Jan 10

Nexus One: the world’s fastest price cut

Everything's fine ... really

Well, that didn’t take long. Just nine days after the launch of the Nexus One phone, Google and T-Mobile announced a $100 price drop. Only catch: it’s not for everyone.

Existing T-Mobile customers only. Account active for 22 months only. Individuals only. No business or family accounts. No phones numbers ending in 7 or 2. Okay, just kidding about the last one — but it doesn’t feel so out of place with the actual restrictions.

In its email to customers, Google is outright cheery: “Good news! The upgrade pricing for existing T-Mobile users with data plans has changed from $379 to $279.”

Not to throw cold water on the merriment, but “good news” like this normally happens only after bad news reaches the CEO’s desk. Like puny first-week sales of 20,000 (vs. iPhone 3GS’s first-week sales of 1.6 million). Or a customer uprising due to lack of tech support.

How different companies respond to similar circumstances is revealing. Remember when the first iPhone met with pricing resistance? Just two months after launch, Apple responded with a price cut. But theirs applied to all customers — $200 off for new purchases and $100 Apple Store coupons for those who’d already bought. Some felt that Apple actually ended up with a net positive for being forthright and fair.

Google and T-Mobile, however, have chosen to zero in on a subset of their customers: upgraders only. It’s as if someone had calculated the least possible thing they could do to help right the ship — which actually diminishes the good will generated by offering a discount in the first place.

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  • Liebman

    I have nothing to add to this tale of premature death. Mostly I just wanted to show off my new Gravatar avatar.

  • @Leibman
    Lol , guess that was what Google wanted also :)
    Just show a new gimpy toy :P

  • Cory

    Well…. with Apple you know they’ll stand behind you… you know they will be there with support and upgrades.

    With Google… you know they’ll only be there until something else sexier comes along to grab their attentions away. You’ll be unsure if upgrades will be available for your device… because the next device will be so different that any upgrade may not work on your device… and your device may only be a few months old… and already dropped.

    In other words, Google only does the HOT thing…. and then they only do it half way… starting strong and dropping it soon afterwards. They spread themselves everywhere… trying to be everything to everyone and spreading themselves too thin.

    Apple on the other hand… comes up with complete solutions… often times getting things right the first time… and if they don’t, the quickly fix it… for all current and future customers.

  • “In other words, Google only does the HOT thing…. and then they only do it half way… ”

    ah, ADD in corporate america …

  • Julian

    Before you all go bashing the Nexus, you should test one out!
    I just sold my 3GS as the Nexus is far superior in every department, except for the App’s department!

    And the Android Apps department is set to overtake Iphone apps within 12 months.

    I got fed up with the locked down, boring uncustomisable Iphone … its old news.

  • ken segall

    Glad you like your Nexus One, but most reviews I’ve seen haven’t been quite so generous. Also, that’s a pretty big “except” you have there. The App Store is hugely critical and no other platform is even close. Not sure where you get the idea that Android apps will overtake iPhone’s in 12 months, but I know they’d love to. In their eagerness to pump up the numbers, they’ve decided to have NO approval process. So those increasing numbers include apps that range from useless to malicious. Good luck sorting that out. Not to mention the fact that you can only download 190MBs’ worth of apps into the Nexus One anyway — so how many apps can you fit in there? As far as customizability goes, it’s the age-old Mac vs. PC issue. Maybe you can do more customizing — I’ll take your word for that — but I doubt that you’d find even a tiny percentage of iPhone users who feel in the least bit constrained. Our vastly larger choice in apps lets us configure a phone that perfectly fits our needs, and the interface is so elegantly designed, I’ve heard no rumblings of revolution. What exactly do you customize on that thing?

  • Cory

    but Julian…. just wait for the next iPhone… it’s like comparing a 2010 model to a 2009 one… I hope the 2010 model is better.

    The iPhone 4.0 software update will be announced in a few short days… it will add even more to current iPhones… something I doubt will always happen for the Android platform phones as Google won’t be able to keep up with all the hardware configurations and will simply drop updating yesterday’s models.

  • Julian

    Possibly true, but I want the best phone available now not next July!
    I expect IPhone have just tinkered with the very boring interface though and will put a faster processor in.. nothing revolutionary.
    You guys need some widgets!

    Android is easy to update on android phones and being open source there are loads of modified versions you can download floating around the net. So having the newest version is no problem. You are not a slave to your manufacturer (like IPhone users)

    I also have a HTC Hero which is a year old and HTC are releasing the latest Android version for that.

  • Dr. Horvath

    Methinks Apple?
    Ken, fix it.