Part Two of a five-part series, "Top 5 ways for Android to close the gap." See also:
1. Get Another Killer Phone to Market
2. Serve Up Some FroYo
3. Get Nexus One into the Stores
You are engineers. You do alright with selling ad space online, primarily because you control online search and search sells ads and you can advertise for your ad space on the majority of search result pages that everyone around the world sees.
In other words, your engineering prowess has made your search business the best in the world, and your ad-selling business basically piggybacks on top of your search stuff. So it works.
But you don't know how to market, sell, or support anything else. At all. Nothing besides search and ads that work off of search.
So do everyone a favor - yourselves, the carriers, and the consumers most of all - and get the Nexus One into retail outlets where it belongs.
The Nexus One launch was awkward and embarassing. Tech launches have become highly polished dog and pony shows (for better or worse) and yours was a start-and-stop, low-energy affair akin to a middle school science fair. Nexus One sales have been disappointing in large part because the darn thing isn't anywhere where potential buyers can see and try it out. Sure, geeks know they can get the thing online, but geeks only account for so many sales. Do you have any idea how many T-Mobile and Verizon stores are out there, and how many people walk through them every day? Not to mention other retail outlets like Best Buy Mobile (disclosure: they sponsor many of our One-Pawed Bandit giveaways). And if you're going to sell online, make the phones available at Amazon and Let's Talk and Wirefly, where people already know to look for cell phone deals.
Then there's support. While I didn't have any major issues with the Nexus One you guys loaned me for review, I did experience some annoying band-hopping between EDGE and 3G on T-Mobile's network. Apparently that's been a huge issue for some users, along with other issues plaguing the firmware, and even the (peeling) paint on the hardware itself. Worse yet, complaints stemming from your total fail of a customer support system have perhaps generated even more bad press for you guys than the problems with the phones themselves.
I'm not making this up, BTW. Look here and here and here and here and here if you want to know more. Heck, you can even read an article entitled "Google's Nexus One Phone: A Case Study in Bad Product Management."
I'm not sandbagging you out of some blind hatred for Android or even the N1 itself. Quite the contrary, I loved my (generally issue-free) Nexus One while I had it. I even said so on Fox Business LIVE. But you guys are in the engineering business, and not the consumer tech marketing/sales/support business for a reason.
So stick to what you do best and leave the rest to those who know better. You tried, you failed, now do the right thing: Close up your little online shop and get the Nexus One - and all forthcoming Nexus devices - into the hands of the carriers and retailers who know how to market, sell, and support the thing. And get back to dealing with those Android fragmentation issues and Nate's Google productivity Apps suggestions instead. Trust me, everyone - most of all you - will be better for it.
With Best Wishes,