back to article Googlephone facing 10m more Jobsian challengers?

The Googlephone may be coming, but Apple's commanding lead won't be easy to overcome. As The Reg reported over the weekend, Google employees received early Christmas gifts from their Mountain View masters: pre-release versions of the upcoming Googlephone, dubbed in breathless sci-fi manner as the Nexus One (Engadget has snaps …


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  1. dave 93
    Thumb Up

    Android on iPhone?

    Visit a website and 'reset' your old iPhone to use any carrier

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    A very US centric view?

    There is a very big smartphone market outside of the US. One that is not plagued by the handcuffs for AT&T.

    Please try to think of your audience when writing pieces. This is Guess why we don't care about AT&T iPhone problems.

    That said, and smartphone is going to have a big uphill task to overtake the iPhone. All your points about Apple are valid but IMHO, it seems to do what it says on the tin. Unlike my Nokia smartphone. Useless POS.

    I'll probably plump for an Android phone when my current deal ends.

    1. iMlite

      Not really!

      El Reg is a tech tabloid read in many countries and does have a large US readership!

      But I agree, the real problem for Google in confronting the iPhone, in the US, is the head start Apples created. I suspect that about the time a Google phone is released a new spec iPhone will appear on the market. The question is which market sector will Google’s offspring target or will it go head to head with Apple’s iPhone 4? The other problem is the US centric business model employed by Google. It’s a global economy now and success comes from breaking the global hegemony of Nokia, something Apple's iPhone is starting to do in Europe.

      As for my Nokia N97 smartphone, I still have a year on the contract, the lens is scratched by its cover, I’m awaiting the fourth firmware update in 6 months, and from the noises coming out of Nokia they still don’t get it!

  3. boatman

    "The Googlephone may be coming, but Apple's commanding lead won't be easy to overcome"

    And what commanding lead would that be?

    because its certainly not top of the league table when it comes to smart phones features!!!

    And as for sales it seems the iphone is behind both nokia and rim.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Does it do Flash?


    If so I hope it doesn't do that dreadful Shell ad that seems to be attracting a lot of my angst on El Reg.

    Perhaps Adobe would be kind enough to have a "report this awful intrusion and appalling use of Flash" contact wherein use of Flash that undermines or brings Flash into disrepute ought to be purged, liquidated and obliterated?


    1. Chris 127


      I'm glad I'm not the only one whose tits that was getting on

  5. Greg D
    Thumb Up

    HTC Manufactured?

    I'd put money on it. Looks like a Hero without the chin.

  6. Greg J Preece

    Apple might have their brand

    But Google have theirs. Even amongst the Joe Bloggs population Apple are often seen as a bit smug, whereas Google are just...well...Google. Do no evil and all that garbage.

    Apple are well known for making stylish kit, but Google are equally well known for making a lot of bloody nice toys that work really well. Who provides the map app on the iPhone again?

    I think if anyone has a chance of catching up with the iPhone (which, TBH, I still think is an overly fancy, overly expensive shiny toy for executives, not a smartphone), then Google are it.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple needs to change........

    I have only ever owned one apple device - the iPhone 3G. My contract is up in Feb 2010. Will I be getting a 3GS - erm...... NO. I gave apple this one chance to prove they are not control freaks........ they failed dismally.

    I don't think I need to say more, other than, no human being wants to be controlled or told what to do to the extent that apple take it to......... Unless u r a brainwashed fanboi......

    My next phone maybe a Nokia (but I doubt it - they seem to have lost their way somehow, I had only ever owned Nokia's before the iPhone. Symbian UGH what are Nokia thinking, even with this maemo OS thing they have come up with. By now they should have produced something to truly knock the iPhone into a cocked hat).

    Nope it will either be a Google phone or an Android based phone. In fact having suffered as much as I have with the iPhone (I don't get all the restrictions that apple place upon it and it's users - even down to ring tones)....... Apple is pretty much bottom of the pile.

    They really should pay more attention to people who actually know what they are talking about. The iPhone may not loose market share because of this, but take up will not be anywhere near as large as it could be because of apples contempt for it's own customers.

    As already stated - I will never be purchasing another apple product out of principle, anyone that does purchase apple is appealing to them to take away what few freedoms still remain in this modern life we lead.

    It may take some time..... but apple will die a long slow lingering death unless they wake up and smell the coffee. Give users what they want and do not restrict usage only for your own gains.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      How, exactly are Apple oppressing you? You pay your money, you take choice. I love the fact that you are arrogant enough to presume that an long established, successful, technology business doesn't know what they are doing, as if they were amateurs! Did you actually read the article?! The thing is still flying off the shelves! It's the market leader because it's good at what it does - why do you think *everyone* is trying to copy it? The thing is Apple haven't once told me or you how you can use the device (funny no-one mentions this as being problem with the iPod touch). What they do is restrict where you can legitimately get apps from. Admittedly, this has not been as smooth as it could have been, but as we've seen froma security POV it worked brilliantly. Here's the thing. Apple give a shit how their devices work. The fact that a product designer is the CEO's right hand man gives this away. Having owned and used Blackberrys (they work is about the nicest thing I can say), Windows Mobile (turgid, just awful) and currently owning an Android device as well as an iPhone, I can tell you this - in terms of out of the box readiness and shear ease of use, there Currently isn't a phone on the market that is as good as the iPhone. Android OS is not far off, but it's still relativly new. There are things that Apple can learn from Android, and vice versa. One thing is for sure, mobile computing has never been so accesible.

    2. Tim Cook


      Why would you have possibly bought an iPhone in the first place? Nobody buys one without knowing how Apple and the Appstore etc work, or what features it has/hasn't/isn't likely to get. Are you sure you didn't just see one in a shop somewhere?

    3. bygjohn


      Others have said most of what needs saying in reply to your post, so I'll limit my comment to the issue of ringtones you raise. Not that ringtones are exactly the be-all and end-all, but whatever... I just get irritated by this sort of daft claim which is patently nonsense in a rant about how awful Apple are, when IMHO they're no worse than any other big US corp.

      How exactly are Apple controlling your freedom with respect to ringtones? If you have a Mac, you can make an iPhone ring tone out of any audio file you can load into Garageband: you just select a suitable excerpt (I think there's a max length of about 40 secs) and tell it to save it as a ringtone. Sync your iPhone and job done...

      IIRC there are utilities to do the same thing on Windows.

      Yes, I believe you can pay the iTunes store to make a ringtone from any DRMed purchased tracks - but that's a legacy from when iTunes music was DRMed. Who'd bother when you can make your own for nothing?

  8. Neoc

    Nexus One? Pshah!

    Don't bother me until the Nexus 6 are available. ^_^

    1. Tim Cook

      Text messaging?

      If we.. gift them emoticons, we find we can control them better..

    2. TeeCee Gold badge


      If only. The things you^H^H^H I could do with Priss and a rootkit.

      Who knew the future was going to be so much fun?

  9. windywoo
    Jobs Horns

    What Apple lead?

    Nokia have the largest share of the smartphone market followed by RIM. Apple have massive growth its true but since they started with nothing that's not too hard. Apple have the lead in one area: web advert hits which only shows that iPhone users surf more than other users.

    1. Stef 2
      Jobs Horns

      Despite what the media may portray...

      Apple are number 3 - not number 1.

      Nokia 42.3

      RIM 15.9

      Apple 12.9

      HTC 4.5

      I'd expect those figures to change radically over the next year though!

    2. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      iPhone sales figures

      Apple isn't too shabby considering they have so few models.

      In the smartphone market, Q3 '09 saw Apple shipping a smidgen over 7M units. Compared to RIMs 8.5M and Nokia's 16M. However, in Q2 '09, Apple sold 4.7M, compared to RIMs 5.8M and Nokia's 15.5M. In short, Nokia has peaked and RIM/Apple are still growing. HTC are still starting up, so are one to watch. It will be interesting to see how Googlephones (either from Google or via Android) shape up in the market.

      I think the point was that Apple has a big lead over Google/Android, though. In addition, Apple seem to have all the glory due to their marketing, despite being a mere 3rd place in the actual marketplace. Google has the budget and the channels to out-market Apple - if they have the marketing brains, which they probably do.

  10. Stef 2
    Jobs Horns

    Google's way forward is open

    Apple's obsession is not one of openess and sharing - which has annoyed the majority of developers who are receiving very little for their work whilst Apple gets most of the credit - and cash.

    Now developers have a far better option open to them - and a small green robot to welcome them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      30% of all sales...

      ...go to Apple. That's not most of the cash. It's less than a third, which covers the cost of storage and distribution, with a bit of profit. It's how retail works. If you have a good app that sells for a fair price, you'll do well! See Gameloft for example...

  11. Linbox

    RE: Apple needs to change

    "I don't get all the restrictions that apple place upon it and it's users - even down to ring tones".

    You've kind of blown a hole in the rest of your argument by getting at least one thing so wrong. Epic fail.

    RTFM old boy.

  12. Vince

    Which smartphone?!?

    Funny, I have an N97. It did suck a bit to start with, but most recent firmware updates have sorted it nicely, but sadly I seem to have mullered the USB socket, so I'm waiting on a repair.

    I did have an N900 on order, but I cancelled it. Stupid mistakes by Nokia (No MMS support, morons), and a lack of software (Gravity, Shazam, Spotify etc none of which I believe are available) made me realise that the N97 as long as I can get now to what I want.

    Android didn't do it for me - I found that limited, frustrating and generally poor, iPhones just don't work for me - I find them poor once you remove the bling factor. Nokia have pretty much lost the plot, Win Mobile... yes well... I think that leaves maybe the Pre? No thanks, not a real phone that.

    Not sure what else there is to pick from or what else may even come close to what I want.

    The smartphone market is a bit crowded, but none of it appeals.

  13. lukewarmdog


    So.. phone my brother, chat about the weather, the latest games, laugh at or with Penny-Arcade, bemoan the latest Government idiocy.

    Later, receive text ads from, a weather update sponsored by Everest double glazing, promotions from the EA shop and an invite to join the Conservative party.

    Walking round town, phone constantly vibrates offering the latest trainers from the sports shop I am passing, informing me of todays special from the bakers I'm passing, telephone numbers of escorts as I pass a private shop. Oh wait, the camera has facial recognition software and has just spotted someone wanted by the police so it drops your call and forwards information to the local station.

    Yeah no thanks.

    Altho I can't wait for the exploit that gives you peoples private details, will make people like Perez Hilton very happy as they spy on "celebs"

  14. Eponymous Cowherd


    That pretty much describes the iPhone. Its popularity is more down to label appeal than anything else. When compared to other offerings (various Android phones and the Pre) it doesn't stand out. In some areas it is better, in others its worse, but people still buy into £stupid-per-month contracts to get one when there are alternatives which offer similar (or better) functionality for a fraction of the cost.

    And that's purely down to its bling value. Its a product of, and for, the "look at me, look at meeeee" generation, where the label is more important than the thing its on.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      It's how...

      Bling?! So it's shit because it looks good? Fantastic reasoning there mate! Brilliant. Trouble is your views are seemingly based on conjecture and heresay. You've played with one in a shop, or with a friends at best. So you aren't really qualified to pass comment. You are of course entitled to your opinion. When will people learn that it's not the feature, it's how well it's implemented. The SMS system is brilliant. The mail client is excellent, there is room for improvement but IMHO and experience it's best in class. The web browser is excellent - I *like* the fact that it doesn't support Flash - especially given the dreadful and intrusive Shell ad's that have been appearing on these pages (won't buy fuel from them any time soon). Again, there is room for improvement, but its HTML/CSS/JavaScript implementation is WebKit based, like the browser found in Android, which is best in class. The App store is excellent. Yes, of the 90000 apps, at best 5% are actually any good. I was told that there are more free apps for Android, but that's a meaningless measure. It about quality and there is a hell of a lot of quality on the App Store. I agree that Apple could handle it a bit better - a lot better in fact, but by and large it works extremely well. My experience with the Android market place whilst not bad, hasn't been anywhere close to that of the App Store. The contracts available with the device aren't cheap, granted but in no way as expensive as people try and make out and if you want a decent Andriod based HTC smartphone or Blackberry on contract, you are looking at paying about the same, with *much* less in the way of "extras"! The difference is that the handset is usually free up front. How many other contracts come with unlimited wifi on BT OpenZone and The Cloud, which I have found to be excellent. O2 coverage isn't great, but it has got better since I've had my contract and their customer services team have been excellent - much better than Orange *ever* were when I was a customer (10 years). The fact that it's a well made, nice looking handset is a bonus. So please, don't comeback with "locked down" or "multitasking" or "fixed battery" or "it's expensive". It's OK not to like the device, not everyone is going to like it, but dismissing it the way you have is puerile. This strawman bollocks has really got to stop. It's the device that every new comer is compared to for a reason - and has yet to be completely bested by other devices. That's not to say it won't be, but that's what the article is really about and I suggest that you actually read it...

      1. Greg D

        @ Simon Banyard

        What the previous poster was saying I think was that there are better offerings out there. At no point did he say it's shit because it looks good (I think you need to get your eyes tested).

        He is correct - in as much as most people buy the iPhone because of it's looks and the fashion statement you make by just by having one. It's a fashion accessory before it's a phone, regardless whether or not its a decent phone. This is what the people have made it.

        You can see this in evidence if you go anywhere near London. Nearly 3/4 of the commuters I see on my travels to and from work have one, and they INSIST on making everyone else see that they have one (despite the fact everyone else has one!).

        I would own one myself, having said that, if you didnt have to use that steaming pile of shit called iTunes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Greg D

          I hear what you are saying about iTunes. Believe me when I say it's not much better on the Mac! So what if iPhone is a fashion accessory?! Does it do what it does well? YES. Emphatically! As for "they INSIST on making everyone else see that they have one" - I accept that some users may do that, but it's exactly the same with Blackberry, Android AND Nokia N Series. You might also notice them more, being obviously into technology. My point stands - dismissing a device just because it looks good and is therefore only successful after the fact is asinine. It sells because it looks good AND it's good at what it does.

          Eponymous Cowherd asserted that "When compared to other offerings (various Android phones and the Pre) it doesn't stand out..." Thing is it does! Which ever way you look at it, all new smartphones are compared to the iPhone! Even Reg Hardware singled it out (to much derision, obviously) as the best in their end of year reviews. Rightly so. The Motorola Milestone looks to be nearly as good, feature-wise but it has several things going against it, namely Motorola's reputation for build quality (or lack thereof), the lack of third-party support, and the fact that it looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp! It'll be successful with those that don't want an iPhone, but as you and Eponymous Cowherd point out, as the iPhone is "fashionable", those people are a minority. The GooglePhone IMHO is probably a better punt, but I doubt we'll see the fervour that surrounded the iPhone releases. Android won't cannibalise iPhones share much, which will continue to grow - it will put paid to what's left of the WinMo share AND start eating into RIM's and Nokia's. Feel free to claim-check me if I'm wrong!

  15. Mr Pedantic

    Where did the 0.03 go?

    So, apparently Taiwanese smartphone chip makers shipped 116.97 units... what happened to the 0.03 unit? Was the chip slightly chipped?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And what was in the other

      and what was in the other 9999883.03 iPhones? It couldn't be that there's a missing million in the text they shipped over 10 times as many units to other suppliers as they did to iPhones could it? I mean that would invalidate the whole point of the article....

  16. CrashMurdock

    This is a bad feature?

    "...telephone numbers of escorts as I pass a private shop."

    Hmmm... Now that's the kind of smartphone I want! You can bet your arse Steve, the Anti-Christ, Jobs would never allow that App. I don't know about you, but I'll be waiting in line for a Nexus!

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