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European Nexus One to offer multitouch?

Google denies reports that the European version of the Nexus One will support multitouch.

The Nexus One: Multitouch or no? James Martin/CNET

There's a bit of confusion around the Web over whether the version of the Nexus Oneheaded for Europe may include a feature not found in its U.S. counterpart. The German Web site Heise Online is reporting (via Google translate) that its Nexus One review unit has pinch zooming capability in the Web browser.

Although Heise does concede that the handset could change before it's released, the report of two-finger support raises an interesting question: Why would Google or HTC enable the feature for handsets sold outside of the United States? What would possess them to integrate double-tapping instead?

It's hard to imagine either company specifically leaving the option off of a flagship handset. You'd assume that they'd want to include everything they could, but perhaps we're part of a vocal minority. Are there really that many users out there who demand multitouch? What did we do before the iPhone?

Good questions, but we must remember that this is one report from one source. What's the response from Google on the matter? According to a post on the Google Mobile Help Forum, Good says there isn't a difference in the handsets and that Engadget was wrong when it said Vodafone's Nexus One would be fully equipped. A succinct response from a Google employee on the forum said that the company will be "shipping the same Nexus One to the U.K." as what we're getting here in the United States.

A similar situation happened when the Motorola Droid and Milestone came out last November.

The U.S. handset for Verizon Wireless lacked support for multitouch, whereas the GSM Milestone featured the capability in many core applications. In that case there was finger pointing between Google, Motorola, and Verizon. But then just yesterday, Google Android chief Andy Rubin said he doesn't like two-handed operation.

Either way, we'll be finding out soon enough when the Nexus One arrives on Vodafone. A representative from the carrier was quoted Wednesday as saying the handset will be arriving in the U.K. "in a few short weeks."

In the meantime, those who are hung up having on multitouch in their Web browser should consider downloading Dolphin Browser. The Google Android Web client has been gaining some traction around the Internet lately and has a dedicated following thanks to features like tabbed browsing and sharing through social networking.