Google to abandon Nexus One e-commerce sales

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Google will pull its Nexus One smartphone from e-commerce channels in favor of widening its in-store retail distribution. The search giant announced the change May 14 on its blog.

“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's phones available globally,” said Andy Rubin, VP of engineering at Google, on the company's blog.

Rubin said consumers wanting to interact with the phone in person, rather than view it on the Web, was a reason for less-than-expected Nexus One sales.

Google launched the Nexus One, and the e-commerce capability for selling it, on January 5. However, the company sold only 135,000 units in the phone's first 74 days on the market, compared to the original iPhone's million units sold during the same period, according to mobile analyst firm Flurry.

However, not all Android smartphones have performed below par. According to reports, Android phones saw more market share than iPhones during the first quarter of the year.

Charles Golvin, principal analyst at Forrester Research, said via e-mail that Google is acknowledging that consumers “are not prepared to buy a phone without a subsidy and want to be able to handle and experience a phone prior to committing to a two-year relationship with it.”

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