With the dropping of the Google Nexus One plans for Verizon and Sprint, it is pretty obvious that Google's phone store experience had rather limited success. Today Andy Rubin posted on the Official Google Blog that Google is moving the Nexus one to retail locations (no actual stores yet announced) and will eventually stop selling handsets via the web store.
I thought this statement was classic:
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.
Duh! Isn't that what we have all been saying for years? The US carrier model is successful because of the in store experience where most purchases are made and people obviously want the greatest choice in service plans. It is not going to be easy to ever change this model in the US because there are too many consumers who want the cheapest phone and want to buy it in their physical store where they can try it out first.