What do you think Google will bail on first, China or Nexus One?

Apple Online Store “Google’s first directly marketed smartphone is off to a rough start. It received generally favorable initial reviews, but the crowd is turning. It’s being picked apart for lacking tech support by phone and the possibility of incurring up to $550 in early termination fees,” Rick Aristotle Munarriz reports for The Motley Fool.

“The damage is done, and it’s apparently even keeping pioneer buyers away. Mobile analytics specialist Flurry is estimating that Nexus One sold a measly 20,000 Nexus One handsets in its first week on the market,” Munarriz reports.

MacDailyNews Note: For perspective, Flurry’s numbers say: Apple’s iPhone 3GS sold 1,600,000 units, Motorola’s Droid sold 250,000, and myTouch3G sold 60,000 in their first week.

Munarriz continues, “Some may blame the low visibility of Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile as the initial Nexus One carrier, but it had no problem moving three times as many handsets of the similarly Android-powered myTouch 3G, according to Flurry.”

“Let’s give Nexus One more than a few weeks before writing it off,” Munarriz writes. “I still don’t see a blockbuster here, of course.”

Full article here.

18 Comments

  1. For a more equal comparison, I think the original iPhone sold 500,000 in the first weekend of release in 2007 in the US only – before smartphones were so popular.

  2. PhxDoc,

    Why do you think that makes it a more equal comparison?

    Apple has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to educate and prime the market for smartphone acceptance, yet all Google could manage was a paltry 20,000 units?

    Throw out the iPhone numbers. The Droid and myTouch3G numbers compared to the Nexus One show the magnitude of Google’s flop.

  3. Broker,

    It’s a more equal comparison because the 3GS is an already established brand – “iPhone”, which is very popular, and automatically sold units to previous iPhone buyers that wanted to upgrade.

    The original iPhone wasn’t, and had no established record of sales or usage, thus it is more like the Nexus One.

    Otherwise, you are correct in that Droid numbers are just as good in establishing the N.O.’s failure.

    As a matter of fact, by just about any measure, it has failed; does anybody remember what the Zune’s numbers were?

  4. For me it’s summed up by ‘ who the f**k is myTouch3G?’ In context, it’s amazing how i’ve heard of the google phone. Just imagine their support problems if people has ACTUALLY BOUGHT tons of them!

  5. rwahrens,

    Its not an equal comparison. Broker was right. Google is an extremely established brand. In fact, one of the most popular internet companies in the world according to many reports. When people buy the Nexus One they buy it because it’s an established brand name phone “the Google Nexus One”.

    When the iPhone first came out in 2007, It was a new type of phone from a company that made software and hardware – actually the iphone rolled out as more like a computer than a phone- it was a new platform and still is. Steve Jobs called it, “an iPod, a phone and an internet communicator” – all rolled up into a Mac OS (80%) system.

    It was NOTHING like the “smartphones” of the old days (including the Treos, blackberry and 7135).

    Its a logical comparison:

    1. The iPhone 3GS is riding on the back of the iPhone (iPod) success.
    2. The Nexus One is riding on the back of the G1, Android, and the Google brand in general.

    They both should have about the same amount of success. Any “advanced” phone that comes out (after the original iPhone) IMHO, is coming into a market fully understanding the power and technology that a mobile phone can have – thats why we pony up the large amounts of cash to have them.

    To that degree, the Nexus One should have been an overwhelming success – (crazy advertising, big hype as an iPhone killer, the past success of other Google phones, and the huge brand of Google – thats why people are shocked about its initial low sales, technical issues and overall acceptance.

  6. China and hacking pirates go hand in hand. Does anyone think it was something different?

    Did Google not use those Nexus One phones first to see if they were any good? Is it possible that the Nexus One is the best of the worst smart phones and Google thought it would go down better with minimal damage?

  7. No average consumer has any idea what a google phone or a nexus one is. This is no surprise. Only uber geeks have any desire or even knowledge of this phone. No one cares. To top the iPhone something big will have to come out. Like a tablet with an apple on it.

  8. @bon

    Well the same could more or less be said for “Droid” or “Android” in being sci-fi-ish. In fact, the name “Nexus One” appears to be a tribute to the Nexus 6 model of androids from Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, which you may know better as the film adaptation “Blade Runner”.

    So yes… not only is it highly sci-fi-ish, but it keeps in line with Google’s whole “android” thing that they have going on. That said, I agree… it is kinda weird to link the concept of an android to a cell phone.

  9. Branding is the fundamental basis of marketing. Google has profited by being anti-microsoft and their “do-no-evil,” colorful, hip, and winning image. These new, negative issues besmirch the brand and lessen the sense of trust, good feeling, and bandwagon success. China, nexus, cynically-defined “openness,” etc, have already damaged the brand. They risk being seen as the other microsoft, which of course they are.

  10. I’m a bit stunned that Google could make two strategic blunders in such a short period of time. Zuning Android makes no sense and that’s been discussed to death.

    Regarding China, as a corporation, Google is not the equal of the Chinese government. Love it or loath it, any government forms part of the environment in which a corporation must operate. Google’s attempt to stand up to the Chinese government is like pissing into the wind and hoping the wind will change direction as a result. While leaving entirely might be the high minded approach, it’s not the best one for share holders or, ultimately, the Chinese. Google will soon have no choice but to crawl back under even more restrictive terms.

    If laws were broken, then Google should have worked through the appropriate authorities. This is not a political comment, but I’m sure they could get want they want from Clinton and/or Obama. Taking matters into their own hands just lowers Google to the same level as the Chinese hackers and robs Google of any legitimacy.

    Finally, by going public with the whole mess, they’ve embarrassed themselves, raised more doubts about the cloud and probably missed a chance to catch whoever’s doing it red (pardon the pun) handed.

    To sum up, a blunder.

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