Google Nixes Wal-Mart Nexus One Sales

Despite a detailed page on Wal-Mart's Web site indicating that the Nexus One phone is "coming soon," Google says it has no plans to distribute the phone anywhere but its own Web site.

Wal-Mart Stores has created a page on its wireless Web site featuring the Nexus One. It says the device is coming soon, but does not include pricing information.

"We currently have no plans to distribute the Nexus One through any channel other than our Google-hosted web store," Google spokeswoman Katie Watson said via e-mail.

Wal-Mart says that the page was put up by mistake, due to a technical error. "We're working with our partner Let's Talk to have it removed as quickly as possible. We have no plans to carry Nexus One in Walmart stores or online at Walmart.com at this time," Ashley Hardie, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, said via e-mail.

Let's Talk is a cell-phone retailer that appears to operate Wal-Mart's wireless Web site.

As of mid-afternoon on the West Coast, the Nexus One page still appeared on the Wal-Mart site.

The blog AndroidandMe first spotted the page.

Visitors to the main Wal-Mart Web site who search for "Nexus One" can no longer find the page, indicating that Wal-Mart could be in the process of removing it.

The Wal-Mart page offers detailed information about the phones and indicates that the Nexus One may soon become available for use on other networks besides T-Mobile. It said that the phone works on UMTS/HSDPA (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System/High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) as well as 1xRTT and 1xEvDO. That means the phone would operate on the Verizon and Sprint networks.

While Google is selling the phone unlocked to users willing to pay US$530, the phone will only operate on 3G on T-Mobile's network. Unlocked phones will make and receive phone calls and deliver slower data speeds on AT&T's network. The current Nexus One phones won't work on the Verizon or Sprint networks.

When Google introduced the Nexus One in early January, it said that it would be available exclusively through the Google online store initially. The search giant had hoped to jump-start the market for unlocked phones sold without a subsidy. But it quickly became apparent that Google was not prepared to offer the kind of customer support that phone buyers expect.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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