Google Closing Online Store

It may have been only four months since Google decided to forego with a physical store and sell their Nexus One phones strictly online. The volume of Nexus One units sold over a period of 74 days is discouraging to say the least. Within 74 days Verizon’s Droid has already sold 1.05 million, Apple sold 1 million iPhones while Google only sold 135,000 units.

Google states that the closing of their online shop is only a result of the failure of the Web store concept and not the Android platform itself. According to Andy Rubin, Google’s engineering department vice president, “While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the Web store has not.” The issue mainly lies with the natural human trait of needing to physically hold the device as well as being able to select service plans. Rubin affirms this by stating that “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 (sic) from.”

Although the Nexus bears the Google logo, it is actually manufactured by the Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC. With the Web Store concept, consumers were given the choice of purchasing the phone online and then find a carrier afterwards. This is different from the usual process of consumers looking for smartphone models under a carrier and purchasing the devices under a specific plan.

Although Google’s Nexus One has not made the company a significant amount of profit, through other carriers other Android phones are selling more than iPhones. With the closure of the Web Store, Google aims to have a physical store where the Nexus One will be sold. Instead of selling the Nexus One and other Android phones through the Web Store, it will simply be used as a online display window where Google can show to a global audience all of the available devices under the company.

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