Google pulls plug on Nexus One

Whipping the leads out of the back of the life support machine seems to be the norm nowadays when it comes to struggling smartphones. Following in the footsteps of Microsoft and the Kin, Google pulled the plug on the Nexus One.

Whipping the leads out of the back of the life support machine seems to be the norm nowadays when it comes to struggling smartphones. Following in the footsteps of Microsoft and the Kin, Google pulled the plug on the Nexus One.

News of its demise comes in the form of this very short blog post:

Earlier this year, we announced that we will be closing the Nexus One web store. This week we received our last shipment of Nexus One phones. Once we sell these devices, the Nexus One will no longer be available online from Google. Customer support will still be available for current Nexus One customers. And Nexus One will continue to be sold by partners including Vodafone in Europe, KT in Korea, and possibly others based on local market conditions.

To ensure our developers have access to a phone with the latest Android OS, Google will be offering the Nexus One through a partner for sale to registered developers. Visit the Android Market Publisher site and log into your developer account to purchase a Nexus One.

What can we learn from this? A few things:

  • Open source and Google fanboy hyperventilating doesn't equal sales.
  • Google's plan to cut out the middle-man from the sales plan (that is, the mobile operators) sucks (unless you're talking about Apple).
  • The carriers ultimately want control of the handset (again, unless you're talking about Apple).

Ultimately, it didn't really make sense for Google to on the one hand sell its own handset through its own distribution channels, and then try to push Android with other partners and channels. Something had to give. And it has.

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