Is Droid Incredible actually a Nexus One, but without the Google store experience?

Summary:Now that the Droid Incredible is reportedly headed to Verizon, is there a need for the Nexus One, too?

Update: Verizon announces Droid Incredible

Yesterday, I chimed in about being in the market for a new smartphone - either the Nexus One or the iPhone, whichever one hits the Verizon Wireless network first. Since then, there have been reports that the Droid Incredible - an HTC device that looks similar to the shape and feel of the Nexus One - will be available from Verizon on April 29. (Techmeme)

Photo credit: Phandroid

Photo credit: Phandroid

I didn't give much thought to the Incredible's arrival in relation to the arrival of the Nexus One - still scheduled for a Spring arrival at Google's online store. But then I came across some theories that started to make sense. Seeing how the Incredible and the Nexus One - both made by HTC - are pretty similar in specs, did it make sense for Verizon to carry both?

Better yet, so the theory goes, if the ad that was leaked on the Internet as well as the device itself both have the Verizon branding, doesn't it make sense that it would be sold by Verizon, too - and not just in the Google's online store?

One of the biggest downfalls of the Nexus One - for me - is that it's only being sold by Google online and not by the carriers themselves. I don't want to buy a device like this from Google -  which has no actual stores, no customer service center, no face-to-face service or support mechanism in place. And, because I'm such an instant gratification kind of person, I know I'm going to resent both companies the first time I have to send off an e-mail help ticket or wait for a UPS driver to deliver a replacement device.

Previous coverage: Nexus One's biggest challenge isn't iPhone; it's Google's online-only sales model

By coincidence, my son and I went into a Verizon store last night so we could swap out my son's older phone for a newer one that his grandfather gave him. While waiting to be helped, I was looking at the phones on display and ended up playing salesman for a few people who were talking about a switch to an Android phone. I shared my insight of what I know about the Droid, the Nexus One and the Incredible and then went back to browsing the display models when the real salesman came over to help them.

That's when I overheard them ask the salesman about the arrival of the Nexus One. The salesman leaned in and whispered something about the Nexus One not coming to Verizon after all - not in those words, but in a way that I got the message, had he been talking to me, that is. Questions popped into my head but I didn't ask them because 1) I was merely an eavesdropping bystander and 2) I really didn't expect some random salesman at a random Verizon store to cough up details about a sensitive topic for his employer.

Instead, I let my imagination run wild. Did he mean the Nexus One isn't coming to Verizon, the store, or Verizon, the carrier? Maybe the Incredible is actually meant to be a Nexus One replacement that allows potential customers like me to buy a Nexus One-like device without having to shop at Google's online store. Better yet, maybe Google is seeing the light and shutting down its online mobile phone store. Maybe this is why a Google exec - at the Google Atmosphere event earlier this week -  paused when he announced that the company was giving attendees an unlocked Nexus One that's compatible with, ummm (PAUSE) AT&T. Between us, I think he wanted to say Verizon but couldn't.

I'm usually not one to buy into - let alone spread - conspiracy theories. But this one seems to have the right pieces falling into place.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm not. All I know is that I'm ready for a new device. I feel like I've been holding my breath long enough for the iPhone to show up on Verizon. And, if the Incredible is as incredible as I think it may be, I could just find myself walking into the Verizon store on April 29 and picking one up for myself.

Topics: Smartphones, Google, Hardware, Mobility

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