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Google Debuts AT&T 3G-Friendly Nexus One

New version of Nexus One, unlocked, can run on AT&T's 3G wireless network.

3G Google

Previously, the unlocked Nexus One couldn't run on 3G frequencies from either AT&T or Canada's Rogers Wireless, forcing Nexus One users to access only 2G or EDGE networks if they have AT&T or Rogers SIM cards.

But Google on Tuesday confirmed that's no longer the case, and users can now by a $529 unlocked Nexus One that works with both carriers' 3G networks.

Google also said it would begin shipping Nexus One to Canada for the first time.

Google unveiled the Nexus One to much fanfare in early January, announcing an unlocked version available direct from Google, or a locked-version (that is, a two-year contract requirement) through T-Mobile. At the time, Google promised it would be announcing additional carriers for Nexus One in the spring.

The difference, however, is that T-Mobile's Nexus One is offered at a discounted price of $179, as in the traditional carrier lock-in subsidy arrangements. The AT&T phone is the same price, $529, as the regular unlocked Google phone, and it can only now run on AT&T's 3G network.

Both AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM-based standards. Verizon, another suggested carrier for Nexus One, uses the EVDO protocol (as does Sprint), which means that a Verizon 3G-enabled Nexus One will be a different phone from its AT&T and T-Mobile counterparts.

Google needs a boost for Nexus One if it is to compete more effectively with Apple's mighty iPhone. While the growth of Google's mobile platform, Android, has been rapid and robust, sales of its Nexus One phone in the past two months have been sluggish, at least according to analysts at Flurry.

Flurry on Tuesday released a report saying Nexus One sales had lagged behind the pace of both Apple's first iPhone debut and Motorola's Android-based Droid phone, which was launched in November.

Flurry estimated that Google moved about 135,000 Nexus One phones in its first 74 days on the market. That's paltry compared to Apple's iPhone, which sold about 1 million units in its first 74 days, and Motorola's Droid, which sold about 1.05 million in the time frame.

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