Google has dropped plans to offer its Nexus One smartphone on the network of Verizon Wireless, the biggest US wireless carrier, in an apparent setback for its mobile phone market expansion.
Google did not offer an explanation for the move, which comes nearly four months after the Internet giant began selling the touchscreen Nexus One as a rival to Apple's iPhone.
When launching the Nexus One in January, Google said it expected to add Verizon Wireless, owned by Verizon Communications and British mobile phone giant Vodafone, as an operator.
But the Google Nexus One blog directed smartphone shoppers to think about purchasing the Android-powered Droid Incredible from Taiwan's HTC, calling it a "cousin of the Nexus One that is similarly feature-packed."
Google also said Vodafone had begun accepting pre-orders for the Nexus One from customers in Britain and it will go on sale in stores there on April 30.
"Soon after, they will also begin selling Nexus One in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain," Google said.
Google's failure to partner with Verizon Wireless, which has more than 90 million US customers, is being seen by analysts as a setback to its efforts to make a mark in the rapidly growing smartphone sector.
Google does not release sales figures for the Nexus One but it reportedly trails far behind the iPhone and other handsets such as Motorola's Droid.
Google worked with HTC to make the Nexus One, sold exclusively from the Internet company's online shop at google.com/phone. There are no real-world stores or service centers for the devices.
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