Google to outline smartphone strategy tomorrow
Don't be evil and don't be Apple
All eyes are on Google, which is holding a briefing about its smartphone strategy tomorrow to coincide with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It is likely to focus on its own branded phone, the Nexus One, which is made by HTC but will showcase the newest features of Android and the Google user experience.
Although Google has said the phone will be a developer device, to stimulate the growth of the Android applications base, many analysts believe it will actually sell Nexus One to the public, potentially angering Android customers like Motorola (though not HTC, the Android market leader, which seems to be going back to its white label roots via this partnership).
Sources claim Google will even offer its phone via a subsidized carrier contract, with Android frontrunner T-Mobile USA. Leaked memos say that T-Mobile will only handle "billing, coverage, features and rate plans", rather than the phone itself, providing a 3G option for those who want a contract (from $79.99 a month for those paying $179 upfront for the handset). An unlocked version will also be available for $529, with the option to avoid a carrier contract by using Wi-Fi and VoIP.
While the new channel could help HTC fend off the new level of competition for its Android crown - with Motorola, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson all joining the fray - it is hard to see why Google wants to become a handset vendor, especially with a phone and carrier relationship that is strictly me-too (apart from the fast 1GHz Snapdragon processor).
More interesting would be a genuinely innovative design from Google, that could shift the industry goalposts Apple-style. Among the rumoured platforms is a 'slate', to steal thunder from Apple's (presumably) imminent tablet launch.
This article is taken from Rethink Wireless.
Only looking forwards
Unfortunately Google makes a lot of noise about new products and very little about support. Android is (nominally) an open platform but Google provide their own proprietary software to most phones and are shockingly remiss about supporting it. Take a look at the android help forums (particularly the Market tech help forum) and you'll see a mile long list of problems and complaints that are rarely addressed or even merit a response from the company. Consider also that there is no way to contact Google directly; those forums are your only means of bringing any issue to their attention.
I really hope their strategy announcement says something more than just reeling off a list of device names and new features going into the next Android version when some phones are still 3 versions behind with no sign of being updated.
@ Thinking of Chrome
True blue, too true I were.
As compared to..
As compared to Windows Mobile? - no free updates..
Or Apple? - post a complaint on their forum and watch it disappear..
Or Nokia? - firmware updates may / may not be provided..
"Don't be evil and don't be Apple"? Isn't that a repetitive redundancy?
Thinking of Chrome?
Android is a flavour of Linux. It includes a Java Virtual Machine (called Dalvik) for running 3rd party applications. You can also write native C code for your Java application to call.
I reckon you're thinking of Chrome OS which is rather like a browser on top of an OS.