I have a bit of a problem… For a person who does not own a smart phone, I seem to talk about them and read blogs about the subject more than what would be considered normal. On January 5th, Google released their new phone the Nexus One. Not really surprise, since the media had all the specs and pictures available from the phone’s release to Google employees as a holiday gift.
I think Android is a good platform, but hurt by it’s own strengths with so many options and varied user experience. The iPhone has a closed platform and Apple fiercely controls the user experience. All three generations of iPhone have similar features and the same OS, while there are many Android phones with different functions. The closed system of the iPhone helped create the atmosphere to enable the iTunes App Store have over 100,00 apps and 3 billion downloads, but the restrictions still leave you wanting more options. In the coming months, we’ll see if how the flexibility of Android 2.1 and the power of the 1st Google phone will have on the further development of Android.
An interesting issue to watch is how Google is going into being a hardware retailer. Another concern is how their relationships with phone companies(that have supported their mobile platform) will be affected. Imagine if you were Motorola and you just released the Droid and now a competing phone arrives about a month after your release. A friend of mine made the point, that Google is not a hardware company and they do not have a customer service to fix hardware. Unlike software, to fix a phone you cannot just send a new code to patch the bug. A blog has indicated early adapters are having problems with troubleshooting, and it does not surprise me since Google is new to supporting hardware.
Besides pissing off their partners (aka the phone manufacturers), the arrival of the Nexus One might also be used to help other manufacturers build Android phones with the features more akin to the Nexus One. In a sense Google is saying this is the perfect phone option for Android and it legitimize the features so consumers might expect the same level of performance on upcoming Android phones .The last stir caused by the release of the Nexus One is the fact that you are not sold a locked phone. Even if you sign a contract to get a subsidized phone, it is given to you unlocked. This is not revolutionary, but so far this model has not worked well in the US market. I’ll make sure to see what develops of this model and if Google becomes more successful than Nokia at selling expensive unlocked phones with high upfront coasts) Sooner or later the blogosphere predicts subsidies will be given on phones based on opening your phone to targeted ads. I guess we will see when this ends up taking off. Some people m
I find it amazing how Apple has created such a captive audience and fan base. They have reinvented the cell phone and the mp3 player in the last decade, so I guess that’s rule #1 to create a legion of avid and loyal customers. The founder of macrumors.com is a doctor by training, and after a few years of running the site stopped practicing medicine to focus on the site because he made more money running the Apple rumors blog. I am an avid reader of macrumors.com and judging by his career switch many people just like me go to the site. I do not understand the full reason why I am so interested in something that might not even turn out to be true, but some how Apple has me and many others hooked to them and I might spend some time in the future deconstructing how they do this. Weird, how I am a droid(like the pun) in Apple’s marketing and branding scheme.