Google’s Andy Rubin, one of the Android operating system’s inventors, talked about the pluses and minuses of Google’s experiment with the Nexus One phone on-stage today. The Nexus One was a success in a number of ways, but Rubin acknowledged that initiative to sell phones directly to consumers via the Web “didn’t pan out.”

The Nexus One Web store was one of the most discussed aspects of the phone’s launch, because it represented Google’s first effort to sell devices itself, rather than through partners. But the sales numbers that have been reported were not stellar, and Google announced this month that it’s going to close the store.

Rubin did say that the Nexus One succeeded as “a showcase superphone.” So as Google reevaluated its strategy and asked, “How are we going to scale that into the world?” it decided that focusing on the platform rather than on building and maintaining a store made more sense.

He also clarified that although it may have looked like Google’s partners Verizon and Sprint backed away from the Nexus One by supporting other Android phones instead, that was the not case. Instead, he said, they had made their product plans before the Nexus One was revealed.

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