Google Nexus One Heads to Verizon

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- HTC and Google ( GOOG) have started shipping the Nexus One phone, which is due to go on sale at Verizon ( VZ) this spring, according to Economic Daily News, a Chinese business news outlet cited by Digitimes.

The news, if true, would fit with Verizon's plans to start carrying the touchscreen, Android-powered Google-branded phone in the coming weeks. Google has said it will sell the phone online for $179 with a Verizon contract. Google is currently selling a T-Mobile version of the Nexus One online.
Nexus One

The Nexus One is the first phone made to Google's specifications that will be sold directly by Google. The phone features the Qualcomm ( QCOM) Snapdragon chipset, a faster mobile processing chip than the ones found in the current crop of Apple ( AAPL) iPhones and Research In Motion ( RIMM) BlackBerries.

Gadget fans are watching the Nexus One closely as it's considered one of the leading contenders among the Android-powered smartphones aimed at the iPhone. The Nexus One is slightly thinner than the iPhone, it has a bigger LED screen and a 5-megapixel camera (the iPhone features a 3-megapixel camera).

Google's Nexus One effort hasn't exactly strengthened relations with phone makers. The decision to push its own phone has been particularly troubling to Motorola ( MOT), which rebuilt its phone strategy around the Android operating system.

Additionally, Apple's patent infringement charges against HTC may also further strain ties with Android partners. If Apple causes complications with the sale of Android-powered phones, outfits like Motorola could shift to other mobile software suppliers like Microsoft ( MSFT) and its upcoming Windows Phone 7 system.

Google shares fell 3% to $562.75 in early trading Monday.

-- Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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