Feeds

Carrier apathy depresses Google Phone outlook

Nexus One estimates drop 70%

High performance access to file storage

Google is discovering just how dangerous it is to ruffle the feathers of the major cellcos. Its Nexus One handset may be one of the most advanced on the market and bear the magical brand, but half-hearted marketing efforts by carriers have led to disappointing sales. Now, analysts at Goldman Sachs have slashed their estimates for sales of the phone this year by 70 per cent.

Several operators did lend support to the Nexus launch, despite Google's introduction of a direct-to-consumer sales approach, but there was always a sense that their backing was grudging - and largely based on a fear of losing out, should the phone prove as wildly popular as some analysts predicted.

Their main qualms would have surrounded the route to market. Google offered the device, with a selection of carrier deals, from its own specially created web store. In some ways this was no different to an Amazon approach, but it was widely seen as the thin end of the wedge, in Google's avowed bid to relegate the operators to bitpipe roles and put its own brand center stage. Cellcos will have heaved a sigh of relief that uptake of the Nexus was disappointing in the early stages, and that other handsets with similar capabilities quickly came along - notably the Desire from HTC, which also makes Nexus. Both these options offer Android 2.1, gigahertz Snapdragon processors and other attractions, though the Desire has been more acclaimed for its user experience.

In the hype surrounding the launch of Google's first own-branded handset, some pundits predicted that it would sell 3.5m units in its first year. Now Goldman Sachs has cut its forecasts, and wrote in a research note, quoted in ZDnet: "We previously estimated that Google might sell 3.5m Nexus One units in 2010. Initial data points were disappointing, possibly due to limited marketing and customer service challenges. Flurry estimated (based on mobile traffic) that Google sold 20,000 in the first week, and 80,000 in the first month, both annualizing to 1m. We forecast that Google sells 1m Nexus One units in FY2010, benefiting from US carriers other than T-Mobile, and non-US carriers such as Vodafone, promoting the device too, but suffering from limited marketing activity."

Vodafone is the only international carrier that has committed firmly to Nexus One, though it shows no signs of putting the phone high on its list of marketing priorities, with much of its effort being placed behind other HTC models, the iPhone and its own 360 models.

Undeterred, Google is still expected to announce new Nexus models and widen the distribution of the original. This year should see a more enterprise-focused 'Nexus Two', probably made by Motorola, and a cutdown version of the first phone is reported to be launching in India and Russia in the fourth quarter. This would sacrifice some features, including the top-end processor, in order to keep the price down around the INR24,000 (about $500 unsubsidized).

Copyright © 2010, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.