back to article Google forced to use humans to support Nexus One

Google has opened up a US support number that will be answered by a human being, as well as tweaking the small print to make its mobile phone more attractive. Not that Mountain View will be providing technical support as such, only enquiries into the ordering and shipping process will be dealt with by Google - everything else …


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  1. RobE

    Does anyone have one of these "super phones" yet?

    This phone as far as I can tell has been a total flop so far..

    It was SO over hyped at CES and since then I haven't yet seen the owner of one, heard about any super app for one or in fact heard anything good at all about one. Left, right and centre all I see is the iPhone.

    Time to give up on this one google. Torch it all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      I have two.

      It's an awesome device.

    2. Doc Savage

      Got it

      Love it.

      Best phone I've had (coming from a WinMo world > HTC Magic > Nexus One), I can't think of a single complaint with it.

      I see a lot of people saying to bin it/give up Google etc. my question to you is why? Have you actually used the N1 (or any other Android 2.0+ device)?

    3. GhilleDhu


      @RobE - Yip got one here in the UK and its an awesome device. Hits every criteria I had and excel's in some as well! Compared to my old iPhone its miles better.

  2. Ian McNee


    Google employing fleshies to talk to other fleshies? It's not April 1st is it?

    Next you'll be telling us that Nexus One owners are making voice calls instead of simply plugging the device into the USB port behind their left ears for direct brain to brain digital communication! Preposterous!

  3. TeamEvil
    Jobs Horns

    If Google...

    I'll take a punt and say if Google really wanted to 'UnFlop' the handset, they'de be sticking one page ads in the Tabloids like they are doing for Chrome Browser.

    I know a couple of users, both didnt want they iPhone, both happy.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      If Google

      Cost of producing a copy of chrome<cost of building a phone

      Remember - they aren't making any money from the phone, it's made by somebody else and sold by the networks. All google want is market share rather than per unit profits.

      Google are quite happy for only developers to have the phone for the next year. They were handing them out for free at the dev conference last week.

      Give it a year for the developers to work out the bugs and write lots of new apps - then gradually let the plebs buy them.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Easy development

        Now, I don't know how easy it is to develop iPhone apps (quick search - is the dev system Mac only?), but it took me about 1hr to set up my Linux box to develop Android apps and test them on the provided simulator (all via Eclipse, although the simulator is a bit slow - I even built my own version of Android). All free of course.

        That's a pretty easy entry point for apps developers (and Android developers). I think that will become a major selling point.

  4. Aberdeen Angus

    Aye it's super

    Got one, love it.

    Everyone I show it to loves it too. Especially the iPhone owners.

  5. wgae

    Welcome to The Real World

    It's actually quite refreshing to see that yet another Google activity fails bit by bit. Up until 2006 I had been working in the mobile industry, and I can tell you that real customers who shell out real money for real devices are looking for three things...

    1) A stellar device that does what the customer wants them to, always. And everywhere.

    2) To see and touch that stellar device prior to purchase

    3) Customer support with a real human being (who actually helps them)

    Google has not fulfilled the expectation so far, so they are entering the real world now. Good.

    1. James Hughes 1


      I'd say more like 'Evolving'.

      Just like any new entrant to a business, there is a period where you have to adjust. They seem to be doing it. I'm sure they will get the hang of it. They seem to be able to adjust, evolve and change pretty quickly, unlike many of their competitors.

  6. DrXym

    I want one of these phones

    The Nexus One is superior to the iPhone in virtually every way. Multitasking, weight, dimensions, screen, openess, standards support, browsing, expandibility, removable battery etc. It even comes in a sim free version so you're not even tied to one network.

    The only reason I would favour an iPhone over it is if I had a large collection of content purchased from iTMS, otherwise I see it as a inferior choice.

    I do think it has what could charitably be called a "soft start" but then I don't think Google sunk anywhere near the amount of money in promoting it so perhaps its not surprising. Is it a flop? I still want one, and it annoys me that Google should shut out international customers from buying one because I would like a shot if I could.

    I feel most sorry for the Palm Pre. I think that also has a great OS, but I simply don't see a long term future for the platform. It wouldn't worry so much if I weren't a developer and just needed a phone, but I am and I see a lot more potential in android.

    1. Jolyon

      Do you have any of those three phones you mention?

      Or are you just flapping your, um, fingers and parroting the reviews and specification lists that you've read?

      Your opinion that "[t]he Nexus One is superior to the iPhone in virtually every way" is of no use to anyone if you have not in fact used both.

      1. GhilleDhu


        Got one mate, and had an iPhone too... Its miles better :) Granted a bit annoying that you can cant transfer apps to it rom the iPhone, so now thats relegated as a virtual "iPod Touch" wrt to the apps. Everything else has been smoothly transitioned across.

  7. Robert Ramsay

    I think the answer's obvious...

    Google isn't composed of any actual human beings at all!

    Isn't it a co-incidence that this story breaks soon after Google announce speech translation software?

    Why hasn't the Register spotted it before?

    File all future Google articles under RotM!!!!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    What's the lead time?

    What kind of lead time is there when one orders one? The other thing that it seems to be hard to find info on is simply if one already has a plan more attractive than the default plan, does everything work by just putting the SIM card in? And if on your old phone, you can tether a laptop onto the internet, can you still do that with the Nexus? I've heard people indicate that the Nexus can't be used that way.

    1. GhilleDhu


      @AC15:55 - Yes you can tether.... to coin a phrase "there's an app for that" - PdaNet

  9. Gulfie

    Nexus has a fatal flaw

    Apps can only be installed on a measly amount of built-in memory, you can't install apps onto the removable flash memory. So if you want lots of apps, or big apps, you're shafted. I already have 3x the Nexus' capacity ofapps installed on my iPhone.

    1. Jim 48
      Jobs Horns

      Same old bollocks

      If an app needs a large amount of additional space, it just gets stuck on an SD card. What, your iPhone doesn't have expandable memory?

    2. Andrew Kemp

      Nope, check the facts first

      Some people need to check their facts first. The executable gets installed in the main memory, supporting files can go on the sd card.

      1. GhilleDhu


        Yes this is currently an issue, but Google have already intimated that they are releasing an update to enable the apps to be installed on the sd card. I dont expect to wait the same amount of time I had to wait previosuly to enable cut/paste etc on my old iPhone.

        Yes its not 100% perfect and will never be, but its sure as darn doing not to bad for a first edition.

        Bearing in mind how easy it was to update the firmware to allow multitouch etc I dont see this as being an issue in the future.

  10. ZenCoder

    my solution to all this BS

    I have an ipod touch and a dirt cheap pay as you go phone. If I want pictures I drop a 12MP camera in one of my pockets.

    The whole subsidized phone BS annoys me. You can't escape it. If you just purchase the phone they still charge you as much as someone with a subsidized phone!

    I want a law passed forcing the contract for the hardware to be 100% separate from the contract for the service.

    You pay X for the service and Y toward the financing of the phone. Two separate transactions two separate contracts, two items on your bill. You can terminate one without affecting the other.

    Then they can compete to find more innovative ways to keep their customers happy vs their current business model of luring them in and trapping them into contracts.

    1. GhilleDhu


      @ZendCoder - Its called "simfree" mate, which you can do on most phones incl the iPHone (expansys, play etc). Thats the only way these days I buy any phone, I also have a pay monthly tarif that only covers the stuff I want and overall I gain much more flexibility and it saves me money on what I use. Last time I look when I was on a "proper" contract monthly bill would easily average £55, these days its £25. An easy call for me anyway.

      Yes the camera isn't superb, that what the Panny is for... However for quick pics when on the move, its a useful feature.

  11. RobE

    looks like i was right from the start...

    as my first post indicates.. only people that are actually daft enough to buy one of these are kidding themselves the nexus one will actually take off.. i saw the first google phone, compared with the iphone its design is just terrible. too clunky, no where near as many apps (as they re too late to market and no one really believes in the google phones yet), much the same can be said for nokia "smart phones" - sure they'll always have a market share, but apple has it dominated. Unless some one can actually come up with the next "big idea" google's nexus one will always be trailing way behind. If I had to choose right now between google and apple for a phone (aas the puppy gets it otherwise) i choose apple. Apple's reputation so far superceeds all others in every way. People are shallow and go for looks over capabilities every time. If the design (and logo) weren't so "spectrum-zx"-esque I might not look at it and just think WTF?! every single time. ... I stand by what I originally said in my first post ... Torch it all

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    1) Nokia still sell way more phones than apple (at least for now).

    2) People either buy smart phones or not, lots dont, just wanting a normal phone.

    Out of those left some are techies who know about the google phone. The others are likely just ordinary folk who see anything that is not an iPhone but has a touch screen as some kind of copy, likely inferior... maybe they are wrong, but if the world ran on truth not perception then there would be no need for marketing.

    1. RobE

      Theres a reason for that...

      1) Nokia still sell way more phones - the reason is the apple phone is still a bit pricey (imo). As soon as the price drops WAY more people will switch. everyone can see the Apply iPhone is superior to pretty much everything else out there. Crappy cameras on every phone, inaccessible muisc players, and nokia also force you to use their utterly *crap* headphone socket tying u in to their rubbish headphones (unless you have a dedicated music phone from them)

      2) lots want a smarter/better phone, but they also want it to be easy to use. another reason nokia retains market share (for now) but I can guarantee as soon as the price of the iphone drops (along with its weight) people will soon change what phones they buy.

      Its standard demand and supply I believe. If google don't lower the price, more people will buy the iPhone instead as its far better established... if the nexus one wasnt ridiculously overpriced or a late-comer to the market, people like me would probably give it half a chance. Instead I have a nokia E71 as honestly I couldnt care less about the iPhone or Nexus one. Im impartial to both of them but given the choice, googles phone doesnt strike me as the number 1.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    emergency dialling on Nexus One

    Something else worth noting about this phone:

    Google have programmed it so that a whole range of emergency phone numbers in use around the world will all default to be connected to the local emergency service.

    This came to light when giffgaff users calling 111 for their voicemail found themselves connected to an emergency control room, who seem to have started to become rather intolerant of a series of trial calls ending up with them.

    One giffgaff user has had an explanation from Google that includes a suggestion to forward calls to Google Voice to use their voicemail ........ some idiot at Google hasn't realised they no longer allow applications for GV from outside the USA (even if the invite is issued from someone outside USA who joined before this policy i.e. during Grand Central)

    Other possibilities: O2 customer services can be called on 100. 100 is an emergency access number in (according to Wikipedia submissions) India, Israel, Mongolia, Nepal, Belgium, Greece, Argentina, Brazil, Peru. Have Google added 100 to their fuck-up list?

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