Google has sold out of its Nexus One smartphone, making one inclined to think it was more popular among developers than it was among consumers.
Three weeks after receiving its last shipment of Nexus Ones for consumers, Google Aug. 5 made its Nexus One smartphone its official phone for developers.
Developers could purchase the device for $529 without a carrier contract to test the operating system and applications.
And did developers ever purchase the phone. Google Android developer advocate Tim Bray wrote in an update Aug. 19:
"We blew through the (substantial) initial inventory in almost no time, and they're back-ordered from HTC, who are doing a pretty good job of managing runaway success amid a worldwide AMOLED shortage.
"Everyone appreciates that it's important to the platform to get phones in the hands of developers, so we're working hard on re-stocking the shelves; stand by."
Google stunned many in the industry by launching the Nexus One Jan. 5 for $179 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile or unlocked for $529.
The company tailored the phone to its taste, fitting it with Google Apps and the new Android 2.1 operating system. Vodafone and Verizon Wireless pledged their support.
Unfortunately, most consumers shied away from buying a phone without touching it, a break from the classic retail-carrier model of visiting mobile stores to test the phones.
Google said in May it would stop selling the device to consumers and shuttered the store.
The phone lives on for developers, who are clearly happy to test software on it. The device has been upgraded to Android 2.2, which sports a faster Web browser, enterprise-grade features and a cloud-to-device messaging API.
There is no small irony that now that Google has demand for the device, it cannot supply it fast enough.