Google pulls plug on Nexus One--still for sale to developers

Google will no longer sell its branded Nexus One smartphone online, although the Android-powered device will remain available to registered developer partners. A brief posting on the Nexus One blog notes that Google has received its final Nexus One shipment, and once those are sold, the company will no longer market the device--the smartphone will remain available for purchase via operators including Europe's Vodafone and Korea's KT, and Google will continue to provide customer support for existing Nexus One users. "To ensure our developers have access to a phone with the latest Android OS, Google will be offering the Nexus One through a partner for sale to registered developers," the blog posting adds. "Visit the Android Market Publisher site and log into your developer account to purchase a Nexus One."

Google unveiled the Nexus One in early January, concurrently premiering a hosted web store to sell selected devices running its Android mobile operating system. Produced by HTC, the Nexus One--available unlocked for $529 or locked via T-Mobile USA for $179--touted live, interactive wallpapers, a 3D photo gallery and voice-enabled keyboard alongside Google applications like Gmail, Google Voice and Google Navigation. The online store seemed like an even bigger announcement, giving Google and its partners a direct-to-consumer channel to sell hardware, multimedia content, Android Market applications and accessories. The Nexus One never found its footing among consumers, however, and operators proved resistant to Google's sales and distributions plans--earlier this month, Google CEO Eric Schmidt defended the concept, contending "[the Nexus One] was so successful, we didn't have to do a second one. We would view that as positive but people criticized us heavily for that."

For more on the Nexus One's fate:

- read this Nexus One blog entry

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