Sprint Backs Away From Plan to Offer Google Nexus One

The Google Inc. Nexus One mobile phone
The Nexus One, which was released in January, competes with Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. backed off of plans to offer Google Inc.’s Nexus One mobile phone, the second U.S. carrier within two weeks to abandon the device in favor of other handsets powered by the Android operating system.

Sprint will instead focus on the HTC Corp. Evo phone, which is set to debut this year and run on fourth-generation, or 4G, networks, said Stephanie Vinge-Walsh, a spokeswoman for the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier. “We really feel that it’s better than Nexus One,” she said in an interview today.

The decision to withhold sales of the Nexus One denies Google access to more than 138 million wireless customers on the networks of Sprint and Verizon Wireless, which last month decided against plans to sell the device.

Phones with Google’s Android commanded 28 percent of the U.S. market during the first three months of the year, compared with 21 percent for those with Apple Inc.’s operating system, according to Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group Inc. Phones with Research In Motion Ltd.’s operating system had a 36 percent market share.

Mike Nelson, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. The Nexus One, which was released in January, competes with Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry.

Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, added 20 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $4.04 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 10 percent this year. Google climbed $28.51, or 5.8 percent, to $521.65 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading and has declined 16 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Bensinger in New York at gbensinger1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net