Originally Posted by BarryH_GEG
It was banned very late in its lifecycle when sales were already down to a trickle because better spec'd devices had been out for a while. The point that I was making is that the GN was available at subsidized prices similar to other phones with overlays from the U.S. carriers. Its "pureness" and "fast updates" didn't sway mainstream consumers for it to have sold so poorly during its peak selling period. Outside of XDA, people like overlays because they make devices easier to use which is why the OEMs offer them.
Here's an article talking about it...
Google just can't catch a break with its Nexus phones. While the "pure Google" experience of the company's Nexus phones tends to generate fanatical loyalty from extreme Android frothers, it seems to appeal to almost no one else. In a federal court today, a Samsung lawyer said the sales of its latest Galaxy Nexus phone were "so miniscule" that it isn't a threat to anyone. Samsung's lawyers said the company took in about $250 million from the Galaxy Nexus during the first two quarters [where revenue is in the billions] it was on sale. That isn't nothing, but it's far short of a hit. Available on Verizon, Sprint, and in an unlocked model for T-Mobile and AT&T, the Nexus managed to sell at about the level of T-Mobile's Galaxy S 4G when it had its two best quarters. It fell far short of a hit like Sprint's Epic 4G or Verizon's Fascinate, according to court documents from Samsung's big California patent case against Apple.
I thought it was much earlier, but regardless, you're right in that fast updates and pureness don't sell. But I sincerely doubt that hardware itself is also what makes sales soar. Yeah, the S3 sale is simply outstanding, but I'm sure the majority of S3 owners only bought the S3 because it's something new (among the iPhones) and because they "heard" from nearly everywhere that it's a smartphone that can compete well against the iPhone. And yes, the hardware helps with that definitely, but the majority don't care if it has an Exynons 4412 SoC inside clocked at 1.4 gHz.
What I consider as the best reason for poor Nexus sales is that Google just sucks at advertising. I never saw once in my life a billboard or a TV commercial about the Galaxy Nexus on it. I only knew about it because I like tech and try to keep up with what's new. I see Google doing a better job with the recent Nexus line though, but now that Samsung has gained so much popularity with its own flagship line, people are going to keep their eyes on any new pure Samsung products (the S4 and Note III).
So how does this relate to the OP - it really doesn't :P.
I will have to agree that anything in the Nexus line is a better developer platform. Yes, it's commercialized as an average consumer product, but the long support from Google will give it the advantage in development because you can continue to develop apps without having to worry about breaking compatibility in newer devices. Also, you won't have to deal with ROM ports that may work but also may also not work completely.