The death of Google's phone store was a bit of a shock when was announced back in May. Well, OK. It was a shock to those of us who know and love the Nexus One. But that's a lot of what the problem was. Most normal people aren't going to buy a phone sight unseen. And the virtual lack of advertising (and what advertising there was was purely virtual in the form of Google ads) certainly didn't help matters.
We got a pretty good explanation of what led Google to decide to stop selling phones online back at Google IO, shortly after the announcement was made. And Schmidt elaborates further in an interview Telegraph.co.uk:
“The idea a year and a half ago was to do the Nexus One to try to move the phone platform hardware business forward. It clearly did. It was so successful, we didn't have to do a second one. We would view that as positive but people criticised us heavily for that. I called up the board and said: 'Ok, it worked. Congratulations - we're stopping.' We like that flexibility, we think that flexibility is characteristic of nimbleness at our scale."
OK, so while the store might not have been successful, the hardware was, meant only to spur further innovation? Maybe. Remember that the Nexus One is manufactured by HTC, which is hardly a newcomer to the space. Whether the Nexus One inspired future devices such as the Droid Incredible (HTC), Droid X (Motorola) and Galaxy S line (Samsung) remains to be seen, especially as all were announced within six months or so of each other.
Another pretty good line in the interview, and you can choose whether to believe it, came from Schmidt saying that Google's not really in some bare-knuckle boxing match with Apple in the Mobile space.
"We don't have a plan to beat Apple, that's not how we operate," Schmidt says. "We're trying to do something different than Apple and the good news is that Apple is making that very easy."
Maybe so, but try telling that to everyone else, Eric. [Telegraph.co.uk]