Google have had a slight mid-course correction with the Nexus, and have decided to leave selling mobiles to the big boys in store, and to concentrate on pushing Android via online.
Andy Rubin, VP, Engineering at Google in an announcement on his blog on Friday, “Nexus One changes in availability”, described the reasons for Google’s rethink on Nexus sales. “..as 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.”
Google will gradually reduce the emphasis on direct sales from their phone web site http://www.google.com/phone, and instead will follow the European model of selling through retail.
“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.” Adding “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.
Rubin believes the changes will help get more phones to more people quicker, which he describes “as good for the entire Android ecosystem: users, partners and also Google.” Hopefully there will still be a choice to buy a Nexus outright and choose your operator, but reading this post a few times we’re not sure that option will be available. Which is a pity, so it’s good for users, partners, Google, but not choice. The jury is out.