Google pulls plug on Nexus One

Google pulls plug on Nexus One

Summary: 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.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Google, Hardware, Mobility

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  • Fautly assumptions?

    Do you really think Google wanted to sell handsets or was this just a publicity/marketing campaign to promote Android? I would argue that the Nexus One created a lot of interest in Android phones and hence gave the platform a huge boost.

    I think Google is perfectly happy to sit back and let others do the HW.
    • RE: Google pulls plug on Nexus One

      @Economister <br>I agree with you, otherwise we would not have seen devices like EVO 4G, Droid X, and Samsung captive/Samsung Galaxy S. I have EVO 4G. I checked Droid X and Samsung Captive (reviews not the physical devices) and bought EVO 4G. I went to AT&T store yesterday to see Captive and thought my decision to go with EVO 4G was right. I am going to Verizon probably and check droid X. The reasons that put me away from Droid X are Motorola (they half bake things and release always - MotoBlur it still lags behind SenseUI) and expensive Verizon. For the same price that I would pay Verizon, I could have 4G data capability and Mobile Hotspots for 8 devices with Sprint. Even though Captive is compelling, I don't want to use Samsung specific accessories, I would like to go with some standard adapters for accessories. I found Micro USB is more standard and cheaper. Also AT&T data plans stopped me to go with them even though I can take Captive to other parts of world without needing for another phone.
      Ram U
      • I have to disagree

        I honestly believe that Google wanted to sell handsets. The future is mixture of both.
        Throughout the years in the field I worked in, when Military spending was up, consumer spending was down, and then the opposite. Right now, corporate spending is down, yet the consumers seem to spend more then they can afford.
        I think Google was looking to sell to consumers to offset "corporate" advertising drops, but it just didn't pan out that well.
        John Zern
    • RE: Google pulls plug on Nexus One

      @Economister Good question! I think if the Nexus One had been in brick and mortar stores rather than sold solely online they might have had more sales - I like to be able to interact physically with the device before I buy it and with the sales paradigm they used with the Nexus One I was unable to do that... I wonder how many others who would have potentially purchased the Nexus One didn't due to not being able to physically interact with one?

      It did help quite a bit to promote the Android platform.
      • RE: Google pulls plug on Nexus One

        @athynz and the rest of you guys clearly have no idea about marketing. Of course Google wanted to sell phones. Their problems though are many. Not least is their lack of understanding of the game they tried to get into. Whilst not quite as dumb as Amazon, they clearly tried to run before they can walk.

        What panicked them? Schmidt feedback from Apple's boardroom. It was a bad business move from day one. The naming was laughable. Setting up in competition with your customers is just idiotic. And yes, I said all this when they did it.

        10 comments on here says it all.
        Graham Ellison
  • Smartphones lifetime is very short these days

    Successful models like Droid are being stopped much earlier than 2-3 years ago.

    (not to mention sad jokes like KIN...)
  • RE: Google pulls plug on Nexus One

    Many pundits see this as a sign of failure instead of what it truly is - a sign of complete success. Android now dominates as the smartphone platform of choice outside of the Apple universe.
    Google no longer has a need to be in the hardware business. HTC and others are throwing their weight behind the platform and can develop hardware far better than could Google. Google's choice to exit the hardware business was the smartest move they could make.
    • Agree on the reasons

      @Antigone42 :

      I agree that it sounds like success to me but I disagree on it being a good thing for the consumer.

      I don't think that a phone tied to a plan or provider is a good thing.
  • RE: Google pulls plug on Nexus One

    Google doesn't need to do H/W. I think this was more of an experiment in a new marketing and distribution model.<br>I also don't think that the NexusOne did half as much for Android's popularity as did Verizon's 'Droid' campaign.
  • RE: Google pulls plug on Nexus One

    The most interesting thing is that Google continues offering the NexusOne to developers.

    The reason for the Google smartie was to have a show case of their latest Android version, independent of HW makers' decision to upgrade.

    The Nexus will serve for this purpose in future too.

    I believe, they make a brilliant move. As long as App developers develop for the most recent version, pressure is on HW makers to go ahead with versions too.
  • RE: Google pulls plug on Nexus One

    I think this was a hedge for Google, an insurance policy in case phone vendors dropped the ball. I'm not sure I'd call it a success but I don't think Google's complaining. Android is succeeding.
  • It doesn't really matter

    I think the nexus one was only created to attract attention to the Android platform and it has. It is really a phone for developers as the newest builds of Android can be loaded onto it with no issues. Its high price and lack of CDMA support were the 2 things that made consumers not buy it. But it served its purpose and now is going to be put away.
  • RE: Google pulls plug on Nexus One

    I agree with the "lack of brick and mortar" issue as well as the business accounts, and in my case, because I had a family plan, they wouldn't sell to I shopped else where...Why give up sales by setting up restrictions...why in the world would you not allow corporate accounts or family account...they missed out on thousands of sales.
  • RE: Google pulls plug on Nexus One

    at least... i cant wait any more longer ;)