Google has found that selling its Nexus One Android smartphone online wasn’t as easy as it thought it might be while launching Nexus One. Google says its iconic Android-powered Nexus One will be sold in retail stores and its experiment with online sales will end. Google’s Andy Rubin admitted consumers want a hands-on experience before buying a smartphone. An unlocked Nexus One costs $529, or $179 with a T-Mobile contract. Google has also struggled with support for the Nexus One.
Google announced on Friday that it will make its Nexus One smartphone available in more countries and in more retail stores globally, following an acknowledgment that sales from its own online store have been sluggish. The announcement came via Google’s official blog yesterday in a post from Andy Rubin, VP, Engineering, that it will soon end its webstore sales avenue and herd the Nexus One into the retail channel.
“While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not,” Andy Rubin wrote. “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,” Andy added.
Engadget asked Google about future devices and support for current Nexus One owners, here’s what they said:
On the future: We will continue working with our partners to bring cutting-edge new Android handsets to market, but we have nothing to announce right now.
On support: This announcement doesn’t have any immediate impact on support for consumers who purchase Nexus One through the web store.
The inability of consumers to “kick the tyres” of the Android phone, along with low sales volumes of Nexus One and few service plan options have been cited for the move. And with other Android samples such as the HTC Evo 4G from Sprint and the new HTC Droid Incredible available from Verizon giving the Nexus One a run for its money, consumers were voting with their feet.
This seems to be an admission by Google that its web based sales of the Nexus One didn’t work so well. People like to see and try what they are buying, especially when it costs half grand. Once the retail presence grows, Google will turn the webstore into an online showcase, advertising the latest Android models from around the world.