Google's Nexus One phone sells a mere 20,000 in its first week

The Google Nexus One sold an estimated 20,000 units in its first week, according to market analytics firm Flurry.

Although the Nexus One received a lot of buzz as Google’s own entry into the Android phone business, the sales number isn’t that impressive. We’ll see if Google actually confirms or disputes this number.

Flurry monitors the usage of more than 10,000 developer applications on iPhone and Android platforms. It tracks over 25 million end user sessions per day. From that, it was able to figure out the first week sales for the Nexus One as well as prior phone launches such as the myTouch 3G, Droid, and iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 3GS sold more than a million units over the first three days of sales in June, 2009. The Droid, an Android phone built by Motorola and launched in November, sold 250,000 units in its first week, more than 12 times as much as the Nexus One.

The Nexus One may seem like a dud. It has gotten good reviews for features such as Google Voice and Google Maps. But Flurry notes that it hasn’t lived up to the early expectations, and distribution, pricing, and marketing have not been aggressive. Having real in-store representatives to let you touch and feel a phone — like the big carriers do — may turn out to be a competitive advantage. Consumers may not be used to going to a Web site to buy a phone; and they maybe stuck in the middle of a contract with a carrier, another disincentive for switching. While Verizon spent $100 million marketing the Droid, and has plenty of customers ready to upgrade, Google merely sells its device directly to consumers via its own web site. Google also launched after the holidays.

T-Mobile, the carrier partner for Nexus One, did not provide the same carrier co-marketing support as it did for the myTouch 3G launch. And Google has set its direct-to-consumer price for the Nexus One at over $500.

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