Why do Nexus devices not sell better?

PollyK

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 18, 2013
197
0
First off kudos to Samsung for offering a Google addition Galaxy S4. I think this just shows their desire to cover the wants of all customers. That being said Nexus devices have always been very poor sellers. But why is that? Obviously tech forums are far from representative of the market. All you hear are poster looking for the stock Android experience. But the general public seem to overwhelmingly (by a massive margin) prefer Touchwiz, Sense, etc...So what is it about the stock experience that doesn't attract the general buying public?
 

beaniemyman

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2013
301
0
exactly, i have a nexus 4 and i love it. i dont understand why the nexus phones dont do well in the market, i guess google is not promoting the product enough.
 

skratch77

macrumors 65816
Mar 20, 2013
1,241
5
Simple Google wants full control of nexus devices and won't let carriers molest them.they tried it last year on the Samsung galaxy nexus and it failed.Verizon locked out so many features that Google wanted like tethering and Google wallet .

Google will not go down that path again with carriers controlling things on the phone and delaying updates that don't let Google push to the phones and need approval first.
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,548
3,474
First off kudos to Samsung for offering a Google addition Galaxy S4. I think this just shows their desire to cover the wants of all customers. That being said Nexus devices have always been very poor sellers. But why is that? Obviously tech forums are far from representative of the market. All you hear are poster looking for the stock Android experience. But the general public seem to overwhelmingly (by a massive margin) prefer Touchwiz, Sense, etc...So what is it about the stock experience that doesn't attract the general buying public?
1). Most of the general public wants to pay the subsidized price.
2). Most of the general public is clueless about stock Android vs. manufacturer skinned devices. In fact, I'd guess most people would find stock Android boring/bland.
 

maxosx

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2012
2,385
1
Southern California
From my perspective as one whose had each of the Nexus models, it's been a niche product initially aimed at developers, then enthusiasts, and now finally offered on Google Play, to the public.

Google fumbled the launch of the Nexus 4 with a comedy of errors that put many people off as they waited & wondered when they might receive theirs. The only reason I got mine right away is my vigilance in being ready the moment they opened the site for ordering.

They are now in stock, yet behind the curve as its new model season so to speak, and going forward with Nexus 5, whenever they're released I'm sure Google will be prepared and handle the launch properly.

My Nexus 4, and equivalent tablet, the Nexus 7 are both very good.
 

sentinelsx

macrumors 68010
Feb 28, 2011
2,004
0
Because for an average customer, they don't offer anything better other than smoothness due to stock OS.

Camera and camera software/features? Skinned phones will be better.

Screen? 1080p sounds better to the joe.

Storage? 32 GB or micro sd sounds better. Keep in mind bulk of customers signs up to limited data plans, is not very "cloud savvy", and outside UK and USA google cloud stuff is non-existent.

LTE? Again "faster is better" for the average person.

Software features? Blinkfeed, time scape, air view sell better than.....umm...what does the nexus have?

The BIGGEST reason an average joe will buy a nexus is price. It is cheap and comes with a 720p screen. Mention this to a budget buyer and they will probably be more interested in buying it compared to they would if you only mentioned "updates".
 

daneoni

macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
10,807
79
-Only available on T-Mobile or Play Store (few countries)
-Shoddy launch
-No LTE support
-Only 8 or 16GB options.
 

Michael Goff

Suspended
Jul 5, 2012
13,329
7,298
I want to answer your question with a question.

How often do you see Nexus advertisements? I don't mean Nexus 7, but like... Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 4.
 

MRU

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Aug 23, 2005
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1) very few nexus devices are available through carriers. Folks prefer to pay $100-200 for a phone on contract, not $350-650 off contract.

2) those that are available unsubsidised via the Google PlayStore are limited to very few countries. Usually US/Canada only for a while and then just small handful of countries after that.

Combine the two factors and hence... Low sales.

Nexus 4 has never been available here, and likewise the S4 Google Edition will likely never retail or be available here either. You can't expect sales figures if the device isn't available for sale.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,443
8,631
I was thinking about getting a N4. It was nearly impossible to get from the Play Store. When it finally became available, I lost interest. Especially after tons of reports about bad battery life.
 

0dev

macrumors 68040
Dec 22, 2009
3,947
23
127.0.0.1
Most people just take whatever phones they get for free when they upgrade their contacts, that or the ones they've seen advertised or their friends have, and it's a cycle because those popular phones then become the ones networks are more likely to push onto contract customers.

So the bottom line is your average joe won't spend a long time researching all the different phones on the market and the ups and downs of each like us geeks do. It's a shame really because with contracts being so expensive and phones being something most people spend hours using everyday, customers really should do more research before they sell their souls for another two years, but there we go.
 
Google don't market the Nexus devices with any degree of enthusiasm. The 7 probably does reasonably well because it is visible in bricks and mortar stores, but I would expect the massively marketed Kindle Fire HD to be doing much better.

Google is right not to play the carriers' game IMHO as this is bad for the consumer. Don't forget, even if you are given the device, via a massive subsidy, you still end up paying for it. The whole subsidy arrangement is really credit dressed up as line rental. When you take out a car loan, do you expect features of your fancy new car to be disabled by the loan company?
 

0dev

macrumors 68040
Dec 22, 2009
3,947
23
127.0.0.1
Google don't market the Nexus devices with any degree of enthusiasm. The 7 probably does reasonably well because it is visible in bricks and mortar stores, but I would expect the massively marketed Kindle Fire HD to be doing much better.

Google is right not to play the carriers' game IMHO as this is bad for the consumer. Don't forget, even if you are given the device, via a massive subsidy, you still end up paying for it. The whole subsidy arrangement is really credit dressed up as line rental. When you take out a car loan, do you expect features of your fancy new car to be disabled by the loan company?
The Nexus 4 is in stores here but it's sold at a massive premium compared to the Play Store unless you buy it on contract.

Google definitely doesn't do much marketing for it though. I think the Nexus 4 is fairly well known just because the Nexus 7 is, and indeed I've actually seen a fair few Nexus 4's out and about, but it's one of those phones people only buy if they take time to look at all the options which a lot of people don't.
 

ChrisTX

macrumors 68030
Dec 30, 2009
2,682
52
Texas
1). Most of the general public wants to pay the subsidized price.
2). Most of the general public is clueless about stock Android vs. manufacturer skinned devices. In fact, I'd guess most people would find stock Android boring/bland.
Agreed with both of these points. The general public doesn't know the difference between stock, and skinned Android. Heck coming from an iPhone last year, I didn't really know the difference either until I got my Nexus 4.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,777
485
Another reason you guys skipped (kind of), they're not available on one of the largest carriers in the US, VERIZON! I have Verizon, it works most places I need it to (my office is practically a Faraday cage for Verizon signals though I CAN get a call from time to time) so I have no need/desire to change carriers just for a phone. Otherwise, I'd buy one to put on my line.
 

AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,889
900
Nexus devices never sold well because:

1) people prefer to buy subsidized
2) they usually had terrible specs
3) weren't on a carrier

Now, it's all changed with the SG4. Flagship phone with pure Google software. Can't be beat.

----------

Another reason you guys skipped (kind of), they're not available on one of the largest carriers in the US, VERIZON! I have Verizon, it works most places I need it to (my office is practically a Faraday cage for Verizon signals though I CAN get a call from time to time) so I have no need/desire to change carriers just for a phone. Otherwise, I'd buy one to put on my line.
Galaxy Nexus was on VZW.
 

Vegastouch

macrumors 603
Jul 12, 2008
5,446
383
Las Vegas, NV
I want to answer your question with a question.

How often do you see Nexus advertisements? I don't mean Nexus 7, but like... Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 4.
Exactly....you never see an advertisement for a Nexus phone and it is only available in two places....online in the Google Store or at T-Mobile. And i dont think the GS4 from the Google store is going to sell well for $649.

Most people dont care about pure Android. They care about price.
 

Michael Goff

Suspended
Jul 5, 2012
13,329
7,298
Exactly....you never see an advertisement for a Nexus phone and it is only available in two places....online in the Google Store or at T-Mobile. And i dont think the GS4 from the Google store is going to sell well for $649.

Most people dont care about pure Android. They care about price.
They care about price and they care about what they see. People use the GS4 because they see that it's 'cool'. And that's all that matters. It doesn't matter that the HTC One might be better in certain ways, it just matters that the GS4 is cool.
 

Vegastouch

macrumors 603
Jul 12, 2008
5,446
383
Las Vegas, NV
They care about price and they care about what they see. People use the GS4 because they see that it's 'cool'. And that's all that matters. It doesn't matter that the HTC One might be better in certain ways, it just matters that the GS4 is cool.
Overall i think the GS4 is much better than the HTC One.
 

thehustleman

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2013
1,123
1
Because for an average customer, they don't offer anything better other than smoothness due to stock OS.

Camera and camera software/features? Skinned phones will be better.

Screen? 1080p sounds better to the joe.

Storage? 32 GB or micro sd sounds better. Keep in mind bulk of customers signs up to limited data plans, is not very "cloud savvy", and outside UK and USA google cloud stuff is non-existent.

LTE? Again "faster is better" for the average person.

Software features? Blinkfeed, time scape, air view sell better than.....umm...what does the nexus have?

The BIGGEST reason an average joe will buy a nexus is price. It is cheap and comes with a 720p screen. Mention this to a budget buyer and they will probably be more interested in buying it compared to they would if you only mentioned "updates".
This is correct.

Fewer features and more of of pocket upfront.
Cost of ownership is lower but stock Android needs to catch up with skins
 

Tig Bitties

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2012
3,513
2,210
Nexus phones were never meant to be, or ever will be the Galaxy line or iPhone sales king, that's not Google's plan for the Nexus line.

It is a "developers" device, and also sold to the niche nerd market who know about it. But Google never planned for the Nexus line to be selling in Galaxy S4 numbers, nope, not gonna happen, and Google is perfectly fine with that.

Also, Google is afraid of pissing off the likes of Samsung and HTC, if their Nexus phone got too popular.
 

b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
I think Google releases Nexus phones on principal, not to actually compete. Samsung, HTC, LG, etc are all using Google's OS, skinned or not. Google gets revenue from Android either way, so it's all win/win for them.

A Nexus phone typically offers fewer features and in most cases requires paying full price up front. Those aren't really great points to advertise on. I really do think the Nexus phones are just for the sake of saying they made a phone that year. I doubt Google will ever sell as many phones as Samsung or Apple. But again, even in Apple's case- there are great Google apps on iOS, and they get revenue from that market too. Google can, does, and will continue to make it's money with software more so than hardware.
 

AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,889
900
This isn't argumentative, but why?

What was it that made it obvious to you that you want the GS4 instead of the HTC One?
Plenty of reasons. HTC's poor history of software updates and lack of fundamental features, like a SD Card slot or removable battery.