First Week Handset Sales Comparison


It’s been roughly a week since Google and HTC revealed the Nexus One via press conference at their headquarters. Expectations were of course high for the Google handset, as is usually true for anything that is attached to the Google name. However, according to Mobile App Analytics over at Flurry, who are estimating (based on usage of the apps that it instruments) around 20,000 Nexus One handsets were sold in the first week of launch.  Looking above you will see the T-Mobile myTouch 3G, which launched all the way back in August of 2009, sold a total of 60,000 units during its first week. Making a strong first week showing was the Verizon Wireless Motorola Droid which sold a whopping 250,000 units the first week it launched. While the infamous Apple iPhone 3GS sold an incredible 1,600,000 units during the first week it launched.

To be completely honest, I believe that due to Google imposing some tight requirements in order to get the handset subsidized, the Nexus One didn’t appeal to as many users. Even though the retail price of the handset is lower than the subsidized price in the long run, many consumers simply do not want to pay $529.99 up front. On top of that, significant confusion over the initial rate plan offering might have been a detractor to buyers. While that matter has been settled amongst the internet savvy, those looking to buy online may not be aware of how one can change plans after receiving the device.  Consider for a moment the unhappy customers, those existing T-Mobile customers who discovered they would not receive any discount whatsoever on the Nexus One. Or those customers who are upgrade eligible and still find themselves in a position that requires more than the anticipated $179.99 pricing. Say what you want about the launch, it seems as though there was plenty of hiccups this time around, things that could have easily been prevented that would have allowed for higher first week sales. A lot is riding on how Google handles the 3G issues as well as various customer issues that has brought about significant talk about Google’s clear direction regarding customer service. For a company that is so entrenched in our lives, it’s certainly not easy to talk to them.  Then again, that’s just my $0.02.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments!


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  • Ben Tolmachoff

    I’m not surprised. It was a pain to buy subsidized as a current T-Mobile customer and most people who were interested in Android already went to Verizon for the Droid.

    That being said, I still love my Nexus One. The processor is blazing fast, 2.1 is slick and I’m slowly getting incredibly accurate with the on-screen keyboard. Well worth $280.

  • Shannon

    I agree that the tight requirements for the Nexus One most likely hurt sales but I think a lack of advertising hurt the myTouch sales. Heard lots about the Droid, even before it was released, and the iPhone had a lot of hype as well. I still see tons of ads for the iPhone and lots for the Droid but RARELY see any for the myTouch. If T wants to compete, they need to get the word out that they have some pretty cool phones…

    • Ritchie

      Apparently who live in the woods and/or dont watch tv, im so sic and tired of those mytouch commercials for the past couple of months. those were the worst ones.

  • Ducter

    OK, but given the limited market information we have, if you were to launch the droid in 7 other markets it blew the iphone 3gs out of the water. Taking the stats we see then x8 would be 2 million droids. Now I know that some markets were more, some less but given what we have to go on thats the numbers.

    Shows what a great marketing campaign can do for your product I suppose. Google could have easily pushed the Nexus harder than Verizon did the droid.

  • pfmiller

    A little marketing would have helped. Also would have been good if they allowed T-Mobile to sell the Nexus in their stores.

  • Reuben

    The sales are low because the business model is different.
    Google decided to test potential customers without selling through a carrier, and without advertising. Those 20,000 people Paid $ 525 based on google’s name alone, without seeing or touching the device, and that’s a pretty good result for a company that created Android 1 year ago.
    With all the advertising Verizon put in the Droid I would have expected more sales actually. The Iphone is in a league of its own as it has been around for 3 years and people know what to expect, the phone is hyped by advertising and press conferences way before its available and therefore on week 1 all apple fanboys run to buy it.
    The N1 was kept secretive until 1-2 days before the press conference, when Google said ‘ this is the phone, it’s on sale now, you can only buy it online ‘.
    Therefore 20,000 is not as bad as it seems.

    • Josh Wahl

      I totally agree with this!

  • czar

    the process was confusing. One thing that hurt them is you can’t phyiscally see and hold the device in a store. They had a big enough buzz, but spending $530 for a phone 10 days after xmas ain’t gonna fly. This should have launched in october close to holiday season. My take is there will be other android devices soon fom HTC that i CAN walk into a store and buy with my avaiable UPGRADE that I have

  • 18.4009

    Well, one could think of it this way… If they keep getting shitty sales then maybe they will lower the price to get that stock of handsets moving lol. Then I will get one ;)

  • Wilma Flintstone

    I must have missed how one can change plans after recieving the device. Can anyone fill me in on it? I’m an long time Tmobile customer and actually wanted the Nexus One until I heard about the plan. If you can change plans after you get the device back to what I have now, Unlimited talk & text (Had no need for web due to having a Nokia 3220 ancient device) and add unlimited web on to it, I’d be perfectly fine with paying the $270 to get it.

    • Ducter

      What I read was after ordering the phone you can go to a bigger, ie. more expensive plan but you cant go down. An old plan different from the even more deals wont work, at least thats my impression.

      • Wilma Flintstone

        Oh ok. So basically, I can buy the Nexus One subsidized for $279 (I’m not eligible for the $179 since I’m a long time loyal customer) and get unlimited web added to my plan and have a new phone? I’m basically paying $80/month (Tax included) for Unlimited talk and text now so if I get web added, it will be more than the $79/month plan.

  • Hold on to your shorts everybody. The nexus one’s sales are about to pick up a little. I was talking to a t- mob rep at my local mall about the nexus one and how I wish I could afford one. I mentioned the 500$ plus unsubsidized cost was way out of my range. We talked for 10 mins and what do you know,and out he pulls out his nexus one. I played with it for about 10 mins talking to him the whole time. As I’m about to leave he leans over and says” I’m not supposed to mention this yet but,come this Saturday customers on the flexpay who convert to a contract will be able to get the partially subsidized nexus one for 279$ on contract. He also mentioned those who add a line will be able to get one for the same price. Just a little info for all that are waiting to get their hands on one. I tell you it is a thin ,awesome looking device. It made my iPhone look like a moto razor.

  • Oh, and by the way he also did mentioned that 5$ insurance for the nexus one . Just to add.

  • taj

    I am curious what people think about the Unlocked/No Contract future T-Mobile is pushing (Even More Plus) and Google clearly is trying to stimulate as well…my quick survey of weeks of comments suggest people defintiely like the unsubsidized, no contract monthly plans but tend to choke on the unsubsidized price of the phones. We tend to want our cake and eat it, too.

    SO which is the greater evil? $600 phones or an extra $10-15 a month with a contract?

    And try to be a wireless marketing manager, not a phone geek (I say with respect). What direction will dominate the US Market 5 years from now?

  • taj

    As far as maketing goes…30 minute infomercial with a call to action and e asy payments!

  • Josh

    Where is “Just Some Tool” guy right now? Maybe hiding in his his hole somewhere?

    Oh wait he most probably is in WiMo or other OS related post somewhere and trashing it and talking none sense.

    It’s ok tool. Come out of your hole and don’t be ashame that your belove Crapoid didn’t sell well…

  • q2mobile

    what were the stats for sales of T-Mobile G1?

    • Garrett

      G1 stats are all messed up. Remember that was way back in the day T-mobile respected its loyal customers and had an exclusive period that only existing customers could get the phone. This reduced the surge that this article is trying to compare.

  • Chino B

    All you have said are pretty much right on target. Google messed up as far as Subsidy, rate plan, and customer satisfaction!!

  • Cybersedan

    I think it’s very safe to say that the sales results have little to do with the phone itself not being desired. It’s a direct result of the way it was released, don’t forget that this was pretty much a secret until 1/5/10, and the vast majority of potential buyers probably don’t even know this phone exists. Add the fact that as people become aware of the phone then see the restrictions, they are then turned off again, in general consumers shy away from these kinds of strict purchasing terms that remove choice.
    All said, anyone who though this phone would sell like hot cakes has NO clue about the power of a good marketing campaign to generate excitement, or in this case the clear result of almost ZERO marketing.
    Finally the average person is NOT going to buy a phone they can’t touch, feel and play with first, especially not for $530. If they really want this phone to sell, you’ll see some big changes in the distribution channels and other options in the very near future.

  • It’s called arrogance people…

  • Cybersedan


    I think you got that right… hopefully this will be taken as a lesson learned.

  • loyalty rep

    Its sad that google had to do it this way,fine u wanna sell the phone how they do in the rest of the world…..ok well atleast make a commercial….let any one who’s elgible get the discount and for those who are going to buy the phone full cost at least let them split the payments up… do you expect people to buy a phone that they can’t even see first…spend 530 in faith thaat it is a good reliable phone…..doesn’t sound smart to me…..even though this is how they do it in every other country who cares because this is america and americans are spoiled buy subsidy…..ok change how the phone cells are done but have a customer service….ectect I could go on forever how dumb this is

  • vikingfan45

    the timing came out wrong too like if it came out during the middle of tax time as opposed to right after christmas i believe it would done alot better. Plus with the 3G issues its having kind of stopped people like myself from getting it for a while until they fixed that problem and another thing………

    HTC HD2 fan lol waiting till spring…………..

    rock with BBM for now

  • jose

    if tmobile had the nexus in stores im sure we wouldve been competing with the droid if not the iphone but with all its requirements,termination fee and the fact that you can only get it through google is making it harder for poeple to get

  • Curtis

    Google is not surprised by these numbers. No one expected this to outsell the Droid or iPhone, or even the mytouch. Google is a giant multi-billion dollar company, they know what they are doing. They are testing a new sales method, that’s all. Also you fail to take into account advertising budget’s for the previously mentioned phones. Yes they sold more, but it also cost the respective companies a far greater sum of money to achieve those sales. To be honest, given the circumstances, I think 20k sales is actually pretty good.

  • rushmore

    No keyboard killed it! Long live the keyboard!!!!!

    Seriusly, Google was just testing the waters, but even so, the sales are probably 20% of what they thought the results would be.

  • Vinroc

    Your $.02 is exactly right in my case. We have been T-mobile customers for 5+ years and I held out to get my wife the Nexus One as a late Xmas present. But we were totally turned off by having to drop our current plan and all the other nit picky aspects of getting the phone. We don’t need it that bad and it is not worth the hassle. I thought it was a slap in the face for loyal t-mobile customers. I am glad the role out has been mediocre at best.

    I love T-mobile and I love Google, but this is how good companies lose their edge and start to decline: poor service to loyal customers.

  • How many of us are super geeks and have been following the phone since before Christmas? Maybe 20k? haha.

    I think it’s funny that that these “poor” sales make some of you feel justified to whine and complain about the phone. “see google! you suck for not giving me the phone for free!”

    I account for two of those 20k, and the phone rocks.

  • Pun

    I know that the production team surely lost there jobs after this miserable FAIL

  • Liam

    They barely promoted this device at all and most people simply don’t buy their phone online through a source outside of their phone company. Simple as that.

    I love mine and I have people asking about it all the time.

  • NiiDiddy

    They should have marketed better. The Droid did. The iPhone did. The myTouch did, but not until a little later after it was released. Not only that, they should have allowed phones sold in t-mobile stores as not everyone will buy without first having a physical feel of the deivce. Third, they should have offered better pricing/plans for the device. Anything else would be a fail.

    All these companies need to get back to the basics of economics…! The higher the demand the lower the prices and vice versa. They have the ability to drive down further the price to create more demand, with will in turn create some good Mula in their pockets, especially when the device design and device hardware capabilities speak for themselves…!

    They gotta believe in their product!!!

  • Rstar

    I could have gotten the nexus1 if it was marketing also for existing tmo customers at $179, since I have to get rid of my own plan, cant sign a 1yr contract, and pay almost $300…no thanks.

  • J

    The only problem with the phone sales is how the phone is being sold. Basicly, you are only targetting customers who want to switch to T-Mobile. You are really not even targetting the 30 million customers that are currently with T-Mobile. The phone had the potential to top the Mytouch numbers pretty easily if you included current customers in the mix. I would be willing to believe you might have had possibly 100k sold maybe? It wouldn’t reach Droid sales, because the Verizon customer base is far larger. I believe you will see some changes on how the phone is being sold after the bugs are worked out. The worse it sells now, the more likely you are going to see it in a T-Mobile retail store to pick those sales up.

  • Trampled

    Look, I know this is a minor thing and a nitpicky thing, but thank you T-mo News for simply making your title, “First Week Sales Comparison” instead of the overtly-smug, anti-Android title, “NEXUS ONE ONLY SELLS 20k!!!!”.

    If you compared tech sites to newspapers, T-mo News is more like your local newspaper, with info, rumors and some broad opinion. BGR and engadget are about the equivalent of The Enquirer (always turning nothing into something)… you could consider CNET the USA Today of tech sites then.

    That’s it… just wanted to share my worthless opinion and feelings about T-mo News. Keep up the good work.

  • vikingfan45

    google did a good job marketing it…. i mean i hardly ever watch t.v but i go to google about 10 times a day… and i’m sure that it holds true for everyone else as well the only thing that killed it was the requirements for the phone……………………………

  • Matlock

    Being that I work at a corp T-mo store, Google shut out a lot of potential customers with the way they sold the phone. My manager and one of my coworkers both have the phone, and its an incredible phone, I don’t usually like touchscreen only phones, but this thing is absolutely amazing. Unfortunately though, Google trying to be all high and mighty screwed everything up, by putting forth soooo many requirements and restrictions for purchasing the phone.

    Also, what the hell is up with the absolute lack of advertising for this phone. A phone of this caliber should have been advertised big time. I should have grown sick and tired by now of seeing this thing on TV so much, because they were advertising it soo much. Im not saying they should have gone as far as the Droid commercials did, but something man, put something out there. yes 20,000 units isnt bad for the first week of sales, but it could have been much more had there been some sort of ad campaign. Also, the release date was absolutely horrible for this phone. It should have been released before the holidays, or in the middle of the tax season, when people are getting their tax return checks from Uncle Sam.

    As far as the whole 3G issues go, Neither my manager nor co-worker have any issues with their phones, nor have any of the customers we’ve had come into the store. So Im guessing that it might have been a bad batch of phones that are experiencing these issues.

    I do hope that Google will get off their high horse and eventually let the N1 be available for sale directly from T-mobile.I wouldnt mind paying $530 for the phone, as long as I would be allowed to break up the payments, like the EM+ plans allow you to do.

    Personally Im going to wait for the HD2 so I can compare the two phones. I currently have a Cliq, and love it, but am def looking forward to the HD2, big time!! And hopefully T-mobile steps up the advertising campaigns for the Android lineup, and push all of the Android phones they have and when the HD2 comes out pushes the advertising for that phone too. Come on T-Mo step up your advertising and marketing campaigns, we need much more exposure than you are giving yourself currently.

  • ejaydroid

    Even though it is the superior phone in almost evey aspect . The problem was there was no advertising no huge campaign to show people here it is. Another thing not releasing it in the stores was a huge mistake that Google should have done. Maybe releasing it in the form as apple did with an section dedicated for it in the tmobile stores with large advertising GOOGLE or something. They botched themselves . I have the phone and it is truly amazing

  • Ulysses

    WHY IS EVERYONE (single line customers) CRYING ABOUT A $530 PHONE!!!!!!!

    everyone do u math right now!!! figure out how much u pay a month on ur plan right now….
    -dont forget to add $30 internet if u dont have it already on old plan

    now the new plans for web/text are, $60, $70, $80..500, 1000, and unl minutes…

    Multiply both results by 24 (2 year contract, compared to no contract)

    now add the $530 phone on top of each….im sure ur saving money and if not ur getting “more” than what you had before!!!!

    On that note…i havent seen the nexus1….i hope it doesnt freeze or lag like all google and htc phones do

    and is there now a easy way to save ur apps on the sd card? or no need since there is alot of memory??

  • t-mizzle

    20000 sales vs. 2000 petition signatures of unhappy tmo customers, at least the ones that took the time to sign the petition. I’m considering buying it unlocked. But I notice that I’m weighing my options a whole lot more than before, $560 up front makes a difference.

    Nowadays it’s hard to intrigue the customer base in a new phone. Everybody has a phone and when you break it down, they all do the job they are supposed to do.

    The difference between a 1 or 2 year old phones isn’t that great, epecially in the aforementioned context.
    The incentive to buy a new car vs. keeping your old one is higher than shelling out big buck for an unlocked phone vs. keeping your slightly used one.

  • bebo

    it needs more advertisement!!. just like the droid or the iphone .. just my opinion… ohh and its way too expensive!! specially if u are on tmobile already.. again just my opinion… lol

  • Catsigh

    I’d still love to have one, but the price is just too rich for my blood at this time. I’ve read all the “it’s really cheaper” stuff but the outlay is more than I can reasonably consider. My contract is over in April. I’ll decide if I will stay with Tmobile then. The lackluster sales might convince the Big G that their pricing is out of line, and who knows they may have the kinks all worked out by then or the next iteration of an even more amazing phone may be available.

  • Well maybe google has soooo much $$ dat they really don’t care bout 1st week sales. Maybe they want people 2 keep gossipping bout their new device. I think dat people always want 2 attain da unattainable get 2 make them feel special when they do break down & get da dam thing. Maybe google screws up by not making it easier 2 purchase. Who knows wats goin 2 happen. Wat i do know is dat if they wait 2 long 2 turn people on instead of turning them on they will probably lose out do 2 new & upcoming phones from tmo & oda carriers as well. Don’t get me wrong i am one da very eager 2 get a N1 tmo customers, but da price da 3g problems & da fact dat new phones are coming out soon will keep me on da sidelines for now. P.S. google if ur out there reading these comments there’s an old sayin THINK HARD, THINK LONG, THINK WRONG!!!! Remember dat at the end it’s da consumer & loyal TMO customers dat will hav da last say in da matter???? Maybe u should google “THE WRONG STRADEGY” & see wat u come up with B4 u turn off too many loyal TMO customers & oda cusumers as well????

  • Sorry bout dat mistake in last comment. Let me refresh i meant 2 say?? If they meaning google WAITS TOO LONG 2 TURN PEOPLE ON INSTEAD OF TURNING THEM OFF!!!!????

  • Well maybe google has soooo much $$ dat they really don’t care bout 1st week sales. Maybe they want people 2 keep gossipping bout their new device. I think dat people always want 2 attain da unattainable get 2 make them feel special when they do break down & get da dam thing. Maybe google screws up by not making it easier 2 purchase. Who knows wats goin 2 happen. Wat i do know is dat if they wait 2 long 2 turn people on instead of turning them off they will probably lose out do 2 new & upcoming phones from tmo & oda carriers as well. Don’t get me wrong i am one of da very eager 2 get a N1 tmo customers, but da price, da 3g problems & da fact dat new phones are coming out soon will keep me on da sidelines for now. P.S. google if ur out there reading these comments there’s an old sayin THINK HARD, THINK LONG, THINK WRONG!!!! Remember dat at the end it’s da consumer & loyal TMO customers dat will hav da last say in da matter???? Maybe u should google “THE WRONG STRADEGY” & see wat u come up with B4 u turn off too many loyal TMO customers & oda cusumers as well????

  • Robert

    I am a current tmobile customer and have a family plan. My line was eligible for an upgrade.I was able to seperate my line from my family plan which was out of contract to a single line for one day (of course prorated for about 9 dollars) then go to google and get the nexus one for the 179.00 price becuase my line which was seperated show me as a new customer. I went through the online process of obtaining the nexus one then called back tmobile and they gladly switched me back to my family plan. i then sold my G1 for 100 dollars therefore paying about 100 dollars for my nexus one. Tmobile customer service is awesome. They advised me on how to jump through the hoops to get the nexus one at the low price. I hope this can be applied to others and help them get the NEXUS ONE.