Google is about as innovative as it gets. With the advent of the Android operating system, we knew a phone would follow...an official Google phone. It came, and it was called the Nexus One.
While it was certainly a hit, and the Android OS has taken off to new heights, the online storefront that Google created for the Nexus One was neither hit nor height.
Given that people like to use devices before they buy them, the online store was bound to fail compared to a retail launch. People want to touch the touchscreen and see the apps in motion. In other words, the online store can only go so far.
But consumers weren't the only "problem" for the online store. Mobile service carriers didn't like being usurped. Google attempted to forego the normal chain of command, and the mobile companies weren't too happy about it.
Having experimented with selling the Nexus One in retail stores outside the US and seeing that it's not such a bad idea, Google today announced that it is calling it quits with the Nexus One online store:
[A]s with every innovation, some parts worked better than others. While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not.
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.
What will they do instead? Bring the Nexus One into stores. Yes, stores made of brick, mortar, and aisles teeming with people:
More retail availability. As we make Nexus One available in more countries we’ll follow the same model we’ve adopted in Europe, where we're working with partners to offer Nexus One to consumers through existing retail channels. We’ll shift to a similar model globally.
From retail to viewing. Once we have increased the availability of Nexus One devices in stores, we'll stop selling handsets via the web store, and will instead use it as an online store window to showcase a variety of Android phones available globally.
In the end, Google hopes that this change will be better for everyone, a win-win all around:
Innovation requires constant iteration. We believe that the changes we're announcing today will help get more phones to more people quicker, which is good for the entire Android ecosystem: users, partners and also Google.
People will get more (and better) access to the Nexus One, carriers are a lot happier to be back on top (assuming they were ever actually ousted), and the Android operating system is out in the wild, where it can be seen by more people.
What do you think of the change? Good for Google? Good for consumers? And, more importantly, are you now more willing to consider buying a Nexus One if you don't already own one? After all, that's what Google really wants.
Source: Google Blog