Back when Google announced the first Nexus One for T-Mobile we all tried to figure out what their intentions were concerning selling hardware in their online store. Verizon was announced as a planned carrier at the same time and then we saw Nexus Ones for AT&T and Sprint also announced and understood they wanted to have a single device available across all four major US wireless carriers so that people could buy a device and stick with their carrier. The AT&T version is now available with the T-Mobile version while the Verizon version has been dropped with the HTC Droid Incredible taking its place. With the Sprint HTC EVO 4G becoming available in June we now have to wonder if the Sprint Nexus One will also be dropped soon.
If the Sprint version is dropped then there will be now CDMA version of the Nexus One and the fact that Google sells hardware seems to make less sense. We have said that the US consumer rarely pays unlocked, full unsubsidized price for a phone and instead prefers to pay the carrier for a lower cost device. With the fragmentation in the US market with 3 different radio frequencies for high speed wireless data there really is no choice and flexibility when buying unlocked devices anyway so why not buy the device for your carrier at a lower cost? The Nokia N8 is the first 5-band data device so at least you can buy it later this year and use it on both AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as around the world, and access the Internet at 3G data speeds.
Will Google chalk up the Nexus One experiment as a lesson learned in the US wireless market or will they try again with another smartphone device?