Verizon has Droid, and its customers are drooling over the forthcoming HTC Incredible. Likewise, Sprint’s next salivatory blow is the HTC EVO 4G. Google was trying to tie into that growth market by pushing their own branded Nexus One phone online. Today, they have toned down their commitment and will only sell through channel partners such as Vodaphone stores in the UK. A big reason was that they had issues with tech support. But the other is more touchy-feely. Touchy-feely on the phones that is. People want to hold their phone and try it out before buying. Buying sight-unseen online wasn’t going to cut it. The Vodaphone stores, however, will give them that channel. Failed online venture or not, its all gravy to GOOG. They sold 20,000 units – a paltry sum next to BB/iPhone numbers – but you have to figure that was all word of mouth and Google reputation. Not bad for just slapping a logo on an HTC phone.

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