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back to article You and what Android? The Google iPhone killer that isn't

So is it the Google phone or not? In the Nexus One, Google has produced something rather like an iPhone, something that in some senses may seem better than an iPhone, but something that in hardware terms is an iteration rather than a game-changer. But does Google, the company that wasn't going to do hardware, now do hardware? …

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: HTC might be the manufacturer but....

There's a rider to that that gives a two year parts and labour warranty for EU customers, one year elsewhere in the world. But at the moment the seller isn't in the UK. You can buy from the UK, but you get whacked for shipping and customs on top of the price. I'd imagine when the Vodafone deal kicks in and they do start selling in the UK they'll be fiddling with the wording.

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About time!

What is Google's core business? Very good. I think you're getting it.

This phone is really only two things: 1) a very effective PR campaign for Android, and 2) the tip of the arrow into mobile data - which is really freakin hot. (and project that thought ten years hence). You might see this intro in a different light. Superphone? It's even more; it's new-school market leverage for their core business.

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Gates Halo

Microsoft are not a success because they don't specify hardware?

The comment that Microsoft have failed in the mobile market because they have left the hardware to others seems a little at odds with the observation that the PC (an area where Microsoft can rightfully pat themselves on the back) is not Microsoft specified.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lovely phone (built by htc coincidentally) but it's loveliness is kind of diminished when you stop looking at it and actually start using it. Poor performance is the most obvious problem but being fiddly to use and having cumbersome GUI contribute to the feeling that it is a poor product.

Perhaps if someone had spent some time devising minimum requirements for the hardware and a set of benchmark tests that need to be passed before licensing can commence then it would be a nicer phone. However it would simply have removed only one of the three complaints that I have. It would still be fiddly and cumbersome.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Microsoft are not a success because they don't specify hardware?

That's not quite what I meant. Microsoft has issued quite detailed design guides for the PC over the years, and has effectively specified the hardware. But it doesn't absolutely dictate what's in the finished product, because it can't, if it's presiding over an ecosystem that is supposed to allow for a measure of diversity. So Microsoft left the hardware to others a bit, not a lot, but enough for it to make a difference IMO.

It seems to me that there was a point in Microsoft's history (warning - incoming crazy theory) where it could have built its own hardware. That would have been a tricky one to pull off without pissing off the PC companies, but MS could maybe have contrived it via some kind of consumer/multimedia closed box aimed at the living room, and/or a re-imagination of Xbox. Or it could just have entered the mobile market with its own hardware, and the hell with trying to replicate the PC model.

The advantage would have been that it could put out a stand-out consumer product without it being buried by similar, average partner products. The disadvantage though is you probably can't get away with owning one of the teams when you're running the playing field.

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Bronze badge
Grenade

The hell..

.. does apple have to do with the price of anything? The iPhone is a worthless pile of crap.

Indeed the iPhone is in so much trouble that the future kit the hammer legion are getting excited about isn't up to scratch, but I /still/ don't care.

The media (including your lesbian mag) need to chill about iPhone killers, because all it does is elevate the iPhone to levels it doesn't deserve to be at.

And seriously - if you want an Android phone get the HTC Bravo not this piece of crap.

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Thumb Up

Amusing story

Was at a meeting and someone needed to get info from an email. iPhoner bring up web page (all smug) passes to other person who logs in. iPhone browser craps out when trying to access mail.

Out of curiosity (and for amusement) I got my crappy Nokia out and tried the same. I thought it would be funny yo see how hard the Nokia failed. If an iPhone can't hack it, what chance Nokia and the mini-Opera browser? Well blow me if it didn't actually work! OK, the mail layout was munged to hell (tiny screen) but you could at least read it and get the attached PDF it you wanted (what you'd do with it after is a good question).

But it worked. I was staggered.

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WTF?

Piece of crap?

How, exactly, is the Nexus a piece of crap? Have you tried one? Get one in your hands and play with it, and you'll see it's a slick, nice device with good ergonomics and superb performance.

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Anonymous Coward

OperaMini

It worked because of OperaMini, not because of Nokia. Yet, inexplicably, very few people use Opera on their regular PCs...

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Phones should be sold like cars.

Once you buy it you own the damn thing. You can buy gas and spares from any number of places.

The same should go for phones - buy "regular", "mid grade" or "premium" service from where you like on a day by day basis. No Damned contracts.

Might see some price wars. Whoopee!

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Linux

Not

in Evil Steve's universe... Not in his lifetime.

I'll go with the snowballs chance in hell rather than Evil Steve allowing such mix and match concepts.

Come to think of it, I don't think you can do that with most electronic devices. They're pretty much disposable appliances these days. Break it, if it's not under warranty, turf it, buy new one.

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Paris Hilton

Tablet or slate?

I for one think that the device change in name is important.

Before tablet PCs there were and still are tablet drawing devices such as those by Wacom.

So from my perspective a dis-ambiguity or anti-ambiguity exercise for the new device is welcome.

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iPhone killer

I don't think Google have created this as an iPhone killer. I think their goals are deeper than that. I think they want to change the mobile industry.

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Same as WinPhones - except in quality (maybe)

I used to work for Motorola 2 years ago. A number of teams were made redundant then bcos management realised they were pissing in everyone's pint by having software for 13 different software platforms in active development (I kid you not). But most ppl never knew this, bcos all the phones had the same UIs. So long as they ran Java, they were all compatible as far as the user was concerned.

What a lot of folk (including apparently Mr Lettice) miss is that there was nothing wrong or even different about MS's approach. A lot of mobile manufacturers don't actually make the stuff themselves - they simply give a spec to someone else and say "make this". The UI is specified down to the level of individual menu items, what order they appear in, and what action is taken on each button press in each UI state. How the hardware responds to that is a problem for their contractor - the manufacturer doesn't care, so long as it does it. They often don't even care what hardware is used (processor, camera, etc.) so long as it has the right amount of RAM, megapixels on the camera, etc.

Where MS went wrong was simply in trying to make a mobile look exactly like a PC, forgetting that what works on a 1280x1024 screen with mouse and keyboard is unlikely to work on a 128x102 screen with cursor keys and numeric keypad. In other words, Windows phones failed bcos their UI spec sucked, pure and simple. It also didn't help that WinCE extracted a tithe from manufacturers which pushed per-unit prices up compared to in-house software platforms (or compared to freely-available platforms like Android), which makes the "ecosystem" less favourable. But ultimately, it all went wrong bcos MS didn't think properly about the UI.

Had they got that right, they'd almost certainly be a major player now. Instead, like in the Browser Wars, they produced something which didn't work and got crucified for it. But this time, unlike the Browser Wars, they didn't have any way of forcing their product onto the public.

With smart-phones today, WinCE could actually be a reasonable option. We've now got large enough screens and enough processing power to make it work. But MS screwed it up so badly the first time around that it's unlikely public opinion would ever let them have another go.

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Anonymous Coward

I agree

Except the word you are looking for is

"because"

Wierd that in all other respects you comment was syntactically and grammatically correct. Why the use of this one oddness?

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It's about the software, stupid

From a business perspective, the amazing thing about the ipod/iphone isnt the device, it's itunes. The device is simply the enticement and lock-in to the service, which is where the real revenue is made.

For Google, the Nexus One is simply a delivery mechanism for Google Voice and associated services.

The trouble with the other Android phones is that they are locked to carriers. Why is that a problem? Imagine your cellular phone company being like your phone company or ISP: you pay a flat rate for a pipe. No plans or charges per call/text/whatever. Your modem isn't owned by them, and nor is your landline phone (the concept seems laughable now).

It's a dream for you, and a nightmare for your cellular provider. So how does a software/service provider reach your dream? By providing you the means to untether from the carrier. Once you're unfettered, you're much more likely to focus on what matters: the software services, and not the proprietariness of the network. Google Voice aggregates your phone numbers into a single voice service, so that, effectively, you no longer need a number, except as a legacy.

Imagine if everyone had untethered phones with services like Google Voice. Knowing your carrier-provided phone number would be like knowing your computer's IP address: useful for diagnostic purposes only.

http://heuristix.blogspot.com/2010/01/google-nexus-one-phone-its-about.html

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Happy

RE: Graham Bartlett

The problem with WinCE was it was a corporate PDA OS, not a mobile phone OS, and was originally designed to allow PDA users to read and edit M$ Office docs and thus continue the domination of M$'s cashcow Office. The advent of commercial phone-cum-PDAs seems to have caught M$ on the hop, and so they bastardised WinCE rather than make a proper phone OS. In doing so they missed the real thing most early PDA users wanted - secure email - and let RIM establish themselves as the corporate PDA maker of choice.

WinCE on the right PDA (like the old Jornada 820 which had a wide screen) was good for what it as originally intended for - letting you take your Office docs out in a pocketable PDA so you could work on them on the train without having to lug a laptop along. The 820 had a modem (for fax) but was never intended to be a phone. I had one for years and carried a bog standard company Nokia brick for voice calls.

Anyway, Win Mobile was a lot better fit for later PDAs, but it suffered from M$'s fixation with making a smaller laptop that could prop up Office rather than a commercial phone OS. It was never intended to be a general handset OS like Symbian. WinMob 6 is actually pretty good, but not good enough to get me to dump my BlackBerry. Neither, I suspect, is the Nexus.

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