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]


Reader comments

Google CEO: Not trying to beat Apple, Nexus One served its purpose


"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."

yes, google is trying to beat apple! he is just wording it by saying we're doing something different that apples not.

how do you beat someone in technology? you come up with better products and bring new ideas into a working product. haha

They're trying to beat apple by not being like apple, a concept so many other companies fail to understand. The real question is what does it mean to beat apple?

We're not going to be left behind ! They may stop selling it online or stop selling if full stop ! I think I fully understand what they were trying to do and fully agree it was a success. How many units are actually being sold was never their concern as google really doesn't care for couple of $ millions plus minus ;)
As proof of concept it worked just right!
We're surly getting gingerbread which is cool ! what's after that? com'on you're not really expecting the Nexy HW to last forever.
Don't believe there's a N2 in the horizon but even if there is one guess we, LUCKY Nexus owners can be happy we took part in this experiment !!!

My business partner talked with Vic Gundotra (VP of Engineering at Google) for a good while a couple of years ago at Google IO. They were developing Android at that point, and we were making a product for it. Vic said that Google did not care if Android even existed in 5 years. It was never about the phones or the OS to them. It was about raising the bar. Smart phones, in general, needed to be better... with better web browsers and access to the web. THAT is what is in Google's best interest. (That's why they give away Android for free to all of the carriers.)

Translation: We're not trying to beat Apple, and it sure is fun doing so without really trying. :)

Or alternate version: We're not trying to take a bite out of apple, someone has already done that.

Or even still: We're not worried about the fruity guys from California. (I was thinking of BP CEO's "small people" remark for this one)

Okay...lame I know, it's a slow day for me...

wait.....does this mean there will be no more Google exclusive phones???? say it aint so.......i cant go back to buying a phone thru a carrier and waiting FOREVER for an update!

In 2 weeks, you'll be able to buy a Streak direct from Dell. (If the rumors swirling about right now are true.)

His mouth might be saying that. His hand seems to be saying, "Crushing your head! I am crushing your head like a grape, Steve Jobs! Crushing you!" a la the old Kids in the Hall skit. :)

Usually I don't comment on other peoples statements but this one I found interesting. The ultimate measure of success does not always lie in monetary or financial gain. Einstein wasn't the wealthiest man. Would that make his findings any less of a success of his time. I'm not trying to bash your opinion I'm just challenging your to be more open minded in your measure of success. I don't own a nexus one but to say the phone is a technological failure I can't seem to understand. It may be the first notable phone to support wireless N out of the box. MOST people aren't even using N routers still to this day. The updates it receives from Google has without question raised the bar for ota updates. Case and point the ego had an update pushed out the day after its release it hasn't even been a month yet and its had two. The reason for this is because Google set the bar with the nexus one and updating proving to the public that updates don't HAVE TO (although they can) take months sometimes a full year to get out to the consumer. In that regard and many others I think what he said was accurate. Do I think if they had sold more handsets they wouldn't have praised that aspect? of course they would've and probably through it in apples face. But do I also believe that even though they didn't sale as many phones in a multi billion dollar company like Google they still view what they did a vast success? Absolutely. There's more to success than money Google is one of the worlds largest harbors of INFORMATION the N1 was an amazing research device we all got to be a part of. In the words of Denzel "It's Chess not Checkers" -Fin-

This is hilarious. The Nexus 1 failed and his idea of selling a phone online failed. Plain and simple. Anyone who even entertains his declaration that it was a success is as delusional as he is. I think he has used up all the ideas he stole while serving on Apple's board and can't come up with any of his own. The iPhone 4 may have it's flaws, but it's still a sales and technological success. The Nexus 1 was neither.

I love the veiled insults from Google. They are doing it the right way. Do not engage Apple in a flame war (leave that to your followers online). Be nice Google.

Why are you guys doubting it? its actually true..not a 'save face' comment.

The STORE was a failure but the phone wasnt. At the time, before the nexus one came out..the phones were stuck with much less specs..stuck in the much slower and less ram specs of the G1 and mytouch ..google realized they needed more phones out there with power to support their new OS upgrades that were in coming so they made the Nexus one with a 1ghz processor and ram to boot which gave everyone else a kick in the ass to innovate and put some power in the phones.

And in related news, Microsoft announced that they are not competing with Apple. Will stop selling Windows and Office next Quarter. Balmer claims total victory.