Verizon Nexus One — $199 With 2-Year Contract?

You might want to take this with a grain of salt, but the Google Nexus One sales site reportedly showed the Nexus One on Verizon’s network very briefly this weekend, per Android Central. A forum enthusiast member grabbed a screen cap, which of course is under scrutiny since Google’s online store isn’t showing availability of the phone for Verizon. But this wouldn’t be the first time that Google let an almost live link slip out when it comes to the Nexus One. The original support links made a brief appearance prior to any announcement, disappeared and then reappeared. That doesn’t set a precedent though, so we’ll have to see if any official news comes down the pike.

What’s interesting in the screen shot is the alleged pricing — $199  for the phone and a new 2-year plan. That would be $20 more than the subsidized T-Mobile version, indicating that Google brokered a different subsidy agreement with Verizon. I suppose that’s possible, but regardless, I wouldn’t expect to see the no-contract price be any different from the $529 Google charges for the GSM models. And that’s actually something I hadn’t thought about — how does that compare to other Verizon handsets available at full price for month-to-month use. Not bad it turns out — here are current prices for unsubsidized phones, direct from Verizon:

  • Motorola (s mot) Droid  = $559.99
  • HTC Imagio = $579.99
  • HTC Touch Pro2 = $489.99
  • Palm (s palm) Pre Plus = $599.99
  • Motorola Devour = $479.99

When you look at these options, a $529 Nexus One from Google (s goog) would be right in line. And a potential $199 price tag for a contract device is too. The question remains: when is it coming? I fully expected Google to take the wind out of everyone’s sails at CTIA by debuting this model — and so did two-thirds of you in our poll — but it turns out, it didn’t have to. Most of the big news was about other hot Android devices coming later this year. Perhaps Google will attempt to blunt iPad-mania (s aapl) late this week with a Nexus One for the largest carrier in the U.S.?

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Google’s Mobile Strategy: Understanding the Nexus One