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Google had been selling its Nexus One phone unlocked, so buyers could use it on the network of their choice. ((Manu Fernandez/Associated Press))

Google will close the online store it set up to sell its Nexus One phone and will instead rely on traditional retailers.

The shift, announced Friday, ends Google's attempt to develop a new sales model for the mobile industry. Google had hoped to shake things up by establishing its online store as the only place to buy the Nexus One, which the company hailed as a "superphone" when it debuted in January.

It sold the phone unlocked, so buyers could use it on the wireless network of their choice.

But consumers didn't embrace the idea of buying a phone without having touched and tested it out first.

Google says it will stop selling the Nexus One in its web store as soon as it lines up U.S. retailers to carry the device.

The company started selling the phone in Canada through its online store in March.