Google Promoting “Free” Nexus S On Homepage

Hurry, supplies are limited. If you’ve been to Google.com today (from a US IP address) then you’ve already seen the Nexus S “free today only” offer. Users can obtain the phone from US retailer Best Buy and must sign up for a two-year contract. Three out of the four major US carriers offer the phone: AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.

It’s not clear whether Google is subsidizing the phone or whether the carriers and Google are doing so together. Regardless it’s a shrewd promotion to get the NFC-enabled device into more pockets and lock them in for two years, ahead of the launch of the new iPhone.

According to Nielsen Android-based handsets now represent 39 percent of all smartphones in the US market. Smartphones themselves represent about 38 percent of the total market.

Separately research firm Canalys said that Android smartphones made up “almost 50 percent (48 percent) of smartphone “shipments” (not consumer sales) in Q2 on a global basis.

The Nexus S is the only phone (to date) that works directly with Google Wallet and its NFC technology. On the Q2 earnings call Google said that it was activating 550,000 Android handsets per day.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Android | Google: Mobile

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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