back to article Chocolate Factory pulls plug on Googlephone webstore

Google has told the world it will stop selling the Nexus One from the online store it launched in tandem with the so-called "superphone" less than six months ago. With a Friday morning blog post, Android project lead Andy Rubin announced that as it launches the Googlephone in additional countries, it will distribute device …

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lesson in Michael Porter

So any MBA-types from the past 20 years will know the name Michael Porter - with his analysis of market conditions.

Google comes up against many of the "five forces" that Porter outlined. I would say that "power of the channel" may have been the one that did them in. It isn't clear why Google would want to compete with some of its largest customers (the phone vendors), and why they'd also attempt a run at the operators. Not going to get too far when you alienate such a big swath of your market.

They'll probably just issue some statement "that the world just isn't ready for this way of doing business". They failed on quite a few levels for more than a couple reasons. But potentially even more is that Google has been made aware that they are not invincible.

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FAIL

Re:Traditional Strategy

You're completely correct. However this isn't a failure in Google's understanding of the five forces (which they seem to have completely ignored) they truly believe that anything that holds the Google brand will cannibalise the market it's placed in.

This is a pretty dim view to take, but follows core digital strategists such as downes & mui who stated that any digital company or approach would cannibalise a tradition one. In this case, both Downes & Mui and Google seem to have assumed as they offered a purely digital service, they would revolutionise and cannibalise how phones were sold.

This level of ignorance of basic business strategy, from reputable and proven theorists such as Porter should sound a strong warning to any Google shareholder about how the company is being controlled. After all the only real market they've completely dominated is search, since then most of the offerings are advertising subsidised and still don't take massive chunks of the market.

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@ idasben - excellent point

Many times I do believe that Google views themselves as the "happy disruptors". They're more interested in screwing up someone else's business model than they are about making money. This time they tried to run against the big guys, and got a right schooling.

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Grenade

why do I hate my droid?

Well, lets see...

1) Google map results not sorted by distance from the user, or sorted by any same criteria I can determine. Results jump all over the map - the last gas station on the list could be the closest.

2) Sucky apps. Self-explanatory.

3) Picture gallery app is really SLOW for a "superphone", except when it crashes, which happens frequently.

4) Ringer volume on side of phone - resulting in the ringer being unexpectly muted when the droid is handled.

5) Battery cover constantly falls off.

6) Really short battery life - needs to be fed daily, sometimes even more often.

7) I'm stuck with it for another year and a half, until my contract runs out.

Grenade, with the Droid duct-taped to it. Now where did I see that Windows phone ?

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all that bitching...

..Yet you didn't even complain about the keyboard! I'm one of those must-have-a-physical kb nutters, and I don't think I could live with a Droid due to the tiny keys with no detent and no spacing.

There's nothing you can do about #6 right now.. every smartphone on the market is a battery hog, unless it's dog-slow. And even then they're still total hogs compared to dumbphones. If you hear someone say they only charge their smartphone every 3 days, it's surely a Blackberry that never leaves the holster.

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Must have gotten an early one

I have a Droid (I assume you mean the Motorola) at the end of December, and I have none of the physical problems you seem to have (including battery life, but that's probably just my usage pattern; I can usually leave it unplugged for 2-3 days before it starts getting low). Turning off all the extras (Wifi, BT, GPS, and screen dim) helps *a lot*. There's even a built in widget so you can do it easily.

As for map search, why not just look at the map after you search and tap on the closest one to your location? That's what I do.

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WTF?

Motorola Droid

I've just got a Motorola Droid and absolutely love it. The keyboard is actually really good and usable (and this comes from someone who has also used a Blackberry and the Nokia E71 - both of which have great keyboards). Battery life is short, but perfectly acceptable, and in the US Seidio do some extended batteries. The apps are just awesome - look up some top 100 apps lists and walk through them.

The nexus 1 though is kind of sucky. Most people I know who don't want the keyboard of a droid are going for HTC phones which are awesome in loads of ways, but have an even worse battery life!

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Locked or unlocked?

I have a Nexus One and I'm very happy with it. However if it is sold by the stores with a contract, and locked, then it becomes another cellphone, albeit with a different OS. As with the current Android OS update "will they, won't they" taking place at the moment, providers are very poor at such things. They also like to lock out features that they don't want. Like tethering.

If that happens, then I will either get an iPhone or most probably, revert back to my old "it's only a phone" and use my MiFi for my data needs.

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Anonymous Coward

Verizon prices

My wife has a Verizon phone, and will probably stay with Verizon because of coverage, even though she thinks she wants an iPhone.

I just had a look at the Verizon website to see how much the HTC Dream would cost and I could hardly believe the pricing. You can go from 450 minutes of voice only for $40, to unlimited voice for $70. Unlimited texting costs $20. Per text pricing isn't an option - it's all or nothing. All 3G Smartphones require a $30 data plan - they won't "sell" you the phone without the data plan.

So 450 minutes of Talk & Text will cost $90/month on any Droid phone with Verizon. On a 24 month contract. That's $2160 plus $199 for the actual phone itself. And there'll be the inevitable $7-$10 per month of taxes and surcharges.

Even with various discounts, that's a ridiculous amount of money to be paying for a phone. Even a nice, chocolatey Android phone.

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VZ is expensive

Verizon Wireless is very expensive. I need CDMA where I live, as there are not enough GSM towers to get a signal at my house. I ended up getting a HTC Hero through Sprint because their smartphone package costs seemed more reasonable. My fiancée liked my phone so much she switched from Verizon to Sprint and got a Hero also.

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Anonymous Coward

Their work here is done...

>Even with various discounts, that's a ridiculous amount of money to be paying for a phone. Even a nice, chocolatey Android phone.

Love my Nexus. I didn't think it saved me that much money, more the principle of no lockin and its early availability - but your contract fees above seem incredible I get near enough unlimited everything plus a heavy use 3G dongle, wifi for trains etc for around the unlimited voice costs you quote.

No great surprise to me Google have called it a day. Retail is too much hassle, Android has just topped iPhone sales on the back of partners who need to be courted and the primary aim of getting the N1 into developers' hands ASAP is finished.

I think its more about feeding crows than eating them....

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FAIL

unimpressed

Have it since January, and it's a buggy beta phone. It's quite telling when most threads (5000+) in their support forum are hardware problems. The most important thing about it - the touchscreen - and they skimped out on it and went for the same one the G1 from years ago has. Not to mention the "touchscreen spazzes out" problem that shows up every day after prolonged use. In addition my phone is showing some slight screen burn-in, which many other users are starting to report as well, and it's only been out 4 months!

I've never owned an iPhone but I've played with one and the experience is mindblowing compared to my Nexus One, which is why I'll be selling the N1 and getting an iPhone when it's out (my first Apple product, as well).

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Anonymous Coward

Fine by me

I was thinking of buying a Nexus One unlocked in the next few months (it's nice to have a decent phone to put a local SIM in when travelling) but if I can't by one unlocked, I can always buy a HTC desire (or one of its successors). I love the market (so much choice).

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