Mobile
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5/14/2010
12:47 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Google Killing Web Sales Of Nexus One

Android mastermind Andy Rubin in a blog post today said that Google will stop selling the Nexus One online. Amazing that the company admitted defeat in this experiment, but Google said it will still sell the Nexus One through retail stores.

Android mastermind Andy Rubin in a blog post today said that Google will stop selling the Nexus One online. Amazing that the company admitted defeat in this experiment, but Google said it will still sell the Nexus One through retail stores.Wow. Google is throwing in the towel after little more than three and a half months on the Web store idea for Android handsets.

I have to agree with this decision 100%. It is one thing to sell a device online that customers at least have the opportunity to see in real life somewhere else (such as a store). But when consumers can't put their hands directly on the thing that they are going to buy, things get tricky. Phones are extremely personal devices. I would never recommend that anyone buy a mobile phone sight unseen. It's just not a good idea. Why? It's something you spend hours with each day. It has to be good, it has to be what you want.

Google's little experiment to sell Android handsets online directly to consumers has been a failure from the start. It just hasn't worked. With partners Verizon Wireless and Sprint throwing in the towel on the Nexus One completely, there was little reason for Google to keep the store open.

Instead, it will start sending the Nexus One to electronics retail shops, where people will at least be able to get their hands on it before making a purchase. Neither T-Mobile nor AT&T has said that they will stock the device. Perhaps it is bound for Best Buy or RadioShack? Google didn't exactly say.

I know it's tough, Google, but you made the right call (pun intended) here.

Full post form Andy Rubin:

We launched Nexus One in January with two goals in mind: to introduce a beacon of innovation among Android handsets, and to make it quick and easy for people to buy an Android phone. We're very happy with the adoption of Android in general, and the innovation delivered through Nexus One. Already, a lot of the innovation that went into creating Nexus One has found its way into numerous Android handsets, like the HTC Evo 4G from Sprint and the Verizon Droid Incredible by HTC.

But, as with every innovation, some parts worked better than others. 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.

So today we're announcing the following changes:

More retail availability. As we make Nexus One available in more countries we'll follow the same model we've adopted in Europe, where we're working with partners to offer Nexus One to consumers through existing retail channels. We'll shift to a similar model globally.

From retail to viewing. Once we have increased the availability of Nexus One devices in stores, we'll stop selling handsets via the web store, and will instead use it as an online store window to showcase a variety of Android phones available globally.

Innovation requires constant iteration. We believe that the changes we're announcing today will help get more phones to more people quicker, which is good for the entire Android ecosystem: users, partners and also Google.

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