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Google Nexus One 'too popular' in dev phone afterlife

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Google's Nexus One phone was a flop as a sold-direct-to-consumer "superphone," but according to the company, it's a huge hit in its new incarnation as a developer platform.

With a blog post Friday morning, Google Android man Tim Bray announced that the Nexus One developer phone has already sold out and that the company is working to restock. "A couple of weeks ago, we arranged that registered developers could buy an unlocked Nexus One via their publisher page in Android Market. We think it’s a good development platform and a nice phone. Apparently, you agree. Somewhat too many of you, in fact," Bray writes.

"We blew through the (substantial) initial inventory in almost no time, and they’re back-ordered from HTC, who are doing a pretty good job of managing runaway success amid a worldwide AMOLED shortage. Everyone appreciates that it’s important to the platform to get phones in the hands of developers, so we’re working hard on re-stocking the shelves; stand by."

One wonders how big that initial inventory was. Google is selling the unlocked phone to developers at the same price it was sold to consumers, $530, and the device was hardly a sales king when it greeted the world from an online store Google said would revolutionize phones sales. According to third-party estimates, Google sold little more than 500,000 Nexus One phones through its now-defunct online store.

But slow sales weren't the phone's only problem. We've always assumed Google's online store was closed under pressure from existing Android partners such as Verizon.

The phone is now being sold through various retail outlets as well as through Google's Android developer program. You must be a registered developer to buy the developer incarnation. ®

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