What the lack of a Verizon branded Nexus One means

This morning, the Nexus One store was updated with information directing Verizon customers to take a look at the HTC Droid Incredible, which has similar specs to the Nexus One. In fact, it’s pretty much a CDMA Nexus One for all intents and purposes except that it also runs the excellent HTC Sense UI which resolves many of the things missing from the N1, such as proper Exchange support. Given that, It’s not a surprise that there would be no N1 for VZW. I’m not sure what the point would be and an “unlocked” handset has little meaning in the CDMA world where the device would still nee to be activated by VZW. Bottom line. I don’t see any particular issues in the lack of an N1that lacks Verizon branding, the Incredible fills that niche and does it nicely even if you can’t directly get it from Google. At the end of the day, the N1 is not about how many phones Google can sell directly, in fact that number hardly matters. There’s a much larger story about the N1 but I’ll save that for another day.

The better question for today is why the Droid is no longer appearing in the Google phone store with a purchase link. At the N1 launch, Google went so far as to have a Motorola presence onstage with HTC and the Droid was linked to from the N1 page. I don’t think there’s anything nefarious here but this is another indication at just how fast the Android platform is moving, relative to already fast paced mobile space. Droid owners have not been obsoleted. In fact, with the Droid’s recent update to Android 2.1, it will pretty much do just about anything the N1 will do. It’s just that it’s no longer the flagship of the Android army and it appears that Google has moved on. Google’s partnership relationship with Android handset providers is only going to get more interesting. Given the nature of that relationship, it’s not at all surprising.

Right now, it’s the N1 and devices like the Incredible that lead the Android market but given the velocity that Android and Google are on, one wonders just how long that will last.

3 responses to “What the lack of a Verizon branded Nexus One means

  1. I think there is/was still room for the N1 on Verizon. It would provide folks with a direct update channel from Google vs having to wait for Verizon for potentially lesser featured updates. Minor quip, but worth pointing out as to what was “lost” by all this.

  2. The Droid Incredible month-to-month from VZN is also the same $530 price as the unlocked Nexus Ones for T-Mobile and AT&T. (Ok. Actually, it’s a dollar more.)

  3. While I like a bodily keyboard, after dealing with the Samsung Captivate for about 15 minutes, it’s exhausting to head back. Presently I’m debating whether or not to visit Verizon for the Droid X, cross to Sprint for the EVO, or stay with AT&T for the Captivate…decisions, decisions.

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