Nexus One was the first in a series of Google-branded devices that included smartphones, tablets, and digital media players. Google was responsible for the design, development, marketing, and support of the Nexus devices. For the manufacturing, Google partnered with other companies such as HTC, Samsung, LG, ASUS, etc.
The Nexus One was co-produced with HTC and had the best hardware available at the time. However, the software – Android 2.1 - was only slightly better than the Android 2.0, which had come with the Motorola Droid a few weeks earlier. It had some additional perks, such as live wallpapers and extra homepage screens, but nothing revolutionary.
There are numerous reasons the project wasn’t successful. Google’s Nexus was supposed to bring a new era to the world of smartphones and outclass all existing devices in both hardware specs and OS development. People also expected that the new device, being distributed directly by Google, would break away with device-carrier dominion and offer users more freedom in wireless communication. However, the reality was different.
Only T-Mobile - the fourth-best and smallest carrier in the US - offered and advertised the device for $179, with their two-year plans. There was no no-contract service available (as the one offered by AT&T for iPad), and the price was almost triple to buy it unlocked directly from Google.
It didn’t help when Google opted to advertise the Nexus One only online and not on TV as the rest of the phone brands.
The support for the new device was also not up to par. Google was specializing in offering web-service support and couldn’t cope with the new demands. When users had problems, the fault was divided between HTC, Google, and T-Mobile, which led to dissatisfaction.
Finally, Nexus One was forced into the background by the newer and better smartphones following it, some of them also manufactured by HTC, such as HTC Incredible and EVO 4G.