What Would D-Mac Do


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nexus One gets stomped by iPhone (Gasp)

In news that should come as a surprise to nobody, it appears the iPhone has outsold the Nexus One 80 to 1 (at least according to this ReadWriteWeb article). Obviously it's too early to really draw any conclusions about the success/failure of the phone. But that won't stop me from doing it anyway. A few thoughts in a freeflowing fashion because I'm into that sort of thing:

-Google's mystique and lack of advertising worked for search, but it won't work for the hardware market. They need to engage retailers. They need signage. As Frank Reed points out, they seem to have captured the fancy of the techie/geek crowd, but those people don't just run out and plunk down 500 bucks everytime something cool comes out. People can play with iphones at the Apple Store, Best Buy or AT&T stores. They could play with the Droid and the palm. Granted word of mouth and that guy at the party who bought a Nexus One letting his friends poke around on it could very well be all the physical presence Google needs, but from the initial impressions of the phone, that's a pretty far fetched assumption. Google can't ignore the point of purchase experience...as much as they'd like to think otherwise. Prediction: You'll see the Nexus One (or Two or whatever the parlance ends up being) in T-Mobile stores and possibly big box retailers like Best Buy within the first 6 months of 2010.

-Google's ability to provide real customer service (and those of us in the search industry know that they really have no clue in this realm) are about to go through baptism of fire. There's already rumblings about problems with the phone. Don't get me wrong, Apple isn't the darling of customer service either. Fact is however, they DO have service outlets with AT&T (T-Mobile can't help you with Nexus problems). Best Buy sold me some sort of extended warranty on my iphone. Google has none of these outlets available. Prediction: Google either outsources customer service to T-Mobile/retailers or enters the POS themselves (envision a Google Kiosk at Best Buys everywhere).

-Even though 500 and change is a fair price for similar smart phones, I think Google has spent so much time giving things away that they almost have to be price competitive here. I could be totally wrong, and time will definitely tell, but if Google truly wants to win over this market, it needs to treat the phone like it treats everything else: Give (or in this case, drastically reduce the price) the product to the consumer and supplement the cost on the backend with advertising. Prediction: The unlocked price of the Nexus One will come down...a lot

I realize I'm just postulating and shouting at the clouds here...but at least so far, these are my initial thoughts.

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