By Harry McCracken | Monday, May 10, 2010 at 2:53 pm
And one more bit of Android news: Sprint, which was going to let Google sell a Sprint-ready Nexus One phone, has changed its mind. Its rationale is perfectly reasonble: Its upcoming EVO 4G superphone is essentially a souped-up Nexus One, with more power in every department that matters. It’s not clear why the company is only coming to this conclusion now, almost two months after the Sprint Nexus One was announced. Or, really, why it announced the Nexus One at all, given that it unveiled the EVO a week later, largely rendering its version of the Nexus One obsolete before it ever shipped.
Sprint’s decision follows the lead of Verizon, which also announced a Nexus One and then killed it before release. That leaves the original T-Mobile Nexus One and an unlocked, AT&T-compatible version available in Google’s online store. If Google wants to have a future as a phone merchant, it’s going to need to replenish its lineup–Nexus Two, anybody?–and avoid the vaporous quality of two out of the four U.S. Nexus Ones that were announced.
Google may have been trying to reinvent the phone business with the Nexus One, but it fell victim to a pretty basic law of phone marketing: If you announce a phone in early January and don’t actually ship it on a given carrier for months, chances are high that said phone will start to look like an antique before it hits the market. Especially if it runs Android, an platform that’s still evolving in fast-forward mode.