Hey Google, Why No Nexus Love for Verizon?


When Motorola, Google, and Verizon teamed up for the launch of the original Droid smartphone during the holiday season of 2009, the course of Android was forever changed. The phone shipped with top-of-the-line specs for its day and featured a stock build of Android 2.0 Eclair. Its life as the first and only device with the newest version of Android was short lived, however. Just a couple of months later in January of 2010, Google introduced their own flagship Android handset, the Nexus One. The long-rumored Google Phone was a collaboration with HTC and outpaced the Motorola Droid by introducing an even newer version of Eclair, Android 2.1. The Nexus One was an experiment in mobile phone sales with Google selling the GSM device unlocked for use on compatible carriers. The handset was eventually picked up by carriers worldwide, including T-Mobile and AT&T in the United States. As a CMDA-based provider, Verizon was left out.

We all know the story from there. Android saw several more updates over the course of the year. By the time the holidays rolled around once more a new build of Android was ready for launch. Google introduced the Nexus S by Samsung to go along with Android 2.3. Verizon’s Droid had aged by now, though it was followed by several big-name launches. Still, a stock Google flagship device was not in the carrier’s future lineup. T-Mobile saw the Nexus S. AT&T saw the Nexus S. Even Sprint, with their CDMA network, saw a custom version of the Nexus S complete with additional 4G WiMAX radio. If Google and Samsung could make these accommodations for other carriers, why no Nexus S for Verizon?

While the actual answer is most likely mired in politics, a fledgling 4G LTE network, and a crammed roadmap of releases for Big Red, it’s hard to see why the carrier was not included. If it wasn’t for the Motorola Droid and Verizon’s aggressive marketing campaign there may have never been a future for phones like the Nexus S. Not only is Verizon one of the largest mobile providers in the nation, but a recent study by Chitika shows Verizon as the top Android carrier, as well, with 41 percent of devices running the OS originating on VZW’s network. It would seem like a no-brainer to go to Verizon for the launch of new flagship Android products. Google perhaps skipped over Verizon for the Nexus S in exchange for exclusive rights to launch the first Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola XOOM. But that device quickly spread to other networks and became available as a WiFi-only model, and a tablet has no where near the same reach as a smartphone. So Google, where’s the Nexus love?

As we all know, a new device is in the pipeline — a Nexus phone designed as the launch partner for yet another version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. Rumors surfaced towards the end of last week the the so-called Nexus Prime was spotted around Verizon’s offices, apparently getting the once over for consideration for a fall release. Those rumors, as unsubstantiated as they are, give us hope that Verizon could finally see a big name, stock Android phone. Perhaps the Nexus line, which hasn’t exactly made it to the best sellers list, could see a significant boost in popularity from the partnership. It sounds like a win-win.

Full disclosure here: I am a Verizon subscriber and first bought into Android with the Motorola Droid. With a contract soon to expire and a fervent love for all things stock Android, even speculation that the next Nexus phone will land on Verizon is enough to keep me from signing my life away for a Motorola Droid Bionic or Samsung Galaxy S II. Both will no doubt be great phones, but for Android purists in search of a device that pushes the boundaries of the platform’s capabilities, it’s not a hard choice to hold out to at least see if the Nexus Prime makes its way to Verizon, and hopefully with LTE in tow.

So for my sake, I will ask the question again. Google, where’s a Verizon Nexus phone? Anyone who can help me with the answer please get in touch.


Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. You’re omitting one big fact here: A Verizon Nexus One was announced on day 1 as “coming soon.” They canceled it, likely due to the facts that the N1 wasn’t selling, Verizon didn’t want the lack of control the N1 would bring, and Verizon had phones they could control in the pipeline. I still hold a little bit of a grudge towards Google for irresponsibly stringing us along for months with no word of the VZW N1 only for them to one day just say OH GO GET AN INCREDIBLE!! I’ve been regretting that purchase for months now.

    A Verizon Nexus may come soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t.

    1. dont regret getting an incredible just put cm7 on it and download the stock gingerbread launcher because ADW sucks and there ya go

      1. Doesn’t solve the problems of the pathetic battery life or the terrible lag. Or not all of my apps working with every ROM.

        Or the fact I have to void my warranty and risk bricking my phone to make the fucking phone usable.

        1. Since switching to the Nexus S I stopped using custom ROM’s. Since then I have not had any of those issues you talk about, yet I’m still on the latest available OS. I didn’t even have to give up tethering since it is built in to the OS (Wi-Fi tether stopped working, thanks T-Mo :P, but wired still works just fine).

        2. If you actually did your research you would see how easy it is to root or go back to stock so they wouldnt even know you poorly attempted to root your phone.

    2. Yeah that is what I was going to say but then I saw who wrote the article, he tends to not do much research on what he is writing.

    3. Agree if google would have allowed the carriers to sell the N1 I think it would have been a different story. Google botched the N1 badly with poor customer service and only selling online through their stores. Most people want to go in and play with a phone first which is why the n1 didn’t sell that well.

      1. Yeah, to this day I still have never touched a Nexus One. I did however play with a Nexus S in a Bestbuy then bought one a month later. Smart phones have become a personal purchase. You want to experience the thing before pulling the trigger. I thought the Nexus S looked like ass online but I was amazed with it in person.

  2. I’m really worried about this also. I was so sure about the Bionic, but coming from a Droid 1, I am really going to miss vanilla Android.

    1. Root it and put a vanilla rom on it when it comes out.

      1. Why should we have to root simply for a vanilla experience?

        1. because you didn’t manufacture it. You don’t have to root for a vanilla experience, there are many devices with the stock original rom from google just buy those if its all about the stock rom. Honestly why would you even ask that?

        2. Ask the carriers.

          All nexus lines come unlocked, nothing they can do about 3rd party designs

      2. You guys are as bad as the people who say my iPhone can do that also if I jailbreak it.

        If you have to root/jailbreak then it’s no good.

        1. If I don’t root it, how can I use rooted app?

          1. You totally missed the point.

          2. What really is the point here? its like asking why doesn’t apple just make an android device

        2. If you have to root or jail break to get a solid experience then I agree but thats like asking why doesn’t apple make an android? Regardless of root/jailbreak if it works just as good whats the problem? the main thing is that you want vanilla is it not?

  3. I doubt it is for lack of trying. The Nexus One was planned to come out on Sprint and Verizon and even had their logos, under “coming soon”, at the purchase site though neither received the phone.

    1. Correct. And I am speculating by putting together some pieces that the lack of a VZW Nexus has more to do with Verizon’s unwillingness to be a dumb pipe than with Google’s inability to play along.

      Remember that the N1 was marketed as a phone that would bring the European BYO phone model to the States: one phone to rule them all. Those logos next to “coming soon” represented that. Shortly after releasing the N1 to T-Mobile, Google sort of unofficially released it on AT&T without any carrier support. Subsequently, the Droid Incredible was released bearing similar specs and the HTC EVO right along with it. Google then reworded the Nexus One’s mission to be ushering in the superphone era and declared victory as they shuttered the Google Phone store site.

      Probably not coincidentally, the Nexus S was released as a Best Buy exclusive. I think the big 3 originally kept Google’s phones at arms length (while T-Mobile seemed to embrace them). Now that AT&T is snapping up T-Mo, Sprint seems to be positioning itself as the new dev-friendly carrier. AT&T and Verizon don’t have any reason to negotiate or alter their terms for Google, so why should they?

      1. I wish Google would try the BYOP model again. When they first launched it Google wasn’t a household name in terms of cell phones and mobile OS. Too bad AT$T will be the sole GSM provider.

  4. Sadly, no one can answer that question…But I’m in the same boat, got aboard the Android train with the Droid and am waiting patiently as my upgrade is here. I’m holding out hope, as well, that the Nexus Prime is coming to Verizon, and am still bitter about the debacle that has been the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S2. Had the GS2 dropped in early August I would have grabbed that in a second.

  5. Verizon doesn’t like freedom.

    That is all.

    1. That is why their logo is red.

      1. And they are ‘data Nazi’s’ Screw you Verizon

    2. True, but they do have good coverage at large expenses, I’m thinking of switching to Boost, Sprint, Virgin, or an online wireless carrier.

      1. You will miss your service coverage dearly! Sometimes you do get what you pay for.

  6. I’m in the other side of that boat. I’m a happy T-Mobile customer with a Nexus One. I’m waiting, impatiently, for the Nexus Prime on Verizon to jump ship from the AT&T merger. I can’t wait for v4 and a 720p screen!

    1. Don’t get caught up in the hype, people hyped up the Nexus One and Nexus S real bad before they came out but both where sure as hell worth it.

      I remember when every tech site was saying that the Nexus One was going to have free voice calling and the Nexus S was going to have a dual core.

      After saying that there is nothing that would make me give up my Nexus S and Nexus One unless it was the Nexus 3.

  7. I think it’s more about Verizon than anything else. Verizon tests their phones more thoroughly and doesn’t allow them to be released until they are perfect and doesn’t like open phones that can do things they don’t want them to do. If you want a bleeding edge device to be released on Verizon, then you have to delay the launch on all the other carriers to allow their procedures to catch up. But Google wants the Nexus to remain bleeding edge. Verizon just isn’t flexible enough to handle the Nexus line.

    1. Good examples of this are the Fascinate, Thunderbolt, Charge… (heavy sarcasm here)

      The whole “doesn’t allow them to be released until they are perfect” thing is BS. The 3 phones I listed should NOT have been released in the condition they were. The TB had reboot issues, the Fascinate GPS just plain didn’t work, and the Charge is just a piece of garbage.

      1. The TB reboot issue is cause by the android os in itself. Right on last two though

        1. TB is fine… no reboot issues anymore. Not even sure why that is mentioned now.

          1. @camelz “anymore” He was stating it was released with those issues – not that many of the issues those devices haven’t been fixed. They shouldn’t have been released with major faults.

    2. “Verizon tests their phones more thoroughly and doesn’t allow them to be released until they are perfect.”

      Really. If that’s the case then please explain the Blackberry Storm for me, a Verizon exclusive. I had the displeasure of owning 4 or 5 of those pieces of crap for 14 months before I gave up and bought a Droid 2 on ebay. Perfect. Yea, right. There was never a single OS for that POS that was even in the same zip code as perfect.

  8. If you want to know why X phone isn’t available from carrier Y look no further than the carrier. Verizon is directly to blame for the lack of a Nexus device.

    1. Why is Verizon blame? Maybe Google just didn’t approach them.

  9. I’m also fell for the “coming soon” nexus one for verizon.. once the incredible launched they gave up on nexus one and so did google.. not to far after the launch of the incredible the nexus one became a “developer’s” phone.. I love my incredible don’t get me wrong but i’ve been patiently sitting on an upgrade for months waiting for a worthy phone to replace my very awesome D Inc. Was going to give in next month for a galaxy S 2 but with these rumors of a Nexus Prime for verizon i still want to wait.. but if history is any evidence it wont happen and at that point something better than the Galaxy 2 will be on it’s way. In my opinion its going to disappoint us who really want a google device on verizon

  10. How quickly you’ve all forgotten about the wonderful G1 that brought Android into this world. Sure the Droid was nice for its time, but without the G1 we wouldn’t have this website. Google doesn’t owe Verizon anything. They passed on Android and let T-Mobile be the guinea pig. The G1 was so successful that it opened the doors for Big Red to get on board the Android train when there was no risk.

    Several posters have hit the nail on the head here: Verizon has too much to profit from its bloatware that it attaches to every phone they sell. If there’s no Prime on VZW it’s their decision.

    1. Like it or not the original Droid put Android on the map. You don’t hear people talking about “My Android phone” you hear them say “My Droid” referring to any Android phone on any carrier, annoying as it may be. Verizon dumped a butt load of money into the advertising for it and made “Droid” a household name, which I’m sure Google is well aware of and thankful for. Not trying to bash the G1 it was a good phone and the first to carry Android but it took it 6 months to sell 1 million when the Droid did it in 10 weeks. True this website may not have existed if it wasn’t for the G1 but myself any many, many others probably would have never visited this site if not for the Droid so who knows if it would still exist.

      1. The G1 sales on T-mobile in the U.S. only were pretty impressive when you compared to Windows Phone 7 which after 10 months, 10+ phones, and multiple carriers around the world, it has only managed to sell 1.7 million.

        I do like how Verizon spent so much money on Android but I’m sure it was because they saw that they would make so much more in return.

        At first Verizon, Sprint and AT&T wouldn’t touch Android with a 10 foot pole: http://phandroid.com/2008/10/25/sprint-ceo-android-not-good-enough-for-us/

      2. Sorry for being off topic here, but I hate when people call a Samsung galaxy s or a mytouch 4g ,a Droid. Yes it runs Android, but its not a “Droid”, the “Droid” its the moto Droid. Maybe its cause i’m a Android nerd or whatever you call it. I just wish people would understand the difference. If i’m wrong, then i’m wrong.

        1. I’ve heard too many people call it DroidOS. It makes me want to hurt people.

        2. it really sucks. I made my username before the OG Droid came out. Now I live with that name making me look ignorant.

        3. The “Droid” is a term Verizon uses, not the phone manufacturer. So, the Droid could indeed be a Samsung phone (and one is). It’s not a Motorola thing, although most of the Droids happen to be made by Motorola.

        4. I am sure there are a few manufacturers of adhesive bandages and cotton tissues that can’t stand it when people call their products “Band Aids” and Kleenex.”

          Ce’st la Vie.

      3. one of my bigges pet peeves is when people say droid as a general term for android phones

    2. Spoken like a true Android OG. ^_^

    3. Finally someone said it

  11. When Verizon goes GSM like the rest of the world then it could happen. Google;s first nexus was supposed to be above carriers, but that didn’t work…now at least with gsm, it is above USA, going cdma…well that will only happen when a gsm version is released simultaneously or earlier

    1. This. You even almost said it yourself.

    2. Why is it that they could not do a cross carrier phone similar to the rumored i5? Have LTE, GSM, and CDMA antenna?

  12. Verizon and pure android don’t go in one sentence.

    1. Except for the pure Android Motorola Xoom, which made its debut on Verizon and was the reference Honeycomb device for Google devs.

      1. And the original Droid. :P

    2. And the pure Android Motorola Droid, which made its debut on Verizon as well, AS STATED IN THIS ARTICLE.

  13. I really hope the Nexus Prime comes to VZW. I’ve been using a Droid 2 Global since December (after having the original Droid for a year) and would love to use a vanilla Android phone again.

  14. I’ll throw my hat in that ring too. Ditched my crappy WinMo phone for the Droid and immediately fell in love with stock Android. Now my upgrade is ready and I’m simply not happy with any of the phone in Verizon’s lineup or even upcoming phones unless it’s a Nexus. I’ve given up on the Bionic because of Blur and locked bootloader and the GSII looks great but I’m not a huge fan of touchwiz. I contemplated the Vigor but most Sense phone on Verizon are so slow to get OS updates it’s painful (see Thunderbolt).
    My dream is another stock android with open bootloader on Verizon…I just hope that comes true with a Verizon Nexus…otherwise I guess I’ll have to deal with the slow updates to Sense and get a Vigor…

  15. Pretty dumb article.

    1. Trolls aren’t known to be very smart.

    2. What do expect out a site where the only way to log in to comment is through Facebook? Maybe someday they’ll grow up and be a real tech blog.

      1. disquss works just fine to leave comments on several websites.

        1. sorry – think you misunderstood me! Disqus is great; that’s why I have a Disqus ID. So is Phandroid; that’s why I’m here. I was referring to the site in the link provided by the above (now flagged for review…)

  16. I really want a Droid Bionic myself, but if a Nexus Prime came out for VZW I would consider it strongly. I love Android, but all the bloatware on the phones I’ve played with (since I don’t currently own an Android device) does kind of bug me. Verizon is kind of a jerk when it comes to bloatware, they’re more worried about profits than the consumer. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the Nexus Prime not be released on Verizon. I would say they would try to convince Google to let them load bloatware on there, but Google would NEVER let them do that unless they are so desperate to get sales on their phone.
    And yes, I don’t see that many Android users on anything but Verizon, everyone I know that has an Android phone has it on Verizon except for my weirdo friend on T-Mobile. I think Sprint will be the way to go in the near future because of their friendship with Android and willingness to listen to the consumers about what they’re doing and selling.

  17. My contract ends on December, who got Nexus prime, im there.

  18. I also still have the OG Droid. Have been looking at the Droid Bionic forever and since the beginning of the year seemed to be what I would wait for. If the Nexus Prime is released by VZW then I would rather get that device. I assume there is a lot of original Droid owners in the same situation. I assume VZW will keep a tight lip over any phones after the Bionic to increase sales. I wish they would think more about customer appreciation.

  19. May take some time if the bootloader is locked…

  20. Verizon wants you to buy their phones, period. They want to control you, moreso than the other carriers. They rebranded “Android” into “Droid” on their network so much as to confuse consumers. A pure Android phone on VZ? Might be nice on the LTE network, but it seems VZ’s need for control will prevent it.

    1. They branded the flagship line of phones as Droid. It’s a marketing attempt to entice buyers through clever ad campaigns. It worked. All the success Android has in the amount of time it received it is thanks to the Droid campaign. Sure the G1 is responsible for taking the first step, but the Droid Does advertisements is what really got the ball rolling. Verizon wants phones to sell and bring in new customers. Now that there’s been a couple of Nexus phones out there it’s got a little bit of traction, but the success of the Nexus lineup is nothing like the success of the phones Verizon already sells. Verizon already proved that it’s ok to not have their bloatware on a phone as seen with the iPhone. They allowed that because its the freaking iPhone, it will attract more people shelling out a lot more money than the bloat gives them. The only way the Nexus Prime would be worth it to Verizon is if they feel they could put a really strong marketing campaign behind it and bring customers in. I hope it comes to Verizon, i’d prefer not to switch to Sprint.

  21. And yet they sell so many that the iPhones and Rims are nothing more than a sideline. Oh, and a 400% increase of 10 to 40 reported instances is OH so alarming….. Except that it isn’t.

  22. I actually kinda rather see the Nexus and Droid lines compete against each other since it will force VZW to sell better phones.

  23. Were you trying to justify your purchase of an inferior phone by linking us to an article that didn’t have any effect what so ever on the growth of Android????

    LMFAO, try again loser and next come ready to play with the big boys.

  24. My moto Droid is almost 2 years old. I love android and was waiting anxiously for the bionic till I heard the galaxy s2 maybe coming by the same time. Now the vigor is not far behind. What am I to do. If I could talk to Verizon and Google I would tell them that if the nexus prime is coming to big red then they can have my $ and another 2 years.

  25. You know I haven’t seen bloatware since October 2008 when I had a Samsung Behold then once I got my G1 I never saw it again. Then that trend continued with the Google Ion, Nexus One, Nexus S and hopefully soon the Nexus 3 (Prime).


    Bloatware is for suckers.

    1. yeah but you can’t deny that the stock android camera firmware sucks, no zoom, no special effects…

    2. No, buying a phone just because it doesn’t have bloat is for suckers! It’s 2011, learn to root a phone already!

      1. I learned how to do that over 2 years ago with my G1. You judged me because of what I said but even now I root peoples phones because they get tired of not getting updates. Most people aren’t smart enough to figure it out, hell most won’t try because they don’t like to read or won’t even do research on how to do it. At the last time the numbers were released in 2011 only 0.5% of Android users actually root their phones.

        I don’t like to have to go through the steps of rooting and voiding your warranty anymore because then what makes us better then those ifanboys jerks who always say “my phone can do that too if I jailbreak it”. I know that my phone comes badass right out the box!

  26. Wah wah wah, Kevin. No wonder keep hating on T Mobile. You are jealous of the better devices they have. At last, we have the reason for your shameless ranting.

    1. What’s a good phone when you have the worst service of all the big carriers.

      1. Exactly who wants a great phone on a shitty network

        1. IPhone users

        2. Either you live in the middle of nowhere or you’ve never had T-Mobile service. It’s been absolutely perfect in Chicago for the last 7 years that I’ve been with them.

      2. I live in NYC and I have great service on T-Mobile, so I have no idea why it’s considered the worst.

    2. Apparently camelz is Kevin’s alter ego or his ‘buddy’ or something…

  27. The evo brought allot of popularity to the platform as will, which is far more impressive a they have a quarter of the subscribers.

  28. Kevin this article seems way off base. IMO the lack of Nexus product on Verizon is Verizon’s own fault. Verizon and Sprint both dropped their plans to carry the Nexus One, and it wasn’t because Google withheld the Nexus One from those carriers. What are you even trying to prove with comments like:

    “Even Sprint, with their CDMA network, saw a custom version of the Nexus S complete with additional 4G WiMAX radio. If Google and Samsung could make these accommodations for other carriers, why no Nexus S for Verizon?”

    Yep, because Sprint took the initiative!

    “While the actual answer is most likely mired in politics, a fledgling 4G LTE network, and a crammed roadmap of releases for Big Red, it’s hard to see why the carrier was not included.”

    Because they chose not to be!

    “So Google, where’s the Nexus love?”

    “So for my sake, I will ask the question again. Google, where’s a Verizon Nexus phone?”

    This article is just awful. No offense to you personally, but it’s just awful.

    1. Really, THEY CHOSE NOT TO BE?!?!? Damn you are insightful.

      1. Give me a better reason asshat…

  29. I think he has the title backwards. Title should have read “Hey VERIZON, Why No Nexus Love?”

  30. Let’s face it , Verizon has lots of restrictions and is not giving customers any freedom , and with their high prices and the worst customer service , why should google even think of another partnership with them?!

  31. You are a dummy…I want the last minute of my life back.

  32. “it’s hard to see why the carrier was not included.”

    The author doesn’t seem to have entertained the thought that Verizon is actually in control of their own device line-up.

    If they wanted the Nexus, they would have carried it.

    1. no shit dude

  33. Hoping rumors come true Nexus Prime and VZW would love it.

  34. There is bloat on the OG Droid.

  35. Moto needed help and Verizon needed something to battle exclusive rights AT& T had w/ I*hone. Moto has CRAPPY bloatware and Verizon LOVES CONTROL! They hooked up and the OG Droid was born but after the DX Moto has been slipping. Now after Verizon getting the I*hone..Moto has not put out anything of worth or should I say no longer do they have a captive audience. Xoom? DX2? Droid2 global? Droid 2 (r2d2)? Devour? Bionic release dates? Answer this……at release were any of the first 6 devices flagship status worthy? No! I guess Moto felt we would buy it anyways! Yes I got moto DXs on 2 lines and an OG droid on the other so I am on the inside looking out. 2 of my lines are upgradeable and the other in 6 months. No Nexus Prime (STOCK NO BLOAT) on Big Red soon….See ya! After 12 yrs as a customer of Big Red, I’m considering leaving Big Red due their company directions and my money going in opposite directions. But one thing is for sure that fruit company is not the direction my money is going.

  36. This is a stupid question, asked to the wrong company.. The real question is “Hey Verizon, Why No Nexus Love For Your Customers ?”… If you honestly believe that Google/Samsung didn’t try to get it Verizon to go for it.. Well I just don’t know what to say, except that you must have a terrible co-dependent love thing going on with Verizon… That’s ok. they didn’t mean it.., and they have been working hard and are under so much pressure.. It’s not their fault, you should have been more sensitive to their needs.

  37. Screw Verizon! After they went to the cap plans they don’t deserve the Nexus! Either give it to Sprint (the true Cellular hero!) or make it Penta-Band 3G like Nokia does.

    If Verizon goes back to unlimited, then AND ONLY THEN do they get a shot at the Nexus.

    You wanted the iPhone so bad Verizon and it screwed up your network, now live with the iFail…

  38. I’m guessing the reason Verizon never got a Nexus phone was the fact they were way to willing to replace Google search with Bing on their other Android phones. Likely, they probably had some deal with Microsoft to replace Google search with Bing search on all Android phones for a set period of time. I hope to heaven they’re done with that nonsense.

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