Three months after it ended distribution of the Nexus One, a feature-packed phone that consumers seemed to be allergic to, Google appears ready to try again. The Google-branded smartphone, originally manufactured by HTC, is believed to be the new Android device Samsung will announce at a New York City media event on Nov. 8.
However, some say the event may launch the Continuum, a dual-screen Android device to be offered by Verizon Wireless.
Off on the Wrong Foot
The original Nexus One debuted in February and was sold unlocked by Google directly from its online store. That was a nonstarter as major carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel, and AT&T flooded the market with a slew of new Android devices as well Apple’s iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones.
Though some critics liked the design and features — particularly its lack of apps added by carriers, known derisively as bloatware — Google was hard-pressed to keep up with tech-support calls. The phone sold for $529 with no contract, or $179 with a two-year commitment to T-Mobile.
“The original Nexus One was dead on arrival because the distribution was limited, the price point was very high, and the device had software issues,” said Kirk Parsons, a wireless analyst for J.D. Power and Associates.
In the 74 days it took Apple to sell one million iPhones last year, Google sold only 179,000 Nexus Ones, according to figures from research firm Flurry, even as Android devices sold by the carriers were well-received.
“While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not,” Google spokesperson Andy Rubin said in May as Google announced it would sell the Nexus One via retail stores. But in July it discontinued the phone altogether, providing it only to developers for Android research.
A blog that specializes in Android devices, citing “multiple trusted…