Nexus One: Too much hype, not enough marketing?

Google reportedly plans to market the Nexus One online only, but may need more to compete with the iPhone and Motorola Droid

Poor Nexus One. Despite earning mostly positive reviews and becoming an obsession in the tech blogosphere, the Google phone reportedly sold just 20,000 units in its first week. That's just 10 percent of the Motorola Droid's debut sales.

If those figures are correct -- they're not official, but calculated in a roundabout way by market researcher Flurry -- there a few takeaways as to why the Droid had better early commercial success than the Nexus One. You could argue that in-store Droid sales trump the Nexus One's online-only distribution, or that Verizon Wireless is a bigger carrier than T-Mobile, translating to more potential customers.

But even if you could buy the Nexus One in stores, and on Verizon Wireless, Google's marketing would still be problematic. Google plans to focus its marketing efforts online, within its own pages, the Wall Street Journal reported. That includes Google home page promotion (though I don't see any at the time of writing this), search ads and a Nexus One channel on YouTube. It's a very Google-like outlook on advertising, where all you need is a little online message here and there to make an impression. Verizon, meanwhile, relentlessly used the Droid to bash the iPhone, and AT&T. It approached the stage with the cockiness of a professional wrestler And it worked.

Google's approach just doesn't stack up. Phones are more than just a purchase. They're your constant companion, probably for two years, and like it or not, they convey a message and a lifestyle. The Droid's lifestyle is that of a manly man who favors function over form, unlike that pretty princess iPhone. The iPhone's image is one of smug satisfaction: Can your phone do this?

Google's in a tough position with the Nexus One, because it can't really knock either of those phones. Obviously attacking another Android phone makes no sense, and iPhone-bashing probably isn't in Google's best interests, because so many Google services -- Search, Maps, YouTube -- are tied up in the iPhone. Verizon can get away with an anti-iPhone campaign, but Google, which is selling the Nexus One directly, cannot.

There's hope for the Nexus One. Perhaps Google's online marketing strategy will be a slow burn, sinking in over many months as word of mouth spreads. Verizon Wireless took the shortcut by bashing the iPhone, but the Nexus One has a long road ahead.

Tags nexus oneGoogle

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?