May 14 AT 11:56 AM Taylor Wimberly 33 Comments

Google to close online phone store, sell Nexii in stores

In a surprise move, Google has announced the closing of their online web store for the Nexus One. Considering the top 3 carriers rejected it, maybe we should have seen this coming. Google had dreams of selling Android handsets direct to consumers, but the carriers wanted no part of being cut out of the sale.

On a brighter note, it looks like we could see the Nexus One appearing in T-Mobile retail locations. Google announced that they will adopt a similar strategy to the one used by Vodafone and allow more carriers to offer the phone in stores. No word was given on the possibility of a CDMA version, but I would say there is still hope for Sprint and Verizon customers.

More details will be forthcoming next week at Google I/O.

“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.”Andy RubinGoogle VP, Engineering

Google announced the following changes today:

More retail availability. As we make Nexus One available in more countries we’ll follow 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.

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.

Source: The Official Google Blog

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Rimzy

    Ah, well this was set in stone, Google just had to realize it!

  • z0phi3l

    At least they tried, not too surprising they are making this change

  • http://Website Steffen

    Wow. Thats unfortunate. It makes sense though. I wonder what this means for future updates for the Nexus One.
    I liked the idea of Google being in full control of the software of phones they sold directly. Hopefully when they put it in the hands of carriers they still do have full control.

  • Nicholas Overstreet

    So what does this mean for the AT&T Nexus One? AT&T has made it clear they don’t fare about it. Is it just going to fade in to obscurity?

  • Dee

    I for one think this is great!
    one of the main reasons that people didnt buy the N1 is because…
    A) they couldnt see it or find
    B) they didnt get to experience its awesomeness in person
    + tmobile needs a good phone in its ranks. for some reason though i just cant shake the feeling that the N1 will be enabled as a HSPA+ device…..

    • http://Website Name (required)

      I haven’t felt one or played with one but I know I want one. I’ve played with my friends’ non-snapdragon android phones and I love them so I can only imagine the N1 is better.

      My big problem was coughing up $530 when I’m perfectly happy to extend my contract and pay $199. Hopefully Tmobile picks it up and offers it B&M ASAP… I would be there on the first day with cash.

    • http://Website Jez

      I wanted this phone since I saw it’s review on G4. The problem with that is that I had forgotten completely about it, didn’t know it would only be sold online, and had no idea it was even released until two days ago. This phone could have sold SO much more if more people knew about it, could see it, and experience it in real life. It’s a shame, really.

  • http://Website Curious

    As long as it’s not locked to one carrier. I have an N1 and love its flexibility. However lock it, and allow the carrier to customize it (such as deleting tethering) and its uniqueness as a Google phone ends. Then I might as well get an iPhone as my next phone.

    • http://Website jay

      Go on billshrink.. you actually would save money for the life of the phone if you bought it out right compared to a contract but oh welll.

  • http://Website tk

    While I like that they’ll finally sell the N1 in T-Mobile stores, I don’t like them shutting down the online store. Why can’t they have both options? They say that the store was mainly used by “enthusiasts”, but that’s a great thing. Regular people don’t care if the phone is running Sense UI or MOTOBLUR or whatever garbage skin these companies put. The enthusiasts want the bleeding edge stock Android and Google should cater directly to them, let their partners cater to the mainstream. You get the enthusiasts on your side you win the battle. They are the ones who make the apps, they’re the ones who the “mainstream” consumer comes to for advice when it comes to gadgets.

    They should leave the store as is and work on slowly getting their dream of one phone for any carrier a reality.

    Though what would be really cool is if Google makes their own brick and mortar store, lol. The Google Store, where Google sells Android and Chrome OS devices with any service provider you want.

    • helfone

      I hear you on that one.

      Regarding the US system its so fucked up :S In Europe in general, atleast in Norway where im situated u can buy any phone u want and connect it to any carrier u want. I personally find this system to be alot more profitable for the customer.

      • http://Website Name (required)

        This is true; however, we have a lot more people and a lot more land to cover in the USA. This is why we have so many spectrums and so much confusion. US Govt regulation grabbing at every penny doesn’t help either.

        If you google “fcc 3g auction” you can see how complicated everything is in the USA. I’m not saying it needs to be this complicated, I’m just saying there’s a reason it’s all F’d up.

  • http://Website Chris

    I chose the Nexus One over all other Android phones because the promise of having an official Google phone was appealing. I knew I’d get the updates first, I’d never have to wait for a carrier to bless my updates, and Google would want their device to be the truest vision they have of the Android OS.

    What happens now? Does this just fade into obscurity? I dropped a lot of money on the phone, the dock, and the car dock. This is my phone, for better or worse, for a while. I just fear getting left behind because their experiment failed.

    I’m not exactly upset right now. I guess I’m just nervous.

  • E-man

    As much as I waned the nexus one, I am completely content with my incredible.

    I hope the nexus two comes to verizon.

  • http://Website kz

    They are few and far between, but there have been and there are carrier subsidized Android phones that have stock Android OS with little or no customizations. To me having a carrier app doesn’t count.

    Not surprising, but I think the store served its purpose. Now that Android is growing (fast!), with lots of carrier support, there’s less need for Google to directly sell.

  • Androidawg

    The only reason I don’t have an N1 now is because I couldn’t add the phone to my existing Family plan with Tmo. If they remove the barriers to things like this then they will sell a lot more phones. Starting with me and my wife.

  • http://Website ES

    Does anybody know how this will affect the distribution of updates? With it being sold in stores by carriers, will Google still be in control of distributing the updates, or will it now be passed on to the carrier. One of the main reasons I got the N1 was because I knew I would be the first in line for future updates.

  • http://Website ihatefanboys

    the nexus on tmobile WILL get the updates quickly. google and TMO have been very tight when it comes to updating their android devices quickly when an update does become least with my G1…the G1 has been supported as much as tmobile can support it. hopefully at I/O they will announce android 2.0 or bettr for my G1 which is still keeping up with all these newer versions…i have no problems and no urge to get a new phone. my contract expires in august and if theres something new, like the nexus i MAY upgrade….if there isnt then i wont….i dont get all the rush to get the newest android phone when stock G1 is worlds better than even the latest IPHONE crap…ill wait patiently, if u guys wanna throw out 500 for a phone just because u think updates will come faster , good luck…u wanna jump from carrier to carrier when every new phone makes u drool, paying ETF after ETF on top of the 200 a phone , im glad ur rich and have money to burn…us SMART people will bide our time.

  • http://Website Kevin

    Google will continue to perform OTA updates for Nexus One. The reason is that Google’s own developers are using Nexus Ones. They call this dogfooding.

    The problem is they have weekly builds available internally to the non-android teams. We don’t get to see all of those builds. Too bad we can’t get on that buildbot drop.

  • http://Website Ms. Matrix

    Good! I’m glad it’s shutting down. I thought the whole thing was BS how Google decided to handle the selling of the N1. I tried to get one and it was hard, plus the plan they gave you was crap! Also the big kicker was when you tried to get customer service, HTC didn’t want to help you, you couldn’t get a Google rep unless you already had ordered the phone(which I tried to do) you couldn’t get passed them asking for your order number and when you try to call Tmo(which I also did) they just said it’s a Google thing and they had nothing to do with it.

    So in turn like I said I’m happy it’s shutting down. They could have sold more phones if they just let Tmo sell it out of their stores in the first place. As for Verizon, I’m glad they woke up before it was too late. I like to know that I could walk into a shop, pay my money and walk out with a bag in my hand and a smile on my face.

  • http://Website bubbles says

    Bubbles likes this, Bubbles was waiting for Google to sell the Sexy 1 in stores. It was a bad move for them to not sell in stores and to restrict which plan you can get. I know in Europe things r different, I dont thing USA is ready to have phones sold like that.

    • http://Website Steve Jobs

      Bubbles, this is Steve Jobs, you make a good point. Google should of listened to me when I said the Nexus one will not sell well with that method. I am glad to see Google changed there mind. I Love my Nexus One, I use it more than my Iphone, shhh don’t tell anyone.

      • http://Website Tony

        I like your comment… Lol.

  • http://Website Tony

    I’m just waiting for android 2.2 (froyo) to come out for N1….hehehehe.

  • http://Website mihaelb

    They should do both. Some people don’t want the company-specific add-ons/interface, nor do they want contracts. BUT it would be nice to hold the phone and play with it before ordering online.

    For those who want a subsidy and have no problem with the contracts/add-ons, sell the store one.

  • Ricky Olivares

    I hope by the time the “Nexus One” comes to retail stores it will have Android 2.2, and a track pad instead of the ball.

  • Uncemister

    Well, that is unfortunate, but at the same time here’s to hoping that it only boosts nexus one sales even more.

  • http://Website Roman Bugaev

    Why are they going to close it, Google could have both offline (retailers) and online store. People who seen this phone in retailer’s store before and liked it, will probably try to find some information about this device on the web, and it will lead this person to Google Phone site where he or she will be able to chose – order it online or reserve it in one of the closest retail shops just chosing it on Google Maps integrated into Google Phone web-site. Or this person who will be ordering this phone online will be able tic a checkbox on Google Phone site “Where I seen this device” for example, and this retailer where this person previously seen this phone will get a percent from this order with ability to offer its mobile plan.

  • http://Website Joe

    Sales in our store are gonna boost so BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!! this is going to be awesome!!

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