Research firm Flurry Inc. has recently published market figures showing that just over 80,000 Nexus One smartphones were sold by Google during the first month of its availability, which is just a fraction of the sales boom that was seen when the iPhone launched back in 2007.
Google's first phone is proving that the firm still has a bit of learning to do when it comes to penetrating and marketing a mobile to a consumer audience. By sidestepping the traditional route of offering the phone as part of a pay monthly contract, it seems that Google could have alienated a mainstream audience not used to buying their mobiles direct from the manufacturer.
Flurry says that although the Nexus One sales figures have not been earth-shattering, they have at least shown consistency. The basis for Flurry's figures has been app usage, from which they can reverse-engineer sales estimates.
Apple managed to sell 600,000 iPhones in the first month after its launch nearly three years ago and it hit the million mark in a little over two months. Motorola has proved that Android smartphones can be a big draw after notching up over half a million sales with its Milestone, aka Droid, in November 2009.
Google is still planning on bringing network operators on board with its own online retail system, offering customers the chance to pick up a Nexus One on a tariff as long as it is part of Google's main store.
Heavy spending on the promotion of the iPhone has been contrasted by virtually zero outlay by Google, which has struck some observers as counter-intuitive and senseless.
Google's Eric Schmidt commented: "The Nexus One is simply the first of a series of examples where you can essentially purchase a phone online from one or multiple manufacturers and have it just work. We think that's a natural evolution of a particular model."
This suggests that the phone itself is unimportant; it is the establishment of a new sales strategy that is the ultimate goal.
Flurry's Peter Farago suggested an alternative view as to why initial sales of the Nexus One have been sluggish. Mr Farago cited the fact that it was launched in the post-Christmas period during which spending and sales are typically far lower as the cause of dampened demand.