Google yesterday started selling the Nexus One, a phone manufactured by HTC Corp. that uses the Android mobile operating system. The Mountain View, California-based company will also offer other devices that use Android, such as phones from Motorola Inc.

By selling directly, Google can forge closer ties to consumers, potentially allowing the company to offer other products and services in the future, said Will Stofega, an analyst at Framingham, Massachusetts-based research firm IDC. Offering a range of Android phones may also spur the development of applications for the software as Google tries to catch up with Apple Inc.

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