Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

Summary: It is being reported that 135,000 Google Nexus One devices may have been sold in the first 74 days. While some are saying this is a flop, I disagree and feel that the comparisons are not equivalent with the Motorola DROID and iPhone.


Readers here know that I am a long-time T-Mobile customer and am very happy with my Google Nexus One that I purchased while at CES 2010. I read an article this morning that compared Motorola DROID, iPhone, and Nexus One sales after 74 days and it seems to me there is some flawed logic in this comparison. The iPhone and Motorola DROID launched on the two largest carriers in the US, were heavily advertised in print and on TV, and were available in carrier stores with full subsidized options available. The Google Nexus One was only sold online so no one could touch one before they bought it, was optimized to support the 3G network on the fourth largest US wireless carrier, and was extremely limited with the subsidization model (one single plan option). Honestly, if they really have sold 135,000 Nexus One units in 74 days then I would say that is quite an accomplishment in a country where people balk at paying more than $200 for their high end smartphones.

I would be interested in seeing how many of those Nexus One units sold were at the full $529 unsubsidized price. That is what I paid so that I could use the Nexus One with my existing family plan and not have to make any changes to my contract. It took T-Mobile USA 6 months to sell 1 million T-Mobile G1 Android devices and that device was fairly well advertised, available for $179 with different plan options, and was available in the stores for people to hold and try out before purchasing. While smartphone geeks like most of us are fine with paying $500+ for a phone we haven't ever held, your standard person purchases the majority of their phones at their local wireless carrier store and I know the sales numbers would be much higher if the Nexus One was sitting in the store next to all of the other smartphones and promoted in stores.

Whether or not the current sales of the Nexus One is considered a failure for Google or not cannot be determined because Google never stated any goals or real purpose for selling these devices directly from their online store. The Nexus One may have just been a test case to see how many Google fans would buy such a phone site unseen and selling 135,000 in just over 2 months seems to be quite a success, don't you agree?

UPDATE: Larry apparently thought the sales numbers were a bit of a flop too and wondered if they could recover. I think the announcement today of an AT&T and Rogers Wireless model may be a bit of a spark for a fantastic device.

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, Google, Hardware, Smartphones, Wi-Fi

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  • Too Many Variables

    My first job was working part-time on the weekends overnight at a
    radio station. On Friday nights, at 11:30 pm, I'd get a sub sandwich
    for dinner. I had just found this place that had the double benefit of
    being open after 10pm and making the best sub I had ever eaten.

    Sadly, the store closed after six months. Did the store lose money?
    Did it make money but not enough to support the owner's lifestyle in
    the manner he was expecting or accustomed to? I don't know. But it
    was a great sandwich.

    Looking at those numbers 135k in 2-1/2 months projects out to
    about 328K in six months, which means it is lagging behind the other
    phone you mention.

    But, what is the Nexus to Google? Proof of concept? An actual well-
    thought out entree into consumer electronics? Someone's pet project
    or hobby?

    And what number of units have to sell before the development costs
    are paid for?

    Too many questions. In the meantime, enjoy the sandwich and spread
    the word.
    • RE: Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

      Nice analogy :)
  • Figuring T-Mobile is a 4th rate carrier...

    135,000 is probably the best they could hope for. Like the
    iPhone being on AT&T, that carrier lock-in hurts. BTW, T-
    Mobile makes AT&T look like the worlds best carrier. My 2
    years with TMob was so amazingly bad, it was not even

    Put it on a better cell infrastructure, and it would probably
    do very well.
    • T-Mobile great in my area...

      Apparently, T-Mobile's signal strength varies greatly from city to city.

      In my city, signal strength is perfect, I have never encountered a dead zone, and have never had a dropped call. The signal is so strong, that I can even use my T-Mobile cell phone in the most remote portion of my house's basement.
  • RE: Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

    YOu don't have to be an econ wizard to know that when the Nexus comes to Verizon, sales will soar.
  • what a question

    apple's iphone was NOT subsidized by carriers in the first year and
    yet they sold 1 million units in the first 74 days for 600 dollars + a
    $79 a month two year contract.

    the droid sold for $199 + $75 monthly plan
    and the nexus sells for $179 + $79 monthly plan

    so besides from being on a smaller carrier and receiving less
    advertising (though this would be debatable with all hype and the free
    press through every tech site out there) the droid and nexus sales are
    perfectly comparable.

    the $600 iphone sales number remains in its own league though.
  • Not a "superphone", not a game changer

    Nexus One is just another smartphone, not a "superphone", and as such, didn't live up to all the hype.

    The direct-sales model, and the unlocking of a cell phone that only works well with one USA carrier, wasn't exactly revolutionary.

    (OK, the complete lack of customer service and product support was revolutionary -grin)

    It's a safe bet to say that sales were below expectations. Analysts generally consider "below expectations" to mean failure.
  • RE: Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

    Loverock Davidson
  • Problem is carrier and business model

    I would like to purchase a Nexus one, but they put up several barriers. First off, it doesn't work on my current carrier AT&T. I don't understand why that is the case. Secondly, I would like to actually hold one in my hand and evaluate it before sending Google $500 (non-refundable).
    • Nexus One is now available on AT&T

      Check out There is one barrier removed.
      • RE: Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

        too late for that! :)
  • Tmobile is Great in Houston 4MBs download on a G1

    I regularly obtain 2.3MB/s and up to 4MB/s
    download speeds with TMobile.. ATT in comparison
    is a turtle. Verizon at 1.3MB/s is half the
    speed. Sprint at 800Kb/s is third. ATT is last
    as speeds rarely exceed 400Kb/s. (Reference is proof available upon request).

    4th Carrier, better service, faster speeds. T
    • RE: Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

      The speed should be measured in Mb/s (megabit per seconds) right?
  • RE: Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

    Why do the constraints you listed (how it sold, who sold it) matter? The answer of success still comes down to units sold and how this compares to the competition. If it sold less than the competition, then it was less successful.
  • Site Unseen????

    Where's your english skills it's "sight unseen"

    "The Nexus One may have just been a test case to see how many Google fans would buy such a phone site unseen and selling 135,000 in just over 2 months"
    • English Skills????

      Please don't criticize someone about English skills if you're not going to follow the rules yourself.

      You should have written:

      Where ARE your English skills? It's "sight unseen".

      You're welcome.
      Jeff Libbey
  • I ask again:

    What's DonnieBoy planning to do with 135,000 Google phones?
    Hallowed are the Ori
  • RE: Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

    I think what this shows more than whether it is a success or not, is that this is more of the business model that I want to see. People can complain about their cell phone service being good or bad or slow or fast but what really should matter is the consumer having choices. Someone said the Nexus doesn't work with AT&T, which is wrong, it just doesn't have 3g data speeds yet, and may have already been fixed.
    What is important is that I want choices when it comes to choosing a phone and who I use it with. Granted our choices are somewhat limited because we first have to choose if we are going to use a CDMA phone or a GSM phone. After that I want to buy whatever phone I choose and then buy my cell service from whoever I choose with whatever options I choose. At this time we can pretty much not do any of this. The Nexus phone (if I choose to go with GSM) I can buy unlocked and use it with whoever I want, pretty much anywhere in the world. This is how all phones should be sold and I think that this will happen because of companies like Google and T-mobile, who is the only major cell company that will let you use any phone you want and get any services that you choose. If I don't want a data plan I don't have to get one. You can not do that with the other "top 3". If you have a smartphone, you are getting a $30/month data plan with it, like it or not. That is not having any choice and not something that I will "buy" into. So as more and more phone manufacturers start selling phones this way, then we, the consumers will have more choices and not have contracts and cell phone services that we don't want or need. Cell phone companies need to start selling cell phone service and consumers need to stop buying subsidized phones so that the cell companies stop having control over these phones. To me, this is the first step in this happening. By the way I also think T-mobile is great and have no problems with their phone service. I don't want or use data service so I can not comment on that. WiFi is pretty much everywhere now, so that is all I need.
    To me the Nexus one is a success, irregardless of how many units have been sold. When the Nexus one comes out as a CDMA phone, it too will hopefully be unlocked to use with whatever company someone chooses. That is what I want to see and I have hope that it will happen someday soon.
    I want to be able to walk into my local Wal-Mart and pick up a phone just like I would a notebook and then take it home and choose what ISP I want to use if any. Maybe I just want to use my wireless home network and not have a data plan with it. Maybe I want to install Ubuntu Linux on it instead of Windows. I should have these same choices with my phone too. Don't you agree? Cheers.
  • RE: Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

    I thougt it's a failure, the handset is not fashionable, not stable with adroid system.

    Alway "Application not response, Force close", something like that.

    But the functions is amazing, flexible and extendable, just need time to make it better.
  • RE: Success or failure? 135,000 Nexus One devices sold in 74 days

    "...and were available in carrier stores with full subsidized options available." The iPhone was NOT available subsidized at launch. Have the hol ein my wallet to prove it.