Sprint on Wednesday said that Google's Nexus One mobile phone will soon be available on its network and promised to announce a date of availability soon.
"Nexus One is a powerful device that belongs on a powerful network," said Sprint VP of product development Fared Adib in a statement. "This is another step in our continued partnership of innovation with Google."
In announcing this upcoming announcement, Sprint appears to be making a declaration of support for Google and its Android platform as much as competing with other carriers. Apple earlier this month cast a shadow over Android's future by suing HTC, one of Google's mobile partners, for violating its iPhone patents.
Sprint's endorsement, along with Google's announcement on Tuesday that its Nexus One is available on the networks of AT&T and Rogers Wireless, should serve to hearten Android handset makers who might consider hedging their platform bets on the chance that Apple might prevail in its claims.
To be sure, however, Sprint is also breaking its silence for competitive reasons. Sprint in its release claims that its 3G network has twice the coverage of AT&T and 10 times the coverage of T-Mobile in square miles, both of which offer the Nexus One.
Sprint says that it will be offering the Nexus One exclusively through Google's online store, but it did not disclose pricing.
Adib said that pricing has yet to be determined, but "will be consistent with Sprint's commitment to deliver more value than our competitors." He notes that Sprint's Everything Data 450 plan with Any Mobile, Anytime offers unlimited calling, text messaging, and Web data for $70, which is comparable to AT&T and Verizon unlimited talk plans, without a Web data package.
The Nexus One retails for $529 with no contract or $179 with a two-year T-Mobile service contract.
Sprint did not clarify whether it will offer a contract-based discount.
Though a report that Google has sold only about 135,000 Nexus One phones in the past 74 days has prompted some observers to declare Google's online store a failure, Google insists that it is "pleased with our sales volumes and with how well the Nexus One has been received by our customers."
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