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Summary:

When it comes to selling a lot of a new phones in a short amount of time, an educated customer base, a pre-holiday launch and a carrier with a huge subscriber base are essential. And launching a phone with a web sales channel is dumb.

When it comes to selling a lot of a new phones in a fairly short amount of time, an educated customer base, a pre-holiday launch and picking a carrier with a huge subscriber base are essential, according to an analysis released today by Flurry. The provider of high-end handsets app analytics looked at the first 74 days of sales for the iPhone, the Droid and the Nexus One to see how each had sold in that time frame. It chose 74 days because that’s how long it took Apple to sell 1 million of the original iPhones.

To the Flurry team’s surprise, however, even more Droids were sold in that amount of time, prompting them to come up with the above lessons. The Droid came out two and half years after the original iPhone, so people were primed for a touch-enabled, app-happy handset, and its November launch positioned it perfectly for holiday shopping. Launching with Verizon and its 89 million subscribers also helped.  So the moral of this story is that the Google experiment of making a really cool phone with the Nexus One and just tossing it over the fence isn’t working so far.

  1. Gee, wonder why this garbage site is almost entirely dead…

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    1. Are you scared of the facts? That Google is failing in this category? Do you work on the Nexus One team?

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      1. Define “failing”. Which is a better predictor, Flurry’s best guess at the first 74 days based on sniffing the browser air, or Eric Schmidt saying a couple weeks ago that they are now selling 60K worth of Android handsets/day?

        The market is quite big enough for iPhone and Android to be successful, despite everyone’s desire to make it either/or.

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  2. I don’t see the Nexus One as being a failed experiment. Considering that both the iPhone and the DROID had massive TV advertising campaigns while the Nexus One has had minimal advertisements to the general masses.

    135K units at $529 minus a $175 parts cost (taken from Engadget) is around $350 in profit per phone which comes to $47,250,000 total. Granted this doesn’t take in money paid to HTC for time/materials, but you get the general idea.

    Regardless of actual profit numbers, I would personally like to have 135K paying customers on anything I do.

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  3. The point missed here is that Google is changing the cell phone business model upside down, right now you look for a service provider and then select the phone, what Google is saying pick a phone first and then look for the service provider thus the reason their phone are being sold on the web.

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    1. Well… when iPhone will be available in US with multiple carriers (like it is in other countries), what would be the advantage of the “upside down” approach? You can already by the iPhone in the States without contract + iPhone @ Verizon and T-Mobile will make Google’s business model irrelevant. I am sure when Nexus One will sale lot more units when available on Verizon network. But again, Microsoft is entering the game and it is more likely that Google will suffer the consequences than Apple, which is way ahead…

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  4. Consider this: as mush as I hate Apple and their products, one can’t deny that the marketing on the iPhone has been pretty genius. I remember the day it was first released. I was working a project in Key West, Florida, and the line outside the AT&T store was around the block. You usually have to be giving away free drinks to get folks in Key West to line up for anything.

    That device has also had a three-year lead on the Nexus and the Droid. That can be significant in a market that seems to shift by the minute.

    The iPhone and the Droid both have something else the Nexus doesn’t have: a direct link to a specific carrier. In fact, the lock-down by AT&T/Apple of the iPhone seems to be the biggest gripe most critics have of the device. The Droid has Verizon behind it, but there are other Android devices available from other carriers (including three – the G1, the myTouch and the Cliq – from T-Mobile). A more honest comparison here would have been between the Droid, the iPhone and one of those carrier-branded devices. In fact, the better comparison would have left the iPhone out, since it uses a different system all together.

    Lot of people believe that what Google did with the Nexus is really the future of cellular equipment in the US (as it frequently is in Europe now). Eventually, we’ll have phones which will work on both network types, and users will be able to buy where they like (as in shopping for price) and use the device with any carrier. Even with only the (US) choice between two carriers, it still provides a small modicum of choice and a picture into the future.

    The shame of it is that the two GSM carriers use different frequencies for their 3G. This would make roaming (or choosing a carrier) so much easier.

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  5. HM the Emperor Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    The unreal thing to me is that there’s nowhere to see the Nexus One. You can go into Best Buy or the Verizon store or the Apple or AT&T stores to see these other phones. For the Nexus One, you can put your hand up to a buggy Flash animation on a screen.

    While the Nexus One may be the Felicia Day of the phone world, your typical ordinary end-user is not going to splash out on a big-ticket phone that he can’t so much as touch until after he’s paid out big money. I work in the Valley, I know people on the Android TEAM, and I’ve never seen a Nexus One just out for people to play with and get familiar with.

    Like Buzz, it’s another suggestion that somebody in Mountain View’s not crossing the engineer-to-human divide.

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  6. Nexus One is a halo product, designed to show consumers what an Android phone can be, thereby pressuring carriers to let Motorola, HTC, Samsung, etc., to configure phones for optimal customer experience instead of carrier executive myopia. Low sales figures are not a sign of failure here, but AT&T’s hobbling of the Backflip may be.

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    1. This is the most sensible comment here. Yet again, Google is taking an approach where either outcome will only help them: if Nexus One is a hit, Google is a winner; if Nexus One is not a hit because other manufacturers and carriers made better phones with better features, Google would’ve still accomplished its objectives. We have seen Google play these types of ‘heads, I win; tails, you lose’ games before. The 700 MHz auction comes to mind. We have to be extremely careful before passing snap judgments and jumping to conclusions about Google.

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      1. Nicely put!

        Nexus One is an experiment that got out of the labs to produce some brain waves among the people that “get it.” And in Europe, it would fit nicely into the way people buy their phones.

        How can GigaOM serve up such contrasts of the same product on the same day (Stacy vs. Kevin’s post)? Sloppy!

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  7. [...] via: Lessons in Phone Marketing, or Why the Nexus One Is Sucking Wind – GigaOM ] Gadgets, mobil 0 « Twitter springt zu kurz mit [...]

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  8. Santhosh Cheeniyil Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Has it occurred to anyone that it might the network and not the phone? T-Mobile is not exactly the most popular provider out there…

    Let’s wait and see what happens when Nexus One is available on Verizon!

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    1. apparently VZW will announce at CTIA that it will work on their network. That’s the buzz.

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  9. I think the Droid launching on Verizon was by far the single most important fact in its’ success. Verizon has a LOT of people on its’ network that are network loyal = would rather stay on the network and take whatever phone is offered. The Droid benefited from a large pent up demand for a high quality iPhone competitor (the smartphone choices on Verizon, prior to the droid, were crappy).

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  10. carriers free phones need to be available in stores where they can be purchased for cash. the no contract/prepay crowd that is mostly to throw big bucks on a new high end unlocked phone is also largely a no online purchase crowd. they like to walk into store pay cash and walk away with a phone in there hand.

    google needs to get the nexus one into retail stores.

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