Seems Google are still addressing some issues in their sales chain so they haven't quite cracked retail with their Nexus one phone but it does feel like they're making leaps and bounds and learning along the way.
Obviously their core market has been business customers from large corporates to small businesses selling services and hardware such as the google search appliance (that's right, despite so many reports Google have sold hardware before) but it is only in recent times that Google have started making major plays in terms of products for the mass market. The Chrome browser although free demonstrated a move towards supporting customers, providing an infrastructure for software updates and a support infrastructure aimed at the public. The Android platform went further introducing an app store and yielding income for Google (Google Checkout is used in the store). The Nexus one then builds on these two developments and is an interesting foray into consumer hardware. What will Google learn from the experience?
I think the very interesting question is will Google get it very very right with their Chrome OS Netbooks?
I think the tablet / slate PC's will be the fashionable talk of the town come mid 2010 but I really think Google will have the infrastructure and learnings to hit the cheap, low end netbook market with unprecedented force in late 2010 / early 2011.