Hot on the heels of poor sales estimates in the United States, Google is launching its Nexus One "super phone" in Canada.
The company announced that as of Tuesday, Canadians can order the Nexus One from its website. Google is bucking convention with the Nexus One by selling the phone unlocked, which means it can work on any compatible network, and for its full price of $529 US. The phone isn't locked to a specific provider and doesn't carry any term contract.
Phones in North America are typically sold locked so that they only work on a given provider's network, and usually at a discount in exchange for a multi-year contract. Google, however, is trying to spur competition with the Nexus One by giving consumers ownership over their phones and thereby the power to demand deals from their providers.
In a blog post, Google explained that Canadians can choose from two versions of the Nexus One, each of which work on different 3G cellular frequencies. The version introduced in the United States in January works on T-Mobile's U.S. network. The new version introduced on Tuesday works on AT&T's network in the United States and on Rogers, Telus and Bell in Canada.
A spokesperson for Google Canada added that the Nexus One had been successfully tested on the Rogers and Wind Mobile networks, which use the same respective frequencies as AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States. She could not say why the company chose to make two separate phones rather than one that works on both types of 3G frequencies.
"It's an ongoing project to extend the availability around the world," the spokesperson said. "We'll continue to launch more phones that work on different networks and providers."
A spokesperson for Telus confirmed the Nexus One would work at full 3G speeds on the company's — and Bell's — network without any problems.
The AT&T and Rogers version uses the 850 and 1900 megahertz frequencies, which are in the same bands used by Bell and Telus's new network.
"If you have a Nexus One, bring it to us and we'll give you a SIM card for $9.99 and off you go," said a manager at a Toronto Telus store.
The Google spokesperson said customers should check with their provider before buying the Nexus One to ensure that it will work on their network.
Google's announcement comes on the same day that U.S.-based mobile analytics firm Flurry declared the Nexus One a flop.
The company estimated that Google had sold only 135,000 phones in its first 74 days, or the same length of time it took Apple to sell one million iPhones. Analysts did note, however, that the comparison was not necessarily fair, given Google's unusual business model for selling the Nexus One.
The company hyped the device as a "super phone" when it launched in January because of its powerful processing ability.
Google also announced that paid apps for phones using its Android operating system are now available in Canada.