SAN JOSE, Calif. — The hype that preceded the launch of Google's Nexus One smart phone seems to have fizzled.
The gadget that was hailed as Google's long-awaited answer to Apple's uber-popular iPhone has seen disappointing sales. Google sold just 20,000 Nexus Ones worldwide in the first week after it launched, according to Flurry, a company that collects data on smart phone applications. In contrast, Flurry estimates that consumers bought 1.6 million of the iPhone 3GS in the first week after its debut.
In addition, the Nexus One is drawing numerous complaints from users — and so is Google, for not doing a better job of providing customer support.
Company officials, including Andy Rubin, who heads up Google's smart phone efforts as vice president of engineering, have acknowledged that the company needs to improve its customer service.
"We want people to have a positive experience," said Carolyn Penner, a company spokeswoman. "We will continue to address any of the issues as quickly as possible."
The biggest issue among users is access to the 3G high-speed data network offered by T-Mobile, Google's only domestic carrier partner so far. Complaints on Google's support forum said users were unable to get 3G service in areas where T-Mobile's maps indicated they should get it. Google doesn't have a solution for the problem yet, Penner said.
Other complaints ranged from problems with the Nexus One's touch screen to short battery life to difficulties ordering and receiving the device.
Google is selling the Nexus One exclusively through its Web site, leaving customers confused about whom to contact for support. Depending on the nature of the problem, customers are being directed to Google, T-Mobile or HTC, the phone's manufacturer.