Google is abandoning its online store for selling the Nexus One smartphone in favor of the traditional in-store sales model. The Internet search giant launched its Web-based store for selling its own Android-based smartphone in January, but the site hasn’t been as successful as the company expected.
“As with every innovation, some parts worked better than others. While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not,” said Google vice president of engineering Andy Rubin. “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.”
The Nexus One isn’t, however, riding off into the sunset. Instead, Google plans to sell its smartphone through traditional retail channels world-wide. In comparison, Apple’s iPhone has been available online as well as in retail stores ever since it was first introduced.
“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,” Mr. Rubin said.
The move could help increase Nexus One sales since more people will have an opportunity to try the phone out before buying. If so, competition between Google and Apple in the smartphone market could heat up more.