

        lol, wut? Because people are going to buy and use three phones simultaneously? Having different interfaces is better because it allows people to choose one that they find most comfortable. They're only going to be using that one interface for the entire time they have that phone. I don't see how that's complex. Yeah, went they want a new phone months/years down the line, then they might have to think about a different interface. Big deal.

        • by peragrin (659227)

          then why do so many people switch windows aero interface back to the windows classic? Why do so many people make linux look like windows?

          if it isn't a big deal then why go through all that effort?

          • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:25PM (#31989328)
            And what you're describing is choice. Some people like classic interfaces, some people like new interfaces, but where Windows and Linux give people varying degrees of control over the interface, Apple gives you practically no control.

            What choice do you have with the iPhone? None.
            What choice do you get with Android phones? Several different interfaces.
          • by hedwards (940851)
            Because Aero is wasteful and decadent, a lot of people prefer not to waste the resources on it. I know that's why my Windows XP computer is still running without any of the effects.
      • Its more like a reskinned ui - at least between HTC and Google's stock UI. The both operate very similarly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trifthen (40989)

      The problem with having a vendor-added enhancement like SenseUI is that it's vendor added. Any enhancements to Android have to be filtered through the vendor before you'll see the upgrade. Unfortunately, they're always developing new phones, moving on to bigger and better things, and may abandon or at least only pay partial attention to the phone you love. The Incredible is "The Shit" now, but what about when Android 2.2 comes out? What about 2.3? If HTC decides to call it a day, you're stuck with no recour

    • The Incredible didn't exist at the time that Google puts its name on the Nexus One, so it wasn't really an option.

  • Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Monday April 26, 2010 @04:33PM (#31988716) Journal

    What does Google think the Nexus One is it's version of the iPhone? I own a Nexus One and I love the device, but Google is being morons the way they are holding onto it. I should be able to call my carrier for support, especially since Google is absolutely clueless on how to give customer support.

  • Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JAlexoi (1085785) on Monday April 26, 2010 @04:52PM (#31988894) Homepage
    Great!
    Basically they are reaffirming that Android is not to become a "hegemony". Google is there to provide only visionary products to push the manufacturers.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Nexus One is not intended to be a phone for the masses. It was made as a proof of concept for the Android OS. It's purpose is to act as a standard reference point. Remember how over the last 2 years, every phone has been compared with the iPhone? Google's goal is to get everyone to compare new phones to the Nexus one. It is Google's goal for all Android phones to be AT LEAST AS GOOD as the Nexus One--the idea being that, "since the Nexus One is good, so this new Android phone must be great!" After a yea

  • by Darth_brooks (180756) * <clipper377@gm a i l . c om> on Monday April 26, 2010 @04:54PM (#31988916) Homepage

    You know, there is another CDMA based major network carrier out there for the nexus one. One that doesn't care about using forcible sodomy to invoke tethering charges. One that could really stand to make a splash in the handset market, since the Palm Pre hasn't exactly set the world on fire.

    Can we maybe mention Sprint [google.com] (and their current begging for a jumpstart stock price as the link shows) as a player? Sure, their network is closer to AT&T's that Verizon's in terms of quality (or lack thereof), but they're still alive and kicking. As a former Sprint customer, I can say with certainty that they're network is utter shit. However, if Verizon gets too complacent, they could well be staring down competition from a company that will gladly whore itself out to any handset maker that can give them back even a sliver of market share.

    • by Tumbleweed (3706) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:06PM (#31989088)

      As a former Sprint customer, I can say with certainty that they're network is utter shit.

      You say SAY that all you want, but it just means you don't know what you're talking about. Network quality depends MIGHTILY upon where you are. In some places, Sprint is the best, in some, the worst. The exact same can be said of the other big three in the U.S. I went from Verizon to Sprint and my call quality went up, and I've never had a dropped call since, although that also depends partly on the handset you're using.

      • by Vancorps (746090)
        While I think you're right, I've yet to find a location where ATT is the best. Frustrates the hell out of me since my work phone got moved to ATT from Sprint. So I keep my personal cell with Sprint and everywhere I go I can make calls reliably. Sure data services aren't as good but I handle that with wifi in most places and Sprint's data has improved dramatically over the last couple of years. I can't stand ATT, I should at least be able to complete a call but I drop everyday with them. To be specific, I us
        • by Tumbleweed (3706)

          >> In some places, Sprint is the best, in some, the worst. The exact same can be said of the other big three in the U.S.

          > While I think you're right, I've yet to find a location where ATT is the best.

          Okay, AT&T may be the exception. :)

        • by amiga3D (567632)
          I've found a lot of locations where my AT&T phone worked and my daughters verizon phone didn't. I found a few places where neither worked and exactly none where Verizon worked and AT&T didn't. Verizon rules 3G coverage but in voice coverage AT&T works almost everywhere.
    • by metamatic (202216)

      Sprint's already launching the EVO 4G [engadget.com], which should outdo the Nexus One.

    • I've been a Virgin Mobile customer for five-six years, and have been very happy with Sprint's network. Were I to buy a smart phone, I'd either settle on an iPhone and piggy back on my wife's AT&T account or I'd buy an Android phone and go with Sprint.

      Now that my iPod Touch is too old to get new firmware updates, I'm thinking about it...

    • I've had Sprint since 2002 and a smartphone with them since '07. Their network has never failed me and I only ever seem to lose signal in areas you'd expect there to be none (I hike/camp in the middle of no where a lot).

      Meanwhile I can't go a few days w/o hearing a coworker or friend bitch about AT&T's network (and these aren't just iPhone users).

  • This is why.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by lord_mike (567148) on Monday April 26, 2010 @04:58PM (#31988988)

    ...the iPhone is still not on Verizon, nor is it likely to be in the near future. Verizon, like Apple, is all about control. Verizon didn't like that Google wanted too much control over the Nexus One, so they canned it. Verizon initially didn't like Apple's terms for the iPhone, so they nixed that. Their position is unlikely to change anytime soon. Apple is going to want a king's ransom for the iPhone to be on Verizon, and Verizon will simply point to their increasingly successful Android lineup and tell Apple to try again next time.

    This is a PR blow for Google, but a small one. Verizon is the leading carrier for Android phones, and the Droid Incridible is quite an impressive flagship device, just as the Motorola Droid was last year. Since HTC manufactures both the Nexus One and the Incredible, the deal failing is no skin off their back. Either way google wins, 'cos more Android smartphones will be sold either way.

    • by toriver (11308)

      Yeah, because AT&T is not at all about control [androidguys.com]. A phone is as open as the phone company lets it be.

    • "Either way google wins, 'cos more Android smartphones will be sold either way."

      What does Google "win" from this?

      I don't mean in the fanboy sense. I mean in the bottom line sense, what does Google get that they wouldn't get from an [iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia] smartphone?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gyrogeerloose (849181)

      ...the iPhone is still not on Verizon, nor is it likely to be in the near future. Verizon, like Apple, is all about control.

      Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that Verizon does not have a GSM network, meaning that Apple would have had to build two different models of iPhone--one for the US market and one for the rest of the world--and that iPhone users couldn't use their phones internationally if they chose. No, it must all be about control...

    • Verizon is more about "Let's deploy a network that almost no one else in the world uses. (CDMA)". How many CDMA potential customers are there world wide versus GSM potential customers again?

  • I'm not certain Google ever truly wanted to be in the phone market. It makes sense for google to want a reference platform for their employees, for developers and to spur the market for the android PLATFORM (this is the key). But Google really isn't a hardware vendor.

    When the Nexus One was released, the motorola droid wasn't out yet, the closest competitor to the iPhone on android was the mytouch 3g and HTC hero on sprint (i'm referring to US market not european market).

    I don't know if the Nexus One actua

    • I generally agree with what you are saying. I do think, however, this has all been a very illuminating experience with regards to how, when Google launched the Nexus One and their online phone store, they made loud proclamations about how they were going to change how phones were sold, how they were going to move the market towards a choose-a-phone, choose-a-carrier model where you basically got the phone, then used it on whichever mobile operator you wanted. As far as I know, the Nexus One only ever worked

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