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Google's Nexus One, ambassador of Android - R.I.P. The phone was pulled due to poor sales. Now its up to Droid & friends.

Google has pulled the plug on the Nexus One, its once highly anticipated smartphone. The last shipment has arrived at Google HQ, and once those are gone there will be no more Nexus Ones for U.S. consumers. More on Mashable

Its a shame to see such as nice Android phone discontinued, especially on the back of the Android 2.2 release. I guess there just weren't enough geeks to support the unlocked non-subsidized model.

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There are already better phones available. My only surprise is this didn't happen sooner. Considering the evo & droid x have low availability due to demand I think android isn't hurting.
I think it did what it was supposed to do - drive the platform. I don't think they could get anyone excited about Android 2 before N1. HTC Incredible is very similar to N1 and is doing well. EVO is just beautiful to hold / use. I can't imagine handset vendors are excited by the need to upgrade a phone's firmware. (it's a large financial commitment for no direct revenues)

Google probably has folks signed up for launch of Android 3. N1 made that possible, in my view.
Hey Brian and Les - Perhaps you are right, and N1 was always intended as a proof of concept / loss leader. Android is completely open-source, so Google doesn't have any direct revenue from the platform, but they do benefit from gaining mind share, revenue from related offerings (mobile ads, Android market, etc.) and grabbing marketshare from Apple. Watching the Apple / Google relationship is more entertaining than a UFC fight :-)

They note on the Android site, "We created Android in response to our own experiences launching mobile apps. We wanted to make sure that there was no central point of failure, so that no industry player can restrict or control the innovations of any other."
I've got to say, Google hasn't actually pulled the plug on the Nexus one, that's rather sloppy journalism, especially when you read the Google Blog. What's happened is Google has pulled the plug on their online web store::

"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." (emphasis mine)

The phone is still available in stores across the globe, it's just not available direct from Google themselves. Whilst the online store was a neat idea, most people like to touch and play with a phone before they purchase it. A lack of major advertising campaign (a la Droid) and few stores carrying the phone hardly lends itself to spectacular sales. I'm not sure if Google was expecting the Nexus One to sell well or not.
Paul - I think you missed the story that Google has taken delivery of it's last N1. Offline will be done once they are sold.

Dan - Google believes in 'manufacturing luck' by trying lots of stuff and seeing what hits. They gave lots of N1's away, including the one I've got. As I understand it, Google has lots of ways to monazite Android. There are three ways an OEM uses Android-Free; Free w/ a License for Google Apps, put must pay for certification; and lastly w/ lots of google support.

When A2 rolled out, they substantially changed how they interact w/ Hardware, so I can imagine, they got a bit of resistance. I think N1 was the response to that.
The nice thing about Android is that there's lots of choices. Sony has some amazingly tiny phones they are selling in Japan. It's just as I get older, I like bigger things. If I didn't have to switch to Sprint, I'd put my EVO into daily use.
Les Vogel said:
Paul - I think you missed the story that Google has taken delivery of it's last N1. Offline will be done once they are sold.

I'm sorry Les, I don't see that mentioned anywhere on the Blog at all, only in ReadWriteWeb's article.

That's the official announcement. Semantics, maybe, but there is a bit difference between 'pulled the plug' and 'no longer being sold by Google'. It even specifically mentions that partner stores will be selling the Phone. It's literally only just becoming available in some countries.
There is not one mention of when it's gone it's gone or similar which is essentially what ReadWriteWeb is saying. It even states they will be continuing to sell the Phone to developers.

The blog is even posted under the title "Nexus One Changes in availability"
I don't think Google intended it as a loss leader - I think it was really just an insight into how their engineer-driven culture doesn't always get consumer behaviour (see Buzz, Orkut outside of Brazil, etc..). They certainly have successfully spun it as a 'success' though.

(Or maybe I'm wrong and they did.. I just don't believe it). Either way we've got the Evo, Incredible, Droid X, Droid 2 coming in mid-August, and the whole family of Samsung Galaxy coming to every carrier. These are all fantastic phones with plenty of choice for every major carrier in the US. Gartner's prediction of iPhone dominance dying out in the next year or so looks pretty realistic at this point.

I'm more interested to see what happens with RIM at this point and whether they can resurrect sex appeal for their products. Be interesting to see an enterprise/consumer breakdown of their market share as well.

Also Dan I disagree that the N1 was the Android ambassador. Clearly the original Droid was what got the platform really rolling - being the first smartphone to meet/exceed (depending who you ask) the original iPhone in 90 day sales (~1 million).



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