Only 20,000 units of Google Nexus One Sold in the first week: Too Low

The sparkling launch of Google’s Nexus One has not been able to compliment its sale as only 20,000 handsets have been sold in its first week. With the fact that the Nexus One is only available through Google’s online store and only in four countries so far, it’s not surprising that Google was able to sell only 20,000 units of the phone.

The report was made by basing from data it obtained from app analytics Flurry and covers the first week of Nexus One’s availability.

It was outsold by Droid by more than 12 times, myTouch 3G by three times and iPhone 3GS by 80 times.

Obviously, since there hasn’t been much traditional advertising of the Nexus One (unlike the Droid) and you can only buy the Nexus One from, perhaps Google is handcuffing the potential earnings of this phone. After all, it is the best Android available, it should absolutely be successful.

Here’s how the folks at Flurry came with this number:

“To estimate first week sales totals for the Nexus One, myTouch 3G, Droid and iPhone 3GS, Flurry detected new handsets within its system, and then made adjustments to account for varying levels of Flurry application penetration by handset. Flurry additionally crosschecked its estimates against Apple actual sales, released for iPhone 3GS, which totaled more than one million units over the three days, June 19 – 21, 2009. Flurry first week sales estimates can be found in the table below.”

Flurry’s numbers are just estimates. Flurry works with 10,000 developers building apps. It tracks applications on 80% of the Android and iPhone handsets. When a new handset comes to market, Flurry notes how many apps are being downloaded to the new handset, and then estimates from there.

But these estimates are bad for Google. The company had plenty of hype gearing up for the launch of the phone. It put an ad on its homepage, and it sprayed its ads all over the web.  Given all the hype, these sales numbers are pathetic.

First things first, all mentioned smartphones were released with their own mobile carriers releasing and distributing them. In the case of the Nexus One, Google is the sole distributor of the unit. And besides, it is only available in four countries – U.K., U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore. A significant number of mobile phone users, who may be eager to purchase could not do so because the Nexus One was not available in their countries.

To be sure, Google is testing a new retail model with its online store. That’s not going to draw in customers right away. Also, it’s only available for T-Mobile, which has a smaller base of subscribers. And, the phone was launched two weeks after Christmas. We bet most people who were shopping for a new smartphone, got one in December.

Google’s objective with the Nexus One is long term, so weak early sales aren’t the end of the world. It wants to disrupt the carrier model by selling direct to consumers. That will take time for consumers to get used to.


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