By Chuong Nguyen | July 4, 2010 1:34 PM
Despite ambitious plans earlier in the year to release a whole line of Nexus products–mainly smartphones–Google is now backing down and saying that the Nexus One will be the last product officially released as the Google phone. Google will still partner with other manufacturers in releasing Android smartphones, but the company will not release a branded product after the Nexus One stating that its strategy for the device was a success and there is no need for a successor product:
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 criticized 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.
The Nexus One didn’t sell as well as many people had anticipated and Google’s online-only strategy had limited the device’s success. At one point, the Google Nexus One was said to be coming to all four major US carriers, but Sprint had backed down after the HTC EVO 4G was released and the Droid Incredible was a worthy alternative to the Nexus One that Verizon Wireless had cancelled its plans to offer the Google phone. So far, the only Android device to be offered on all four major US carriers would be the Samsung Galaxy S.
An official phone from Google does have its benefits. As a product that doesn’t necessarily have to go through manufacturers and carriers, Google can push out updates faster and more quickly on its Nexus One product than for other devices. For instance, with the HTC EVO 4G, both Sprint and HTC must approve and coordinate an update, get HTC Sense to work with the new Android build, and then the update can happen only after vigorous testing and carrier certification. With an Android phone made by Google itself, the update can be rolled out quicker because there would be no customized UI or skin layer to test for compatibility and Google would only need to test to see how well the new OS software would work on the carrier’s network.