With Sprint Deal, Google Nexus One To Run on All Major Carriers

It’s official: the Google Nexus One Android-based smartphone will be offered with carrier service from all four nationwide 3G mobile networks. Sprint-Nextel Corp. said today that a compatible Google Nexus One would be coming soon. Prices and timing were not given.

The announcement comes on the heels of Tuesday’s announcement that AT&T Inc. will service the Nexus One as well.

When Google launched its branded phone earlier in the year, users had a choice of T-Mobile USA plans. Google also said at the time that a CDMA version for Verizon Wireless would be coming in the spring — it’s expected within weeks.

Google is selling the Nexus One itself through a Web portal; consumers can then choose which carrier plan they want. It’s a new distribution model that set the industry buzzing since it takes the value-add of the device away from the carrier, although the hype has thus far failed to translate to sales. It remains to be seen if the carrier availability was a gating factor, or the delivery model (with Google owning the customer).

Research shows that the search giant has sold only 135,000 of its Nexus One smartphones since its debut more than 10 weeks ago. To quantify that, Apple sold 1 million iPhones in the 74 days after they first went on sale nearly three years ago — and that was at a price of $600, about three times what the Nexus One is going for. More recently, more than 1 million Motorola Droids were sold in the first 74 days after they became available last fall.

For its part, Sprint has other Android phones: It also offers the Samsung Moment and the HTC Hero.

“Sprint customers already have the option of two amazing Android devices with Samsung Moment and HTC Hero,” said Fared Adib, Sprint’s vice president of product development, in a statement. “It is a natural fit for us to add Nexus One to the list of choices available for Sprint customers who want the best value in wireless with the best in Android.”

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