SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sprint Nextel has had a change of heart and scrapped its plans to back Google’s Nexus One mobile phone.
The reversal announced Monday marks the second major carrier to spurn the Nexus One in the past two weeks. Google recently informed consumers the Nexus One won’t be available on Verizon Wireless’ network, the most widely used in the United States.
Sprint embraced the Nexus One less than two months ago, but backed off after concluding another new phone called the Evo would be a better choice for its customers, said spokeswoman Michelle Leff Mermelstein.
Like the Nexus One, the Evo is made by HTC and relies on Google’s Android operating system.
Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
The Nexus One’s potential audience will be much smaller without Verizon and Sprint backing it in the United States.
The phone, which Google designed as a challenger to Apple’s iPhone, currently works on the U.S. wireless networks of T-Mobile USA and AT&T. Both Verizon and Sprint rely on a different technology to run their networks.
Google is selling the Nexus One exclusively through its own online store in hopes of lessening the influence of wireless carriers.
The unorthodox approach means consumers have had to pay $529 for Nexus One models that don’t require a subscription to a specific wireless carrier. Google sells a Nexus One for $179 to customers willing to commit to a two-year contract with T-Mobile.
Google hasn’t said how many Nexus Ones have been sold since its debut four months ago.