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Google Nexus One Tries For Retail Sales

Verizon Wireless and Sprint both backed out of their commitments to sell the smartphone.
Google Nexus One Smartphone
(click image for larger view)
Google Nexus One Smartphone

Google's Nexus One smartphone is now available from T-Mobile affiliate i wireless for $299.95 after rebate, at more than 250 retail locations in the midwest. It becomes the first retailer to offer the Android 2.1-based Nexus One.

Earlier this month, Google said it had misjudged consumer interest in purchasing the device through its web store and would stop selling the smartphone there once it found sufficient placement for the device. The Nexus One offers multi-touch features such as pinch-to-zoom and a 1GHz processor, making it a viable competitor to Apple's iPhone.

In January, Google began selling the Nexus One for $179.95 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile through its online store, but sales were poor, so it turned to retailers to get the device to consumers. Verizon Wireless and Sprint both backed out of their commitments to sell the Nexus One, and Google pointed users to the HTC Droid Incredible from Verizon and the HTC Evo 4G from Sprint.

Customer complaints about poor 3G access from T-Mobile and dissatisfaction with Google's online-only support for the Nexus One vexed Google in January. "Sometimes you have to go to the store and have someone look at the phone," Ken Dulaney, analyst for Gartner, told InformationWeek in January.

The $299.95 pricetag for the 3G Nexus One includes a new T-Mobile contract, and is $120.95 more than the price of the smartphone advertised at Google's online store with a T-Mobile contract. The difference is that i wireless will let customers choose any calling and data plan, while Google requires the Even More 500 plan, which runs $79.99 a month. The Nexus One can be purchased unlocked for $529.

T-Mobile customers will be able to access T-Mobile's 3G network in Des Moines and Ames, Iowa, and in more than 130 cities in the United States, the retailer said.

Based in Urbandale, Iowa, i Wireless has stores and dealers in Iowa, western Illinois and eastern Nebraska.