I see the Nexus phones as another market acceleration gambit on Google’s part – apparently Google is inclined, every couple years, to spontaneously obsolete most other smartphones running Android, accelerating Android smartphone market evolution, even though Google itself is unlikely to actually sell many of the devices. The Nexus phones are also useful for winning Google partner/developer loyalty, and seeding the developer market with the latest releases of Android-based hardware, but the Nexus strategy has to be deeply frustrating to the Android device partners who aren’t tagged for the latest Nexus market experiment.
The Nexus One, which Google sold directly to consumers, was plagued by weak sales and customer complaints. But Google’s sustained interest may be a sign that the company is still trying to broaden the appeal of Android’s technology and ensure its competitiveness with rivals like Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion.
Perhaps in an effort to learn from past mistakes, Google is taking a slightly different strategy with the Nexus S. Instead of attempting to sell the device directly to consumers, and deal with having to provide customer support for the devices, the company teamed up with Best Buy to sell the new phone in both its physical and online stores.