Nexus One Slows And Woes


The first week of sales and the first month of sales are usually a pretty good determinant of how a phone will perform overall, and for the Nexus One things aren’t looking as wonderful as many thought/hoped. According to Flurry, who have have analytics tracking in more than 80% of iPhone and Android applications, it’s likely the Nexus One only sold 20,000 units in it’s first week:


As  you can see th Droid and iPhone 3GS both DOMINATED that number and even the MyTouch 3G, which has been out for quite some time, tripled the Nexus numbers. So what gives?

My guess is that Google is finding out the hard way that changing habits isn’t so easy. I could be wrong, but I think the vast majority of people plan on walking into a store, testing out phones and choosing which one is best for them at the prices available. Because the Nexus One is ONLY available online, Google misses out on a HUGE percentage of foot traffic who end up choosing the MyTouch 3G instead.

But even if every new MyTouch 3G user ended up purchasing a Nexus One, that would still only be 80,000 units, less than 1/3rd of first week Droid sales 20 times less than iPhone 3GS sales. Google hasn’t gone CRAZY with advertising but they HAVE featured the device on Google.com which – if it were put into media buy numbers – would be an OUTRAGEOUS cost. They’ve also slapped their Nexus One banner ads virtually everywhere Google Ads reach on their content network.

It makes sense that Google is using the web to advertise a phone you can only purchase on the web – but still, where are all the sales? Surely Google and analysts assumed the Big G would sell more than 20k, right? I know I did. Maybe it’s because the holiday season is over and people already spent their dough and made their smartphone purchases. Or maybe it’s because that changing this particular habit is easier said than done. But whatever the case, turning those numbers around won’t be easy if negative reports about the Nexus One performance continue:

This has gone from a ridiculously hot Google Phone launch to a “learning experience” – probably the last thing the company wanted. It is completely possible that Google fix their support woes, push a firmware update that patches the 3G problem, start advertising on network and cable television using their own TV ads service, launch Verizon, Sprint and AT&T versions of the Nexus One and really turn things around – but will they?

I’m rooting for Google here but this hasn’t exactly been a smooth launch and the company needs to clean up whatever mess is lingering as soon as possible… for the sake of Android and every other Google Phone they launch from here on out. People don’t tend to forget these types of things and in terms of pushing their own devices, this is the Big G’s first impression.

Will it end as a good one or a bad one?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. The major problems with the Nexus One’s sales are caused by:

    1. Only one plan allowed.
    2. Family plans not allowed.
    3. $280-$380 for a phone, even if you are eligible to upgrade.

    These three reasons are obvious, and just plain stupid on Google’s part. Also, NO OTHER top-tier smartphone has any of the above restricitions. Couple that with the fact that it’s online-only, with not even having demo phones for customers to check out in Tmobile stores, It’s like Google wanted to fail.

  2. They should allow the damn phone to be sold in stores and allow existing T-Mobile customers to upgrade without a discount. The only reason I don’t have one is the stupid hoopd I have to jump through. I am not paying $500.00 for a phone. I will be happy to jump ship once Verizon gets it or I can wait for a new iteration of the iphone. Google messed up on this one. Especially since I’m still using my G1 and dying for a phone upgrade.

  3. I would get the nexus but it doesnt carry 3g or 3.5g speeds like my acer liquid for att. ACER LIQUID FOR PRESIDENT.

  4. I personally tend to research and go to the store and try it out before I take the jump to get a new phone. I wouldn’t mind purchasing the phone from Google really. I would rather order online than have to deal with annoying sales people in person. I think, however, that not being able to hold it in hand and get a feel for how snappy the phone really is and all the Android goodness it features is hurting sales. Plus not everyone is a tech geek like me and the only contact they would have with the phone is the first time they walk into a store and peruse the selection. I think Google did something good by developing the phone without all the carrier influence but it seems that it has hurt more than helped move their vision for the mobile industry.

  5. Asking people to buy something sight-unseen even at the subsidized price is a little hard to swallow for people used to the traditional cell phone purchasing method. I think what Google is trying to do is a step in the right direction, and I do like aspects of the Nexus 1, but the problems I’ve been reading about are making me hesitate before plunking down $530.

  6. Google didn’t make ads or anything , many people doesn’t even know that there is a google phone , also thinking about the support and how you can’t even talk to a person or email is scary !!

  7. I have to chime in on this one…

    They should have included all bands both CDMA and GSM then it would have out sold the Droid. That carrier exclusive crap really chaps my a$$.

    Think about it. Choose any carrier you want whenever you want and take your phone with you.

  8. Rob,

    Your table doesn’t illustrate the sales of each phone for the same week (week of January 5). The table provides the number of phones sold during each respective launch week. There were NOT 60k MT3G phones sold the week of January 5. The MT3G numbers reflect the quantity of phones sold during the week of August 5.

    I’m also guessing the bad press on the forums about dealing with Google/T-Mobile didn’t help numbers. I was going to buy one that week, but I saw the feedback that I couldn’t get the $180 rate without changing my phone number. No way.

    Google figures out how to truly partner with the providers, and leverage established relationships (mine is about 7 years with T-Mo), and let the Google Phone continue to grow in aweness, then the whole Internet based sales might start to grow.

  9. the only people that care that it exists is people who know Android. They have to bring to the storefront or it will flop. Google already took the link down from Google home page. Google needs to get back to the drawing board with distribution and maybe advertise on television like everyone else.

  10. I wonder if the majority of N1’s have gone to international buyers. I know plenty, like me, who payed $700-$800 through ebay in order to get it. In case you are wondering, yes that’s still cheaper than an iPhone to us.

  11. Well, it’s 3G is only good for TMo and Euro/Asia and is GSM only. Droid is CDMA on Verizon and iPhone is GSM on ATT. Do the math on them facts alone. They should have released it with ATT 3G and/or Verizon, they probably would have gotten A LOT more sales since they would have targeted the United States largest CDMA and GSM networks.

    No brainer if you ask me.

  12. I’m not a T-Mobile customer so I can’t purchase it anyway.

    But, IF I were… I would be VERY leery of purchasing a phone that I can’t lay hands on!!

    The ONLY reason I would purchase the phone at this time if I were a T-mobile customer is due to the reviews that I trust from Phandroid, Androidica, and AndroidandMe. Otherwise – NO WAY would I purchase a $200 – $500 device I can’t hold in my hand FIRST.

  13. #1 No Ads/Commercials = No sales, simple as that!
    #2 I would like to see the DAMN phone before purchasing
    #3 No REAL support

    Even that am an Android super user, love Google, I still would LIKE to be able to go to a store and test the DAMN UNIT! and be able to see it right next to my DROID to see if it WOES me like the DROID did when I first work with the unit. Sorry Google but when it comes to phones you can’t just relay on the world of mouth like Google does with all it’s products. I’m not surprise with the numbers.

  14. I believe its partially due to the bad press. It doesn’t seem to be up to speed. There are:
    – problems with 3G connections
    – the touchscreen isn’t as accurate as the one in the iPhone (although I don’t remember exactly if the Nexus One was in that test) But it doesn’t matter. If I “feel” like I won’t get a flawless experience I opt to stay put. And besides, the Nexus One is only available in the U.S.

  15. @Jouten

    That’s similar to my point. If it were world phone it quite possibly could have sold a million or units. You target a much larger customer base that way. Not to mention the buzz every site like phandroid would have given a phone like that in addition the main stream media. It would have been a phone like no other giving them a unique edge. Nexus One – One phone any carrier you decide (could have been the tag line).

  16. I’m kinda glad it didn’t sell well. But I think the problem has less to do with not being able to buy in stores and more to do with how badly Google set up their purchasing system. First off if you want 3G you’re stuck on the smallest network both in numbers and coverage. That aint gonna bring alot of people in. Second if you dont want to pay over $500 and are new to tmobile you only have 1 plan option. Thirdly tmobile family plan users cannot get the phone at a subsidized price. Current users have to pay $280 if they have a data plan or $380 if they don’t for a 2 year contract. Compare that to $260 for a Droid with only a 1 year contract with Verizon. Fourth is everyone hearing about the headaches of the setup. Call Google, not tmobile to cancel your line and send the phone back to HTC. Huh? Google just set up a craptastic buying experience and now they are paying for it. Maybe crappy sales numbers will teach them to changge their ways.

  17. It never ceases to amaze me that people will complain about the price of an unlocked cell phone.

    Imagine for one second that a new car was coming out that the internet was going crazy about, one that got great gas mileage, lots of BHP, torque and looked great. All of the car blogs and even news sites like MSN, Yahoo and Fox News were speculating that this car was going to be a game changer with some new way that it would be brought to the market. And when the car finally came out, it was everything you hoped it would be, but the price was too high, it wasn’t the game changer that everyone but the car manufacturer made it out to be, and lastly, it left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

    Crappy analogy aside, meet the non car equivalent of that product: The Nexus One. For all of you out there, blame the internet for all the hype. Blame the gadget blogs for all the press that it got. Don’t hate Google as none of the speculation came from them. Can anyone name me a phone that has specs that come even marginally close to the N1 that costs less? Because if you can, mine will be one Ebay tonight. The iPhone 3GS: $600 unlocked, The Motorolar Droid: $600. The HTC Touch Pro: $650-$700. Nokia N900: $550.

    Guess what, I would love to upgrade from my ’08 Civic to a Nissan GTR, but I can’t afford it. Does that mean that it’s Nissan’s fault since I utterly refuse to spend upwards of 80K on the inflated MSRP, even though the car is clearly worth it? I guess what I’m saying here is that, although the N1 is expensive, ALL NEW HIGH SPEC UNLOCKED PHONES ARE EXPENSIVE! No one is forcing you to upgrade your cell phone, and Verizon will not make a difference.

    Rant aside, This phone had hardly any marketing campaign, came out after the holidays, is not available in any store for purchase or to even hold and is available only online via Google… I’d say that 20000 number makes sense to me then, and having a phone that no one else has… Priceless.

  18. It’s a non-conventional way of selling a product. Posting it up here with first week sales of other phones and announcing it is a failure is ludicrous. Google says they don’t expect many people to buy the phone sight unseen. If you heard Andy Rubin you would have heard him say “We expect people to see and try out the phone when they see other people who have them”. Combined with the fact that it launches on the crappiest carrier and only in the US. This story hasn’t even begun. Wait for the initial round of glitches to be fixed. The Verizon version to be out, and it be released in more countries with enough time for it to spread into the hands and be seen by more people and revisit this.

    Expecting this new model for cell phone sales to look like the old model is being shortsighted.

  19. Too ordinary, too expensive.

  20. Why would they not sell this at Best Buy, and install Both GSM and CDMA unlocked antena/chips? I’d think they would want to get as many customers as possable??? How about releasing it in Canada/Europ/ext….

  21. i think that a lot of possible buyers have an droid/milestone in their hands now

  22. i’m curious how the Hero (Sprint) compares to these other phones…

  23. I really don’t think the whole point of this is to compete with other Android phones or the iPhone. I think this is about Google changing the way the industry works.

    Who would release a product that they want to be successful right after a major BUYING HOLIDAY? Seriously. The Droid was a Christmas gift. They dropped their phone just over 30 days AFTER the Droid release so everyone wouldn’t return their Droid en masse.

    Seriously. Why does everyone think the Nexus One is supposed to be anything more than a disruptive force? I think it is a shot across the brow.

    Stop selling locked to the carrier phones…
    We will manage the OS and keep it from fagmenting too much…

  24. Google needs to invest more in advertising and allow it to be sold in T-mobile stores. The average consumer dosen’t no much, if anything, about the Nexus One, and any potential buyer wandering into a T-mobile store will buy something else because of not being able to test it and sales people who know virtually nothing about the product. It truly is an amazing phone…I bought the unlocked version (more expensive up front but cheaper monthly) and everyone I’ve shown it too and let play with it a bit, even several iphone owners, want the phone. I’m a bit of a phone whore and have owned several of the latest and greatest handsets (iphone 2G unlocked on Tmo, iphone 3G on At&t, G1, Moto Cliq), and for me, the Nexus One is it. It’s not perfect, but it is pretty darn amazing! By the way, most of the professional reviews I’ve read state that it has no multitouch capabilities which is WRONG! It does multitouch, and in fact any android 2.0 device will, it’s just not native in the built in apps because of whatever voodoo apple has going on. There are several awesome multitouch enabled browsers available in the market as well as photo editing programs, and more will be on the way.

  25. They should have arranged for retail distribution through T-Mobile stores. Most people need to physically try out a product like this.

    The resistance to paying full price is a major path-dependence problem in the mobile device market. While it’s good to see Google taking the first step towards breaking it down, it’s only the first step. Exhibit A is how many commenters on this site, Engadget, Gizmodo, etc. are either unwilling or unable to do the math and discover that the full-price option is actually a smidge cheaper. They just see the $500+ upfront price tag and go into shock without even looking at the recurring cost difference.

    I love mine, for whatever that’s worth.

  26. I really wanted a nexus one but since Tmobile doesn’t subsidize them if you are on a family plan I can’t buy one. This really sucks!

  27. I don’t think it’s fair to compare those three phones to the iPhone 3G. Of course a phone that has an established base (aka, the iPhone), that is on its 3rd generation, would have better first week sales.

    I hope that this phone is subsidized for existing customers when it comes to Verizon, otherwise I’ll have to hold out for something else, since I don’t like look and feel of the Droid and the Eris will be probably seem too far behind spec wise by spring.

  28. “Have a problem that you need help with? Feel free to shoot Google a support E-Mail and you’ll be lucky to get a response within 48 hours.”

    This is total misinformation. Google does not provide support for the Nexus One, HTC does. And you can call them and get a person on the phone to help you immediately. People need to actually read the warranty info that was part of the purchase agreement before they start badmouthing Google.

  29. Now would be a good time for google to cut the price in half.

  30. It’s sold online-only thru T-Mobile only. Of course sales are going to be slow. Wait till it goes on Vodaphone and Verizon…

    Also, there is no direct seeing of the phone at the store, like other phones. Surely Google expected this.

  31. Honestly, I don’t know what Google was thinking. Google didn’t need to be involved….it could have been just another HTC phone on t-mobile and it would’ve done a lot better. First adopters would be happy and would replace their G1’s and mytouch’s. But since it is the ‘google’ phone, it has all of the disadvantages of being an outsider and none of the advantages. It’s available unlocked…but you can only use it on t-mobile anyway.
    The 4 gig SD was also a pretty dumb move.

  32. I bought two and they were worth every penny.

  33. @G

    I agree with you.
    When google can get a company to manufacture a “world” phone that can switch from CDMA to GSM, then the consumer will be able to tell phone companies that he has the phone he wants and will take his business to the best valued service provider. This is just the first step in google’s plan.
    Plus, the increased attention on android will force apple to add newer features to the iPhone sooner than they might have liked, i.e. dual core chips, higher MP cameras, front facing video cameras. These added features will be a win for consumers. and though it may not be a win for android. it is still a win for google because faster phones drive advertising revinue.

  34. i had full, 100% of buying the G1. i’m a longtime tmobile customer, so was psyched when i saw they were getting it.

    then the pricing info was made available and i knew immediately that their was no chance of me getting the phone.

    that was the absolute only reason i didn’t buy one.

    p.s. i’m on a cheap, grandfathered tmo family plan that i am unwilling to part ways with.

  35. ha, not G1 on my message above. i meant N1.
    Freudian slip since my G1 was in my hand.

  36. LOL, funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    At the end of the day, maybe noone really cares about the N1, except for those who HAVE to have the latest toy. There is nothing about it that says MUST HAVE. I mean no sooner than it hits the ground, you have the HD2 that makes the N1 old news. Then the Xperia 10, I mean geeeez, maybe people just want a cell phone to make calls, and don’t care about all the stupid “tricks” you can get on a phone that doesn’t have any real value (ie live wallpapers).

    Sounds like a few people are upset that their feeling buyers remourse so they are lashing out in their comments. lol, too funny.

  37. Break down Canada’s anti tech borders and I’ll buy one!

  38. Jon a few comments above as made a great point. This phone is no more expensive than any other phone. The difference here is that the unsubsidized price has been higly publicized where as with other phones you really don’t know until you go to the store. People often associate that new contract price with a phone even though they can’t get it at that price. The N1 has the $500 pricetag stuck to it.

    Also I agree that the plan choices seem limited. However I’m on a t-mobile even more plus plan so I wouldn’t get the discounted price anyway. Had my laptop not cracked in half I was going to get one but instead I got a new laptop. But I can see people not wanting to buy a phone they can’t try out…ESPECIALLY a touch screen phone. I was going to go on a gamble having used Android before but for somebody new to it thats a big stretch.

  39. the problem is that they’re only advertising online.
    Most of my friends have never even heard of it.
    they need a tv commercial

  40. Restricting it to tmobiles 3G network was a dumb idea. I would have been all over this if it supposed AT&T’s 3G network.

    Actually, I take that back. Apparently the 3G part barely works on T-Mobile at the moment and their 3G network is apparently more reliable (if you get the service in your location XD). I think at this point it would be wise for people to sit and wait to see if google fixes these problems.

  41. There aren’t infinite consumers, and most of the people in the market for a nice android phone got a Droid. That combined with very little advertising kept the sales low.

  42. So the iphone was being sold in 8 countries its first week and it only sold 1.6 million?? TBH I thought they had better sales numbers then that.

    I agree with some of the other people on here. Having the phone ONLY available online and not giving people the chance to check it out in the store is kind of a bummer. I’d like to get it but i want to see and try out the product first. Of course i’m not going to get the phone on t-mobiles network.

  43. All I have to say is “Xperia X10”. I am waiting for something that not only is different in specs, but stands out to be different. I’m willing to pay a few dollars for a high end phone, site unseen, if I feel like I already know the phone. Google has little in terms of videos leaked or put out by the company in advance of the interface, testing, etc. I already feel like I know the Xperia X10 and a 4in screen is not a bad thing. Maybe more people are waiting for something like the Xperia (delay or not) before spending a few dollars on the N1?!? I know I am giving it another month or two and making the jump then…

  44. Supposing you could get a real plan on T-Mobile and not get that BS this is the only plan you can have…

    $80 a month Unlimited everything x 24 months = $1920 For Service $529 for phone Net = $2449

    $90 a month Unlimited everything x 24 months = $2160 For Service $179 for phone Net = $2339

    Discounted phone wins. Thats just odd.

  45. How many G1s are out there? I’d say the majority of those G1 users (myself included) were waiting for an upgrade, and this is it. Unfortunately I can’t justify the 500+ to buy the unlocked version, and I can’t get an upgrade deal. I could open a new line and get it for $180, but then I would want to cancel my G1 line, which will cost me $200.

    So what I’m saying is there are plenty of potential buyers, many who are in contracts and are not allowed to upgrade, and can’t afford the unlocked phone.

    I would have gladly paid $200 and re-upped for another 2 years for the N1, but I guess that’s too simple.

  46. Google is taking on an admirable task trying to free handsets from being exclusive to carriers. The downfall is that in a lot of cases (mostly I looked at family plans) the total cost of ownership is still higher if you buy it unlocked, even if you go for the “Even More Plus” plan that T-Mobile offers.

    It’s a step in the right direction but falls short because over a 2 year period it’s still cheaper to buy the subsidised handsets and pay the inflated monthly prices. You shouldn’t be penalized for paying upfront for the handset, rather you should be rewarded. Carrier subsidized handsets are really just like taking out a loan from the carrier. As far as I know this is uncommon (or unheard) of practice in Europe and Asia.

    Carrier subsidizing and exclusivity deals of handsets lead to an unhealthy marketplace where consumers are stripped of their only power in the marketplace, which is choosing who to give their money to.

  47. wait Nexus One doesn’t sell well?

    DROID does.

    clearly what you are seeing here is all the Verizon folks jumped on the DROID. it was – and still is – the Android phone, if not THE phone, on Verizon.

    We waited for it. We all bought it like it was Christmas morning.

    they are missing this initial market splash of people who waited and waited and waited for this phone…

  48. I went to CES last week and the Nexus wasn’t even on display. HTC had a “meeting room” instead of a booth.

    What a wasted opportunity to show the phone to thousands of power users the Nexus One.

  49. I agree with many users.

    I can’t see myself buying any phone without holding it in my hand first. Even if I hold it in a store and then go buy it online.

    I think that the Droid was marketed so heavily and the the reviews were so good, that coupled with the Verizon network, anyone on the Android fence jumped when they saw it. Nexus’s sales would likely be higher if the Droids didn’t exist.

    I don’t understand people complaining about pricing. It’s $179 with a two year contract and $530 without. That’s about the same as many other smartphones including the iPhone and Droid

  50. It’s the network and lack of a family plan. I’m on Verizon and won’t buy the Nexus One until it’s available there, where I have a family plan.

  51. rzrshrp says: I think that the Droid was marketed so heavily and the the reviews were so good, that coupled with the Verizon network, anyone on the Android fence jumped when they saw it.

    yup, that was me. and i ordered it online, sight unseen. how many people on Verizon were, like me, counting down the days ’til the DROID launch? did we see the same thing for Nexus One?

    it’s like they thought they were so damn cool they could just put it out there and the masses would come break down the door for it. what terrible marketing and timing for them.

    now, can I please have 2.1?

  52. There is a problem in trying to compare the first weeks sales with other phones.

    MYTouch – was the first New Google phone in over a year and only the second one available for the US market. So those wanting to upgrade or were waiting to get a Google phone made that jump (and there were no others announced to the general public at the time)

    DROID – Launched just before Christmas and just when the Android buzz was getting hot. Those waiting were excited to finely have a real WOW smartphone for Christmas.

    Nexus – Came After all the Christmas sales were made and all of the current users were locked in to there new phones. And also unlike MyTouch and Droid now Nexus has to compete with any number of WOW Android Phones both current and those announced soon to come.

    So just pure numbers are not a good indicator of public opinion or willingness to buy.

    I want one but after seeing how quickly phones are coming to market, I will wait a few months to let all the announced phones get out.

    The one number I thought was interesting just how few (percentage wise) IPhone 3G were sold given the installed base.

  53. I was all ready to buy the N1 until I found out it has restrictions on the plan I have. If there were no restrictions, I would definitely buy one. I’m on the T-Mobile family plan. For me to opt out for the family plan and go on a individual plan would be prohibitively expensive. Maybe once google decides to drop the restrictions, sales would increase.

  54. @Mikey:
    I’ll second that. I literally had a countdown written on my calendar until the launch of the DROID. Now, I love Google and its stuff, but there’s nothing there that really captures my attention in that regard, other than the hardware and such (except that it’s missing a kbd). Aside from that, there’s no real wow factor there and really no mention of its existence. Unless Google thinks of some way to fix the problems soon, this’ll spell the end of their “great experiment”.

  55. It is the phone I want but cannot get here in Canada. The only thing that would make it better is if it has HTC’s sense interface…

  56. The sales of this thing could snowball after more people on the street have it and as internet buzz builds.

    As it stands, high price, one network plan (wtf?), internet sales only, and problems with 3G are killing it.

  57. What’s with all the T-Mobile hatin’ on here?

    And even though the N1 is having issues, their 3g covers “200 Million people”, and are upgrading to HSPA 7.2 Mbps (or supposedly already have). Granted, I’m leaving T-Mobile because the areas which I frequent (aka my friend’s subterranean apartment outside of Lockport, NY), I get minimal to no coverage, but their coverage really isn’t all that bad.

  58. @Luxx HTC Sense 2.1 doesn’t have Live Wallpapers so no. I have read about every new phone coming out and the Nexus One beats all of them I know I have one. Maybe if the X10 came out as thick or thinner then that phone will be better but everyone who tried it says it has a lot of bugs.

  59. Don’t know about US, but here in Spain, you can’t play with a Magic before buying. There’s no test unit in stores…

  60. 55+ comments about ‘estimated’ data?

    all sounds a bit spurious to me.

    perhaps wait till google releases the numbers themselves?

    flurry looks like a pretty useful tool, but i can help but think their ‘80% of apps’ claim is also a little wishful.

    @casper #10 – yep i’m non-us, and have made an order by proxy through family in the states, international ebay listings are also pretty quickly filling up with n1’s.

    ( i’ll probably turn mine over in a couple of months as carriers here start to come through with better handsets, but even so i think i’m inclined to stick with the outright purchase strategy for a while. )

  61. It interesting that they’re choosing not to market the combination of the unlocked phone purchase and the “Even more +” no-contract plan. You’re essentially ahead right away because there are no ETF fees for the plan nor “Equipment Recovery” fees for the phone. You get ahead even more as months go by due to the lower monthly fee ($20 less per month for the minimal minutes, unlimited text and data plan). Consumers have to find out about these advantages by digging through the fine print of the contracts to find out the disadvantages of the subsidized setup.

    Beyond that, launching with T-Mobile is not a way to generate large 1st week sales. Even launching with Sprint (Palm Pre) fared better, if I recall. Here’s hoping they get the Verizon and Vodaphone deals going early in the spring rather than late.

  62. @ Mikey and Shinzakura:
    Yeah there just wasn’t the marketing that there was with the Droid. No one really knows the Nexus exists outside of the well informed techies.
    @ everyone else:
    It even seems to me that they were kind of rushed to release the N1 because of persistent rumors. It would have fared better with a not-right-after-the-holidays-when-everyone-already-has-a-Droid release date. Or even if they had waited, unveiled it at CES, and then released it to carriers to be sold in their stores AND had the option to buy online through Google’s website. By then the N1 would be out there in thought after CES, it would come to Verizon, T-mobile, and Vodaphone at the same time thus increasing consumer exposure. And to be quite frank people might still be waiting till it gets released to Verizon customers because they’d rather wait a few months to get it on Verizon than have to get it on T-mobile and keep it there for two years contractually. And buying it unsubsidized, though fine by me, still costs more than some would spend. As well as having no real ability to use it on AT&T’s 3G network just makes going for the unlocked version a less desirable choice(I mean who has the only other non-T-Mobile GSM network in the States?). Once Verizon gets a shot at it(and possibly another CDMA carrier in North America if they open it to any carrier who is compatible?) there might be more hub bub about it. Ah well, I’ll probably never get the Nexus One, because by the time my contract is up I’ll be sporting the latest Droid on Verizon perhaps? It’s still a year away so who knows what will be running Android, or what version(2.5 or higher?), in 2011.

  63. @jdog,

    N1 doesn’t have Sense UI at all, regardless of 2.1. Thats not a feature of the N1. But there are other android phones that will have 2.1 and Sense UI such as Hero/Eris.

  64. $530 isn’t exactly “impulse buy” for most people upgrading their plans.

    “TheOne” (comment #1, ironically) had it exactly right. I quote:
    The major problems with the Nexus One’s sales are caused by:

    1. Only one plan allowed.
    2. Family plans not allowed.
    3. $280-$380 for a phone, even if you are eligible to upgrade.

    I’d like to add:
    3a) $380 if you made Android into the OS it is today by adopting it early with the G1

    4) At least $100 more than a “new customer” who hasn’t shown any loyalty when existing customers stayed with T-Mobile waiting for this even when other carriers came out with much better phones than anything T-Mobile offered at the time.

    This is ridiculous. If it was more open like every other phone option, I’m sure sales would’ve been much higher. I’ve started a petition to outcry against this travesty to existing customers, and it’s already at 1500 signatures. That’s at least another 1500 potential sales they could’ve had (and some comments said they were planning to buy multiple handsets!). See http://www.petitiononline.com/nexusone/petition.html and sign it!

  65. Android will continue to grow but the manufactured hype with a new phone every week expecting the same attention will not!

    and why would I give up my Hero when it is comparable with 1.5 to all these other phones (N1, Nexus, Droid) I want my upgrade, and it will far outperform the latter.

  66. @Mikey

    You waited and waited and waited…and so did the G1 owners. Unfortunately we’re under contract and have been given numerous obstacles to overcome to try and snag a N1, even aside from contract/upgrade issues.

  67. Hello; Nobody wants to be on Tmobile!

  68. I am thrilled with N1. Occasionally the internet is slow but most of the time it’s fast, I have compared load speeds to my friends’ iPhones and they were comparable.

    I’m on a family plan and bought an unlocked N1. I did the math and after one year I start saving money compared to getting an individual plan. It really isn’t a bad deal as long as you can afford paying up front instead of being bled over the years.

    Occasionally the internet is slow but most of the time it’s plenty fast, I have compared load speeds to my friends’ iPhones and some stuff loaded faster.

  69. I’ll stick to my G1 a little longer. If I’m a fanboy of anything, its Google but imo they really dropped the ball on this one and left a nasty taste in the mouths of its customers. Its an awesome device but they priced it terribly and offered it in even worse ways.

  70. yeah that thing is too freaking expensive…its not even accessible for all tmobile customers because only one plan is available..cant even buy it in a store, like wtf were they thinking..but im sure this will all change

  71. I bought a N1 unlocked the first day. The phone works fine, the 3G does too. I am very happy with it. If it had been released in time for Christmas it would have sold more. Don’t underestimate Google, they know what they are doing. And if they don’t, they learn real fast.

  72. For people outside the US, it’s not so much the price, but the not being able to try or even just see/touch the phone first. I’m sure most cautious non-early-adopters would wait and see how the phone fared, and with the 3G issues being so publicized, it is not surprising people are holding back for now. Plus, there must be the issue of support hanging over the whole thing.

  73. I think they should revise the results for the My Touch 3G, considering it is sold in other countries under a different name.

  74. All i know is that my Nexus one has no 3g problems


    Being an apple fan means you will pay up to 50% more for an equal device just because it’s “cool.”

    Being an apple fan means you will defend any Apple product’s absolute superiority at all costs. Even if you’re wrong this will just make you “cooler” with other Apple fans.

    Being an apple fan means it is your obligation to buy a new Apple product the day it comes out, so you are ahead of all the other Apple fans, making you a greater Apple fan.

    Personally I’m happy the Nexus hasn’t sold much.
    1. I don’t think Google should go into hardware.
    2. I would not like to see everyone else with a Nexus, I wouldn’t feel like I have something special.
    3. Sorry Google, but buying a phone online sucks. Was way worth it though.
    4. I am glad Android fans aren’t as full of themselves as Apple fans.

  76. @Chris

    “$80 a month Unlimited everything x 24 months = $1920 For Service $529 for phone Net = $2449
    $90 a month Unlimited everything x 24 months = $2160 For Service $179 for phone Net = $2339”

    You’re not comparing apples to apples…
    SUBSIDIZED = $179 for phone
    $80 x 24 months for 500 MINS, unlimited text & data = $1920 for service
    TOTAL = $2099

    UNSUBSIDIZED = $529 for phone
    $60 x 24 months for 500 MINS, unlimited text & data = $1440 for service
    TOTAL = $1969

    The same exact $80 plan they’re offering with the N1 is actually $60 if you get it through T-Mobile by itself. Another option with unlimited everything and no contract..

    UNSUBSIDIZED = $529 for phone
    $80 x 24 months for UNLIMITED EVERYTHING = $1920 for service
    TOTAL = $2449

  77. I don’t think the unlocked pricing is so bad. However, it seems mostly like a sales experiment since they only offer it in the US. I’ve got an unlocked Hero, but I’d dropped the dough to play with the Nexus One if they offered it in Canada. So I lose and Google lose. I’m sure there are people in Canada, UK and EU who would do the same – buy an unlocked unit to play with.

  78. @phandroid there’s two reasons the NExus one has not sold so well…yet. one is because the lack of 3g made people shy away from it after hearing about it. Two is something you all know but I am pretty sure you were just afraid to say. And that is that it is on Tmobile only…for now. Though Tmobile has been rated better in service then att…People know that Nexus is comeing to other carriers…and one of those being the biggest. This being so why not wait?

  79. I don’t know about you guys .. but I like being a part of exclusiveness…. the nexus one is mythical..

    no one has it or has seen it.. so I feel privileged to own one ;-)
    I walked into a T-mo store to insure my device and the reps were amazed I had it and loved it… Don’t get me wrong I would like to see android gobble up market share like its nobody’s business

    Now back on topic… as far as Google’s approach and entrance into the smart phone game… they brought out the big guns when it came to hardware and upgraded there already great OS.. but failed with their approach. Upgrade pricing should have been different. Other plans should have been allowed and they should have also sold it at retail or at least shipped units to all t-mo stores for the purpose of displaying the device so that people get a hands on test drive before they commit. There’s more they could have done… but hey… maybe next time. I don’t think they wanted to make it that easy to obtain because it might ruin their business model and interfere or cannibalize their own sales when it comes to their OEM supporters who also create phones for android. If you ask me they should have worked closer with service providers in this case (tmo) to iron out the kinks and make their entrance into selling handsets a little more seamless. Lets not get ahead of ourselves either. Its an entirely new approach and since it is.. its not going to have a huge impact in its infancy. All Google is trying to do is loosen the stranglehold that service providers have on the industry and it wont be an easy feat. I cannot wait until the day I no longer have to worry about my contract ending in order to get whatever device I want on whatever carrier.

  80. @JonB (post70) – Google is taking online orders from UK, HK, SIngapore and [one more I can’t recall] as well. But not everyone’s going to put down USD 530 + shipping + any applicable taxes for an untested phone the very first week it’s out. They’re going to check reactions from early adopters, and wait for any bugs to be ironed out. I think once Google sorts the 3G issue out, more people around the world would be more comfortable ordering it. But they can’t wait too long, otherwise the next hot new Android phone will come out and hog all the attention. For me, I only just got my Hero recently. The Nexus is very tempting, but I am happy with my Hero, older OS and slower processor not withstanding. I had a chance to play with someone else’s Nexus, and the notification icon did switch between G and 3G pretty often (happened earlier on the same day the issue began raging online). This is not USA, mind you. My Hero was next to the Nexus and didn’t have a problem. Both are on the same network. Apparently there is a solution involving APN settings or something, but I haven’t checked with my friend yet to see if it worked. Bottom line? Delayed gratification is often much sweeter and more prudent.

  81. Missed the holidays and screwed the people who had already been on the 4th place network.

  82. I live just outside of DC T-Mobile coverage here is a JOKE! You go to the map and it shows full bars in the area. Go to that location with your t-mobile phone and you literally have NO BARS AT ALL! I used a 3 watt cellular repeater in a house that was on a hill (at the top of it) about 2 miles from 270 and 495 and I got 1 BAR. Now the coverage at that location for ATT was 1 or 2 bars. Turned on repeater and the iPhones in the house have full service all the time. NO DROPPED CALLS IN THE HOUSE (with an iPhone of all things.)

    I had T-Mobile when the Sidekick came out. Missed calls all the time. Spotty coverage you name it. But if I was on the internet my phone rang with an incoming call. That was like 7 years ago ATT. The day my contact was up I was gone. The customer support was awesome. So polite and gave me credits all the time. Replaced the Sidekick 3 times in one year. BUT I WAS TALKING TO THEM EVERY WEEK! Instead of DOING MY JOB!

    500 mins with unlimited data. What the heck? I do over 3000 mins a month. I am in integration and tech. I am on the phone constantly and I wander all over the DC metro area. VOICE COVERAGE IS PARAMOUNT! If I am late on a email or text I can live with that. But not being able to make and receive calls is not going to cut it. Shoot unlimited data but you can’t get a signal. WHAT A DEAL!

    T-Mobile as provider = No sale.

  83. Funny because I spend significant time in the DC-Maryland area and I found T-Mobile coverage to be excellent. I had 3G coverage at 3-4 bars everywhere I went. Go figure….

  84. How come Nexus One indicated as 1st gen, and iPhone 3G S is 3rd? Isn’t Nexus One like 3rd gen or at least 2nd (if only considering HTC models and Android versions)?

  85. From the specs this looks like a slightly better phone than the Droid. But, I’m not switching from Verizon to a network with much worse coverage, AND having to pay more for it to boot. I am waiting for it to come out on Verizon, I just hope they don’t lose some of the features in the process.

  86. I think they targeted T-Mobile first so they can get all the kinks out. There will probably be an update prior to VZW release.

  87. Rob, thanks for your analysis.
    But your table compares an mature product (iPhone 3rd generation) launch with new ones.
    I should like to know iPhone numbers, for the 1st week, and the 1st Generation…
    (I’m sure it was a Big number anyway…)

  88. I have the HTC Hero through Sprint. My brother got the N1 and likes it. What he is pissed about is the fact that google didn’t really give him a truely “unlocked” phone. Yea he can use it with AT&T but not the way it should. So anyway I have the Hero with the HTC sense and I love it. Why didn’t goggle use that for the N1? It has a way better clock, calender and all sorts of stuff. My brother asked me the same thing. He really wishes they would have included HTC sense.

  89. Could be that people who know android also know they don’t need to pay that money just for a N1, when they can do everything it does on another phone on a better network. Other android phones are getting the same 2.1 the N1 is running, but there are some whose 2.1 will be enhanced with Sense UI (ie…Hero/Eris)

    Many people were talking about the hardware as if the N1 was light years ahead of other devices, but like I said those devices will be able to do EVERYTHING the N1 can, just maybe a couple seconds slower. EVEN THE DUMB LIVE WALLPAPERS..

    See for yourself (Sprint Hero with live wallpapers)Its beta still but you get the point. At the end of the day the N1 is just another android phone that can be lumped in with alot of other good phones.

  90. @ miguel and Chris

    Chris, I have to agree with Miguel I have Verizon and T-Mobile service (work and personal respectively). I live in Alexandria and travel throughout NoVA and DC. I have trouble with both Verizon and T-Mobile when I travel for work on occasion, but usually one of the two has service when the other doesn’t. However, in the DC area I always have bars for t-mobile…no matter where I go, even as far as Fairfax and Dulles, which is on the brink of the Metro. in MD coverage is good too. Maybe it is the sidekick’s antenna or something, rather than the service?!?

  91. when they port it over to big red… it will sell like hotcakes. gsm is the suck!

  92. I bought the phone for full price… love it. Now I have friends switching from iPhone to this. If you’d do your math you’d realize it’s cheaper in the end with a plus plan with no contact.
    I would say that is a good sale number considering the way it’s sold. Old habits die hard

  93. here’s why it’s not selling: people that aren’t as obsessed with phones as us will not buy a phone if they CAN’T BUY IT IN A FRIGGIN’ STORE. here that, google? put it in stores, give it the ad campaign it deserves, watch the sales roll in.

  94. I think it is quite simple – in 90% of the world this is what you’ll get if you go to google.com/phone:

    “Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country.”

    What else needs to be said?

  95. Its funny, i’ve heard so many people criticize google for their “failure”… but i see the N1 launch as normal for google…

    google never just lets everybody in, and floods the market with anything… thats apple, when iphones are ready to sell, every apple store has a bunch of them…

    when google rolls out a new product or service, they do it slowly… the first week they started selling the N1, they got 20,000 TESTERS… these are nerds, who want the latest google hotness. These are not people shopping for budget phones and budget plans…

    when gmail was rolled out – they didnt just let everybody sign up on day 1… it was invite only, and HARD to get an invite for a while… but was it a failure? by no means, it is the most functional email system ever, and Oh, BTW – its free.

    google voice – same way, invite only, small #s of people start with it, but it builds up, and by the time its released to the general public, half of them already have it… but it will work flawlessly.

    also, 10 of your closest friends probably wont buy the same phone as you, on the same day that you do… google keeps it 1337 ;-)

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