Although Google terminated online sales of its branded Nexus One smartphone in mid-July in the wake of consumer disinterest, the device is a hit with developers--two weeks after first offering unlocked Nexus One units to registered Android programmers, Google is now sold out. "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," writes Android developer advocate Tim Bray on the Android Developers Blog. "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."
Google is selling the unlocked Nexus One handsets at $529--the phone runs Android 2.2. Bray calls it "a good choice both for people who want to build Android applications using either the SDK or the NDK, and those who want to experiment with modified versions of the Android platform... As well as being an outstanding developer platform, it's a really nice everyday phone."
Google unveiled the Nexus One in early January, concurrently premiering a hosted web store to sell selected devices running Android. Produced by HTC, the Nexus One--available 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--in early July, 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 sellout:
- read this Android Developer Blog entry
Google selling unlocked Nexus One phones to Android developers
Google pulls plug on Nexus One--still for sale to developers
Google's Schmidt: Nexus One was a success
Google aggressively wooing iPhone developers to Android
IDC anticipates Android shipments will near 70 million by 2013