Why Google Shouldn't Worry About Its Dismal Nexus One Sales

Weak opening sales of Google's Nexus One phone spawned a spate of panic stories about whether the vaunted Google Phone had already failed. This was more than a little ridiculous. The Google Nexus One debuted on T-mobile, which has less than half the market share of Verizon or AT&T. Even adjusting for that, Nexus One sales were pretty anemic -- 135,000 units sold in the first 74 days, compared to 1 million for iPhone and 1.05 million for Motorola's Droid. But let's keep our eyes on the big picture here. Google is still a software company dabbling in hardware. And its mobile smart phone software is very, very good.

Now that Nexus One is graduating to Sprint, AT&T and Verizon in the next few weeks, I expect a surge in sales. But even if the Nexus One fails to take off, it still has a success story in the wireless market with its Android mobile operating software, which now powers 7.5% of all smart-phones, compared to Apple's 16% share of the market.

At the end of the day, the important question to answer is: are these phones, and the OS that moves them, any good? Jim Fallows thinks the Nexus One is a fantastic smart phone. As the proud owner of a new, healthy zero-pound 4.23-ounces Droid Eris (Verizon), I have to agree with Jim.

Eris doesn't have the iPhone's touchscreen performance, or app store. But it's still a great phone on a superior network with some catchy gizmos: weather updates that track your location; seamless integration with Gmail and Gchat; access to seven alternative home screens with a flick of a finger (one screen is an iPhone-esque app array; another is a Twitter feed; another is my most recent work email...). The best part for me is the uber-useful "notifications" menu that you can pull down from the top bar, which lists all new emails, Gchats, missed calls, voice mails and Twitter mentions in a handy stream. I can select each notification I want to check out and immediately bounce off the page to Twitter, or Gmail; or roll up the screen to read my mentions and email later; or I can clear it all out in a touch. It's handy, non-intrusive, and does the thing great technology should do: it makes me wonder how I ever managed life before the Droid Eris.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In