Ever since the inception of the Nexus One the American telecommunications firms have been trying to lock down this unlocked phone in a way that convinces their customer base to choose them. There are few mobile devices that have successfully crossed the carrier availability boundary to be used on all four of America's largest wireless carrier networks. The Windows Mobile OS utilizing HTC Touch Pro2 comes immediately to mind but few others are so readily recalled. This is because it is notoriously difficult to convince all four carriers to carry the same mobile device. They are so dead-set on being unique and different in their customer base's eyes that they cannot allow much cross-carrier compatibility.
In the beginning of discussions Google announced that the first iteration of their Nexus One launch would be for T-Mobile's AWS 3G network in the United States. They further announced that this release would be followed by the launch of a CDMA/EVDO variant for Verizon Wireless. Google was not satisfied with this level of market exposure, however, and they opted to discuss things with AT&T as well and now that long standing company has shown a desire to enter into the Nexus One's circle of carriers. There have been rumors and cited statements from individuals that claim the existence of a 3G network compatible version at the FCC that will work with "Ma Bell". Finally it seems that Sprint's continual desire to outpace the competition in innovation will not be completely outside the box. They want the Nexus One to work on their network as well. This should not be a particularly difficult retrofit as they use a CDMA/EVDO network system with a great deal of similarity to Verizon Wireless.
The part of this market outreach campaign that Google seems to be undergoing that many individuals seem to enjoy the most is that it gives them five separate options. They can but the Nexus one unlocked. They can purchase it via the T-Mobile's $179 contract. However rumors abound that they might even be able to go to their local Walmart superstore and acquire a version of the Nexus One that works with either of the other three networks listed for as little as $99. Some of those same rumor mongers also express the possibility of a $99 T-mobile contract. This is no doubt too much to hope for considering the incredible price drop from the unlocked version to the known T-Mobile contract alone. However, these rumors began as far back as January 26, 2010 so they have spread like wildfire across the online mobile phone community.
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