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Google fails to flog Nexus One

Might have to change its name
Tue Mar 16 2010, 15:33

MOBILE RESEARCH FIRM Flurry has confirmed Google's botched launch of the Nexus One smartphone with its latest figures.

The analytics firm acquired the data for its latest report, rather worryingly, from having its code embedded in 80 per cent of applications on both the Iphone and Android platforms. The figures that use the Iphone's benchmark of one million devices sold in 74 days make uncomfortable reading for Google.

Even though the Nexus One has only been on sale for 70 days, Flurry has extrapolated its figures to the 74 day mark coming up with a total of 135,000 units sold.  Although any competent statistician will say that data extrapolation is a risky business, it's clear Google won't be able to shift enough devices in four days to make its sales tally anywhere close to respectable when compared against the Iphone's record.

Luckily for Google, the problem isn't the operating system, as Motorola's Droid and Milestone actually outsold the Iphone in the same time period, according to the same data. Those figures paint a better than expected picture thanks to Motorola having benefitted from launching its device in the lucrative Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas shopping period. Google, on the other hand, waited until everyone had spent their cash and it chose T-Mobile as its network partner.

The bumbling smartphone enthusiast first proceeded to annoy customers, then Steve Jobs and finally everyone else who wanted a Nexus One by delaying its foreign debut. Further examples of Google's incompetence in the matter of the Nexus One have surfaced with news that the trademark application filed less than a month prior to the device's launch has been rejected due to sloppy research.

The US Patent and Trademark Office refused Google's application citing that should the application be granted it would cause the "likelihood of confusion with the mark in U.S. Registration No. 3554195". That registration, for the mark of 'NEXUS' was granted to Integra Telecoms Holdings almost a year previously.

Integra's original application for the Nexus mark includes in its description services such as "transmission of data and voice" and "high-speed access to a global computer network", all of which sound like terms that could describe a smartphone.

Google is highly likely to appeal the rejection and, with fine tuning of the application and the fact that the firm tried to register 'NEXUS ONE', there is still a chance the trademark will be issued in Google's name. The lack of research on the firm's part is shocking, especially as patent lawyers are typically masters of finding holes in prior applications.

Wading your way through the millions of applications is tough without a powerful search engine. The lawyers may have a claim on their hands, as the USPTO's website uses arch-rival Bing to power its internal search. For once, the Vole's incompetency in web search may have actually helped it get one over on its rivals.

This latest chapter lengthens the growing tale of woe Google has brought upon itself in the past three months. At the centre of the legal, marketing and distribution circus, the Nexus One still stands as the Android platform's poster device.

Flurry's figures suggest that while Google is capable of producing a superb open source mobile phone operating system, it still has a lot to learn about marketing and selling mobile phones. µ


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