Jan 13th, 2010

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?

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