Vodafone to Offer Nexus One, Not Verizon

Vodafone the minority partner in Verizon Wireless will begin offering the Google-branded HTC-built Nexus One this Friday. Across the pond, Verizon has pulled the plug. The carrier was originally supposed to offer the device but has decided against it for unspecified reasons. According to Bloomberg:

Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile-phone company, retreated from plans to offer service for Google Inc.’s Nexus One phone, saying it will focus on other Android-powered handsets instead.

Until this morning, Google’s Web site showed that the Nexus One would be available through Verizon in spring of 2010. The site now points Verizon users seeking phones that run Google’s Android operating system to HTC Corp.’s Incredible model.

Now for the speculation about why Verizon made this decision. The article cites financial analysts who conjecture that Verizon may see Google as a competitor and not a partner in this context. I think this speculation is incorrect because why would Verizon have associated itself with the device from the outset?

Instead, the sudden reversal it may have to do with potentially unhappy camper Motorola, which has bet the farm on Android and doesn’t like the idea that Google is creating its own handsets. Verizon has spent millions marketing the Droid handset against the iPhone only to have the Nexus One show up and “one up” Droid in several ways.

Motorola clearly didn’t like that and Verizon may have made a concession to the company in deciding now to no longer offer the phone.