Nexus One to be sold through telcos, not online

After failing to garner enough traction with online sales, Google has decided to shut down its Nexus One website in favour of traditional retail channels.

In a blog post, Google engineering vice-president, Andy Rubin, said the company would follow the same model it launched in Europe.

“While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not,” the blog post reads. “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 has partnered with Vodafone in Europe to sell the device in stores, online and over the phone.

The same model is expected to operate in Australia once the device is officially launched here, according to the blog entry.

Telstra already sells the HTC Desire, which has similar specifications, unlocked through its usual retail channels. The telco has a six month exclusivity deal with HTC from launch, though the phone is unlocked out of the box and can be used with any carrier.

“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,” the blog reads.

Shortly after its US launch, Google support forums were awash with people discussing problems with their Nexus One device. As the company was selling the phone directly to end-users, some reports suggested many users were turning to Google first, but the search giant was unable to provide the customer support mobile phone users are used to with telcos.

Early adopters of Telstra's HTC Desire also complained of issues with the phone's GPS feature, which was later fixed through a firmware update.

Although launched in January, and with some devices arriving on our shores through non-official channels, Australian consumers and businesses have had to wait until an unspecified future date to gain access to the phone.

(See some videos of the phone's features or check out the slideshow)

The 11.5 mm thick device, built by HTC and using the Android 2.1 (Eclair) operating system, has a 3.7-inch OLED touchscreen display with haptic feedback and runs a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor.

In terms of connectivity it supports:

  • UMTS Band 1/4/8 (2100/AWS/900)
  • HSDPA 7.2Mbps
  • HSUPA 2Mbps
  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • A2DP stereo Bluetooth
  • In terms of languages the phone display supports: English (US), French (France), German, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Korean, Japanese, and Russian. Notably, Arabic is not included.

    Additional reporting by Nancy Gohring (IDG News Service)

    Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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