Underlining what some have been thinking, it’s now been confirmed that Google’s Nexus One “superphone” isn’t super enough to go flying off the shelves. In its first week of sales just 20,000 units have been bought by the public.
The data’s coming from Flurry, like similar analysis before it, and it’s pretty representative of what’s happening in actuality because Flurry tracks millions of user’s interactions with thousands of apps (via embedded adverts) and then calculates how many phones are in action on a particular platform–like Android or iPhone. And this time, Flurry’s statistics are absolutely damning.
Merely comparing the N1 with last year’s highly-hyped Android MyTouch 3G shows how unpopular the N1 is–the MyTouch sold three times as many units in its first week. The N1’s main Android competitor, the Motorola Droid, sold over twelve times as many units…which will be good news for any Motorola executive who was worried Google might steal their market. And comparing the sales figures to the daddy of all smartphones, the iPhone, it’s basically shocking how poorly the N1 did: The 3G S sold 80 times as many units in the first week. Even given the huge inertia of the Apple brand, and its global launch, that’s a staggering multiple. And you can bet it’s a figure that’s being shouted across the table in Google’s boardroom today.
Or will it be? Because despite its technological cleverness, you could almost be forgiven for thinking Google doesn’t seem to care about its amazing new superphone. Look at the shoddy PR event for its launch the absence of Google gurus Larry and Sergei, the terrible planning behind customer service and support for the technical problems the phone is facing, the lack of a serious advertising push to get the device into the public’s eye…the list goes on. Google really seems to be a bit lackluster about the whole thing, from the hardware to supporting developers, to the workings of its new online Android phone store–apparently a flagship service.
So what’s going on? Is this catalog of woes surrounding the N1 representative of doubts inside Google itself about the whole endeavor? It just might be, since the problems are surfacing in several different areas it’s hard to blame them on a single failing in the N1 business plan.