British mobile phone giant Vodafone announced on Wednesday that it would start selling Google’s Nexus One smartphone in Britain within the next few weeks, with France and Germany likely to follow.
The touch-screen device, launched on Tuesday and produced in collaboration with Taiwanese electronics maker HTC (宏達電), poses a direct challenge to Apple’s top-selling iPhone.
“I can confirm that Vodafone is the first operator to partner with Google to offer the Nexus One in Europe, starting soon in spokeswoman for Vodafone said.
“No detail on pricing and precise timing has yet been made, but that will come in a few weeks,” she said.
Customers will be able to purchase a subsidized Nexus One phone with a Vodafone contract. The device will also be available directly through the Google Web store.
Google said earlier it had reached “strategic partnerships” with telecom firm Verizon in the US and Vodafone in Europe.
Vodafone said on Wednesday that the group was in talks to sell the Nexus One in France, Germany and other European countries this year.
“We’re in early discussions with Google to introduce the offer in France [through SFR] and in Germany and Spain, and more European countries are expected during 2010,” the spokeswoman said.
“Our agreement with Google stretches beyond Europe — all Vodafone’s geographies — and over time we will be working to provide offers in other Vodafone operating countries,” she said.
Separately, rival O2 said it was closely following developments over the Nexus One handset.
“We have been following Google’s announcement with interest,” said a spokeswoman for O2, which is the British division of Spanish telecoms group Telefonica.
“We welcome innovation in our industry and have already seen devices such as the Apple iPhone and Palm Pre have a huge effect on the way people use their mobile phones,” the spokeswoman said.
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