Google announced via the Android Developers Blog that device-hungry developers have snatched up its initial inventory of the Nexus One handset.
Googler Tim Bray calls the Nexus One "a little too popular" in a blog post he published late Thursday. That's an odd way to describe a device that attempted to break new ground and ended up failing.
The Nexus One became available in January of this year and could only be purchased directly from Google's own Web store. It was initially available for T-Mobile's network, but an AT&T version eventually lined the virtual store shelves, too. Though Sprint and Verizon Wireless committed to selling the Nexus One, they both later reneged and sold newer devices instead. It wasn't long after that Google announced it was going to close up the Nexus One Web store.
Once the store was closed, the Nexus One was briefly unavailable. The device recently became available for developers only through the Android Developers Program. It was for sale to registered developers for the full retail price of $530. Bray explains what happened next.
"A couple of weeks ago, we arranged that registered developers could buy an unlocked Nexus One via their publisher page in Android Market. We think it's a good development platform and a nice phone. Apparently, you agree. Somewhat too many of you, in fact; we blew through the (substantial) initial inventory in almost no time, and they’re back-ordered from HTC, who are doing a pretty good job of managing runaway success amid a worldwide AMOLED shortage. Everyone appreciates that it's important to the platform to get phones in the hands of developers, so we're working hard on re-stocking the shelves; stand by."
Google hasn't published sales figures of the Nexus One, though it had sold about 50,000 units in its first few weeks of availability in January and February.
The Nexus One -- good phone though it may be -- has impressive specs, but is already being bested by the newest devices on the market. Devices from Samsung, HTC, and Motorola have larger displays, better cameras, and offer more features.
Unless you're a developer, there's little reason to go after the Nexus One. If you're dying for a Nexus One, however, you can always try eBay. A quick check on Friday returned thousands of available Nexus Ones.
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