The popular eBay auction website has deluged by a virtual tsunami of unwanted Google Nexus One phones.
According to Olga Kharif of BusinessWeek, at least dozens of overly-optimistic eBay sellers attempted to cash in by selling the $530 device for as much as $1,000.
“[But by] Jan. 14, a number of eBayers were peddling these smartphones for a much more realistic $300 or so, and I’ve even seen a price as low as $212. There were more than 300 Nexus One devices listed for sale,” wrote Kharif.
“By comparison, the site offered 1,519 listings of iPhone 3GS devices that were also not tied to a carrier contract. Some of the more reasonably priced Nexus One offerings have garnered more than 10 bids; I’d counted a total of about 100 bids for the phones that were listed today.”
Kharif added that she didn’t “expect to see” an extensive resale market for the Google phone.
Indeed, the Nexus One – which has been plagued by serious 3G connectivity issues – only managed to sell 20,000 units during its first week.
Jared Newman of PC World attributed the disappointing lack of sales to Google’s marketing approach.
“Phones are more than just a purchase. They’re your constant companion, probably for two years, and like it or not, they convey a message and a lifestyle,” opined Newman.
“The Droid’s lifestyle is that of a manly man who favors function over form, unlike that pretty princess iPhone. The iPhone’s image is one of smug satisfaction: Can your phone do this?”
Newman noted that Google found itself in a “tough position,” because it is unable to attack either of the above-mentioned device.
“Obviously attacking another Android phone makes no sense, and iPhone-bashing probably isn’t in Google’s best interests, because so many Google services – Search, Maps, YouTube – are tied up in the iPhone.
“Verizon can get away with an anti-iPhone campaign, but Google, which is selling the Nexus One directly, cannot,” concluded Newman.