Google to Yank Nexus One From Online Store, Bye-Bye Ecommerce


Google (GOOG) threw the wet noodle and it didn't stick.

Google announced Friday it plans to pull its Nexus One smartphone from its online store, as soon as its can convince enough retailers to carry the device that has been heavily panned. Earlier this week, Sprint announced it will no longer carry the Nexus One, following in the footsteps of Verizon. Currently, T-Mobile is the only domestic carrier providing service plans for Nexus One.

Once Nexus One has reached an acceptable presence in retail stores, Google plans to transform its online store into a gallery of smartphones that carry its highly touted Android operating system. These phones are currently sold through carriers such as Verizon and Sprint.

"While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not. 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," Google posted on its blog.

Google, as a result, says it plans to work with its existing carrier partners to offer Nexus One in their retail stores. That is the business model it currently uses in Europe.

"We believe that the changes we're announcing today will help get more phones to more people quicker, which is good for the entire Android ecosystem: users, partners and also Google," the company stated.

But it may take more than a change in retail venue to drive sales of Nexus One, which debuted in January.

Critics have dinged the device for its weak support among developers because it lacks a decent offering of software tools to aid the code crunchers when they build new applications to work with Android 2.1. Other criticisms have included poor connectivity when running on third generation wireless networks.

But from a consumer standpoint, Nexus One may appear pricey. It carries a sticker price of $529 for the phone with no carrier contract and $179 with a two-year T-Mobile plan. That may be too steep for a device that's chalked up the reviews that Nexus One has received, even though it's a little less than half the cost of an Apple 3GS with a two-year AT&T contract.

Originally published