Flurry Finds Google Nexus One Sales Lagging Through 74 Days [UPDATED]

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Research firm Flurry on Tuesday reported its estimate of sales of the Google Nexus One smartphone through its first 74 days of availability, finding that it has lagged far behind the iPhone and the Motorola Droid with 135,000 units in circulation, compared to one million iPhones and 1.05 million Droids. However, Google brought the Nexus One to AT&T the same day; availability on another carrier (it launched on T-Mobile) could help boost those sales.

Flurry came to its conclusion based on its analytics technology, which is embedded in applications that have been downloaded to more than 80 percent of all iPhones and Android devices, the company said.

Peter Farago, author of the blog post discussing this latest news, said that the 74-day benchmark was chosen because that’s when Apple hit the one million milestone with the original iPhone. While the Nexus One’s 74th day is Friday, March 19, Flurry decided to publish the news now and forecast sales for the rest of the week.

Mr. Farago noted three reasons why he thinks the Droid has sold so well, particularly compared to the iPhone: consumer perception of smartphones changed during the two-and-a-half years between the launch of the first iPhone; Droid’s access to consumers is greater because Verizon has more subscribers than AT&T, at least when comparing devices’ launch dates; and Droid shipped right before the 2009 holiday selling period.

He concluded: “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.

“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.”

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Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Nexus One is not old by any carriers. It is sold directly by Google, usually unsubsidized. When subsidized, it’s sold on a Googlized plan. Nexus One is one of several Android phones on the market. Most of the 65K sold per day are lower-end (e.g Motorola Droid) right now. Google probably also anticipated that Nexus One was lawsuit bait, and have been deliberately low key in the rollout and promotion.

I think slow and steady will win this race for the #3 smart phone platform position. Ultimately, the iPhone will be the #4 platform in this space with about 5% market share. Apple will be unable to sue for market share, because the backlash will just be twice as heavy. Fortunately for Apple, revenue on 5% 2 years out will probably exceed revenue on 25% today.

With its release for AT&T 3G today, Nexus One may pick up some steam as a path forward for unthrilled iPhone users. For example, I finally have a path out of my iPhone that doesn’t screw up my family plan contract. I’ll probably pick one up in a month or so, after the early reviews are in and there are no serious hiccups. I’ll probably alternate daily between my iPhone and a Nexus One for another couple of months, and I’ll make an informed decision about whether the open Nexus One should be my everyday phone. My Mom on the other hand likes her iPhone. She can keep it and be happy.

Substance

Nexus One is not old[sic] by any carriers. It is sold directly by Google, usually unsubsidized. When subsidized, it?s sold on a Googlized plan. Nexus One is one of several Android phones on the market. Most of the 65K sold per day are lower-end (e.g Motorola Droid) right now.

Those are some good points about why the Nexus One isn’t selling.  The Nexus One may be a failure for Google but it’s one they could learn from.  I expect the “Nexus Two” or whatever its called won’t make the same mistakes.

Google probably also anticipated that Nexus One was lawsuit bait, and have been deliberately low key in the rollout and promotion.

I doubt that Google or anybody else expected Apple to finally unleash the lawyers over the Nexus One while leaving the Droid untouched.  I sure didn’t read any such predctions in the lead-up to the Nexus One.  As for the promotion, I think the Nexus One was aimed at the Gizmondo/TechCrunch crowd of ubergeeks.  Problem was I think those who already didn’t have an iPhone had already ran out and bought a Droid.

With its release for AT&T 3G today, Nexus One may pick up some steam as a path forward for unthrilled iPhone users…My Mom on the other hand likes her iPhone. She can keep it and be happy.

Nice backhanded compliment on the iPhone.  “It’s good enough for my mom, but not me.”  Apple made the best call for Apple here, 99% of phone buyers are more like your mom who just want something that works simply and effectively while only 1% (the aformentioned gizmondo/techcrunch/ubergeeky crowd) care about whether the phone is open-source, Apple’s app store policies, that it has to run Flash, etc.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Nice backhanded compliment on the iPhone.? ?It?s good enough for my mom, but not me.?? Apple made the best call for Apple here, 99% of phone buyers are more like your mom who just want something that works simply and effectively while only 1% (the aformentioned gizmondo/techcrunch/ubergeeky crowd) care about whether the phone is open-source, Apple?s app store policies, that it has to run Flash, etc.

“The marginalization argument.” (You could just write those three words next time and save everyone the effort of reading.)

Let’s say for the sake of argument that it’s 99% to 1%. Based just on jailbreaking metrics, 90/10 is closer to the truth by actual behavior, but let’s take your ratio. The 1% have a disproportionate effect on purchases. I make the purchasing decision on phones for 7 people on my family plan. I can’t foresee buying another iPhone, even for my Mom. Off the top of my head, I’m currently recommending phones for about 20 other people. I’ve recommended simple clamshells for older friends to the LG Neon for teenagers to the Droid for people who wanted a low cost smartphone to Blackberries for people who need them for work. I don’t foresee turning anyone on to an iPhone, and can quickly demonstrate all the crappy things about my 3GS. iTunes integration is about the only real advantage of the thing—for running, walking, or the gym with a single device. And even that is duplicated easily enough for Android phones with Missing Sync.

People who care about this stuff may not have numbers, but they have influence. Marginalize them at your peril.

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