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Google Nexus One spends dying days as dev phone

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Google's Nexus One will spend the end of its brief, sad life as a developer phone sold through some unnamed partner.

With a Friday blog post, Google announced that it has received its last shipment of Nexus Ones from the manufacturer and that once these are sold, it will — as promised — close the ill-fated webstore where it sold the phone directly to netizens.

Google will, however, begin offering phones to registered Android developers via its Android Market Publisher site. Naturally, these will be sold through a partner. Google wants to "ensure our developers have access to a phone with the latest Android OS."

Much as Steve Jobs says the Judas Phone has no antenna problems, Eric Schmidt says the Nexus One was "so successful, we didn't have to do a second one." When Google announced the Nexus One, it said the handset belonged to a new class of "super phone" and boasted that in punting the phone solely through the web, it would fundamentally change the way phones are sold.

But it was far from a super phone. After more than five months, according to reports, it had sold a mere 500,000 devices, and plans for additional carriers to join T-Mobile in offering service for the Nexus One via the Google webstore were shelved.

With the Nexus One, Google was competing with its own Android partners, and according to one report, at least some of these partners weren't too happy about it.

As early as late April — the Nexus One launched in early January — Google began selling the handset through traditional carrier channels. The phone will continue to be sold by partners such as Vodafone in Europe and KT in Korea, and although the webstore will soon close, Google will continue to offer support to those who have already purchased one. ®

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