Taiwanese handset giant HTC has reportedly begun shipping Google’s (GOOG) Nexus One (a.k.a “Google phone”) Android phone to US wireless kingpin Verizon (VZ). According to the Chinese newspaper Economic Daily, the carrier is likely to begin offering the device in late March or April 2010. Moreover, HTC will also ship the phone to Vodafone (VOD) in the near future.
Manufactured by HTC, Nexus One is Google’s own branded Android smartphone and is being marketed by the Internet giant for an unsubsidized price of $530. Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) US subsidiary T-mobile USA is currently the sole carrier for the device in the US.
Nexus One has been designed to run an array of Google applications including the Internet calling service “Google Voice”, software applications (such as “Google Books”) and a premium YouTube service. Leveraging the fast-growing mobile Internet market, Nexus One offers users access to the web through voice commands.
The feature-rich Android device is being positioned to directly compete with Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, which exclusively runs on AT&T’s (T) network in the US. Nexus One features Qualcomm’s (QCOM) 1 gigahertz (GHz) Snapdragon processor which is faster than the 600 megahertz (MHz) processor carried by iPhone 3GS.
The current GSM version of Nexus One is available at a subsidized price of $180 under a two-year service contract from T-mobile USA. According to Economic Daily, HTC has shipped a CDMA version of the phone to Verizon, which supports the carrier’s network. Google is expected to sell Nexus One online for $179 with a Verizon contract.
Verizon currently markets Motorola’s (MOT) Droid Android phone in the US. The carrier is involved in a costly promotional war with AT&T to aggressively position Droid against the iPhone. Nexus One, if eventually launched, will be a huge boon for Verizon subscribers. However, since Big Red is yet to confirm the news, it remains mere speculation.
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