John Paczkowski

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Korea Not Too Keen on Nexus S

Google’s Nexus S smartphone isn’t generating quite the same interest in Korea as its predecessor. Though Korea Telecom eagerly added the Nexus One to its lineup this past June, the carrier has greeted the debut of its successor with disinterest.

“Currently, we have no plans to introduce Google’s latest Android handset,’’ KT spokesman Lee In-won told the Korea Times. Evidently, SK Telecom–the country’s largest carrier–holds a similar view, and the reason seems to be the tight control Google is exerting over the device’s local marketing and customization. SK officials, for example, say they’re having difficulty getting SK’s T-Map navigation service onto the Nexus S.

With the S, Google has taken a dim view of the overlays and carrier add-ons that often mar the Android experience, adding little benefit while undermining its usability. Presumably, the difficulties to which SK refers are the result of this. If the Nexus S is to be pure Android, Google can’t allow its carrier partners to compromise by piling crapware and inferior pay services atop it, can it?

As of this writing, Google has not responded to requests for comment.