Early Nexus One Sales Just 865,000 Short of iPhone Sales
Google may be a formidable search company, but as a mobile device distributor, it’s a piker. After 74 days at market, Google’s new Nexus One “super-smartphone” has sold just 135,000 units, according to a new estimate from analytics outfit Flurry.
A piddling amount considering that sales of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and Motorola’s (MOT) Droid topped out at one million and 1.05 million after their first 74 days of availability. In other words, sales of those two devices have surpassed those of the Nexus One by a factor of eight (see chart below; click to enlarge).
If Flurry’s estimate is correct, the Nexus One is proving an enormous disappointment. And it’s not as if it has suffered from lack of promotion. After all, Google promoted it from the front pages of two of its most highly trafficked properties: Google.com and YouTube.
Perhaps consumers are finding Google’s (GOOG) new direct-to-consumer sales model off-putting (although I really don’t see why). Perhaps the company’s choice of T-Mobile as an initial carrier has narrowed the available market a bit too much and demand will spike when the device finally arrives at Verizon (VZ). But such poor sales performance is certainly a blow to Google’s plan to upend the consumer-carrier relationship.
As Flurry notes in a blog post detailing its data: “As Google and Apple continue to battle for the mobile marketplace, Google Nexus One may go down as a grand, failed experiment or one that ultimately helped Google learn something that will prove important in years to come. Apple’s more vertically integrated strategy vs. Google’s more open Android platform approach offer strengths and weaknesses that remind us of PC vs. Mac from the 1980’s.”
Amplifying the comparison, the report continues: “A key difference this time around is that Apple is enjoying much more 3rd party developer support, whose innovative applications push the limits of what the hardware can do. Ultimately, however, developers support hardware with the largest installed base first. For Android to make progress faster, from a sales perspective, it needs more Droids and fewer Nexus Ones going forward.”