Google overhauls Nexus One retail strategy

Google, in a blog posting on The Official Google Blog, has announced that they will be making some big changes to their online Nexus One storefront. Google had this to say:

"While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not. It’s remained a niche channel for early adopters, but it’s clear that many customers like a hands-on experience before buying a phone, and they also want a wide range of service plans to chose from."

They don't explicitly mention the double-punch of Verizon and Sprint both pulling out of Nexus One availability, but they do subtly admit defeat, saying that many innovations in the Nexus One appeared in phones like HTC's EVO 4G and Droid Incredible, the two phones that some would say caused Sprint and Verizon to drop the Nexus One in the first place. 

In response to the change in market attitude towards Google's phone, they are overhauling the whole purpose of the website. They are going to start offering the Nexus One in other retail venues other than Google, something that they have started to do already in Europe. Once the Nexus One makes its footprint at retailers, they will eventually drop the option to purchase from the website altogether, and make the Nexus One website a "store window" where Google will showcase other Android phones and features available elsewhere. 

While the tone of the post is optimistic, you can't help but notice the timing of the announcement. It seems pretty clear that Google is shifting gears from their original image of the Nexus One being the go-to phone for the Android OS, available only on the Google website. Keep in mind that, according to Flurry.com, in the first 74 days of sales, Google only managed to sell 135,000 units. Apple's iPhone and Motorola's Droid were able to sell 1 million and 1.5 million respectively in the same amount of time. With the website adopting a stronger focus on the Android OS in general, and the Nexus One heading out into the wide world of retail, it almost seems like Google has given up on the first piece of hardware they built for Android.

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Saturation in what way? There can never be enough choice and eventually everyone will have a smart phone, the contracts are already cheap enough for that to be the case so anyone getting a new contract is going to consider one or just end up getting one because it's the best value.

mad_onion said,
Saturation in what way? There can never be enough choice and eventually everyone will have a smart phone, the contracts are already cheap enough for that to be the case so anyone getting a new contract is going to consider one or just end up getting one because it's the best value.

Saturation being that everyone that wants a smart phone already has one... so yeah, we're pretty much there.

owensd said,

Saturation being that everyone that wants a smart phone already has one... so yeah, we're pretty much there.


Not really, as with mobile phones there is a constant state of development of smart phones, from the initial break to 3g and into 4g to take just one branch of development. As with any product, smart phones have a product life span, with new products being rotated every 2 or so years.

Featured Article said,
Keep in mind that, according to Flurry.com, in the first 74 days of sales, Google only managed to sell 135,000 units. Apple's iPhone and HTC's Droid were able to sell 1 million and 1.5 million respectively in the same amount of time.

Umm, it is the Motorola Droid, not the HTC Droid and the number for the Motorola Droid is 1.05 million, not 1.5 million. The HTC Droid Incredible hasn't seen 74 days of sales yet.

CalebTG said,

Umm, it is the Motorola Droid, not the HTC Droid and the number for the Motorola Droid is 1.05 million, not 1.5 million. The HTC Droid Incredible hasn't seen 74 days of sales yet.

HTC Droid Eris. Verizon names all its android phones as "Droids"

The real reason for the N1's slow uptake is *price and no retail availability*. Notice that all the hot selling handsets are available via walk-up/walk-in. Also, when the economy (both in the EU and US) tanked, those subsidized handsets are looking more and more attractive *because* there is less upfront cash to be laid out. A discount is a discount is a discount.

I don't get how they are "giving up" when the article states they are basically reaching to other venues of retail to obtain greater sales...Sounds quite the opposite to me.

It wouldn't make sense to me. I have AT&T and the phone is not subsidized so I would have to shell out the full cost + the cost of the internet every month. I'm sorry but I can't make that kind of commitment. AT&T gets to much of my money as it is.

jznomoney said,
It wouldn't make sense to me. I have AT&T and the phone is not subsidized so I would have to shell out the full cost + the cost of the internet every month. I'm sorry but I can't make that kind of commitment. AT&T gets to much of my money as it is.
Except when buying it straight from Google, AT&T just gets your data fees, right?

It's getting dropped in Europe too(eg Vodafone)
HTC Desire for the win it seems. In the UK, networks are selling out every batch they are getting.