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.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Googlenexus one

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

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?