Sprint Picks Up Google’s Much-Despised Nexus One

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Google (GOOG) may have to rename its Nexus One because of trademark infringement issues, but whatever the handset it is called Sprint (S) will distribute the product.

“Nexus One, the first wireless phone sold through Google’s web store, is planned for Sprint’s 3G Mobile Broadband Network. Sprint will announce pricing and an exact availability date soon. Nexus One will benefit from Sprint’s 3G network with twice the coverage of AT&T and 10 times the coverage of T-Mobile, both based on square miles.”

Recent research show that Google only sold 135,000 Nexus One handsets during the first 74 days that it was available. That compared to over one million unit over the same amount of time for the Apple (AAPL) and Motorola (MOT) Droid which runs the Google Android operating system.

In the last few days, Google announced that its Nexus One will operate on the AT&T Wireless network, which is a threat to iPhone sales. AT&T is the exclusive marketer of the iPhone.

The Nexus One may not be selling well, and it is not clear that its extra distribution with AT&T and Sprint will help that. There is at least some evidence that people do not like the product and Google had early problems with customer service, which it may not have solved. In other words, Google may not be able to overcome a poor public perception of the Nexus One.

Douglas A. McIntyre