Archive for December 2009
Over this past weekend the story broke that Google has developed a new phone that it is giving its employees to play. The Nexus One, as it is called, is being positioned as a “innovations lab”, according to Google.
Today, we hear that Google is in serious talks with T-Mobile to introduce Nexus One. This G-Phone is built by HTC and looks strikingly like the HTC Passion without, of course, the HTC logo. All this makes me wonder what Google is thinking?
First off, why does Google see the need to branch out into hardware. Imitating Apple in trying to control the complete user experience is not good enough reason as they are already late to that party having already open-sourced their operating system. If they have some legitimate reason for getting into hardware, starting out with a look-alike phone of a publicly available (or soon to be) phone is not the best strategy to launch a new product that is going to bear your name in such a competitive market.
Also, if Google is going to compete with its Android partners, I wonder how long they will tolerate that. Now, I truly believe that 2010 will be the year of Android, however, this is a fast moving market and both consumers and the hardware makers are fickle. Google will have to tread carefully so as not to antagonize its partners.
Finally, is Google ready to be a hardware company? So far they have been outsourcing the actual manufacturing of the phones. And it will work if they have a handful of devices. But, then they need to think of all the other things that goes with standing behind the hardware from support to logistics to marketing.
Motorola is certainly trying to prove that there is some life in it still. And if these photos are true, it seems like it is doing a mighty fine job of coming back from the dead. Let’s see how long that vitality lasts.
Could this end up being the prettiest Android device to date? We don’t want to call it before we have it in our own two hands, but China Telecom’s likely entrant from Motorola — the XT800 — is looking better than ever in these live action shots unearthed by Chinese site tgbus. What’s interesting here is that Moto’s reusing the font first seen on the Droid’s dock standby screen for a new home screen date / time widget, but the old-school Power Control widget below it has us believing that we’re looking at an older Android 2.0 build (or heck, who knows, 1.5 or 1.6). It’ll apparently have a 3.7-inch WVGA display with 720p playback and, as we’ve mentioned before, an HDMI-out for some serious multimedia street cred. It’s still unclear whether this is being thrown around internally as the Titanium, Zeppelin, or something else entirely, but whatever — Verizon, Sprint, bring it on over, alright?
As 2009 comes to close, everyone is playing the predictions game, including me. So, here are my predictions for the new year.
1. 2010 is going to be the year that Android comes into its own. There is a lot of device movement behind it and we shall see a true iPhone challenger coming from the Android camp. Every major device manufacturer that is part of the Open Handset Alliance is going to come out with dozens of Android handsets. Also, we will see Android being deployed on devices other than Smartphones. Though it remains to be seen how Google positions Android versus its Chrome OS.
2. Android Marketplace is going to be next big goldrush for the app developers. The legions of Java developers are salivating at and furiously developing apps for the Android marketplace. Given Google’s free-for-all approach to the marketplace, I think that apps for Android are going to explode in 2010 and probably surpass the iPhone app store by 2011 unless Apple makes a drastic change to its App approval policy.
3. 2010 will see the introduction of data bandwidth caps and tiered pricing. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, AT&T is already making noise about how 3% of its data users are hogging 40% of the bandwidth. I believe that AT&T is getting ready to introduce data bandwidth caps and tiered pricing as early as Q1 of 2010.
4. Microsoft will make a major push to regain marketshare in 2010. Microsoft is at crossroads here, should it pursue a closed-wall approach like Apple or should it follow Google’s path. This is a long-shot prediction but I think Microsoft might end up acquiring a major player to disrupt the iPhone and Android hegemony. Though RIM, Palm and to a small degree, Motorola are likely targets, but I would not be surprised if Nokia and Microsoft partner up to develop or extend Windows Mobile.
So, there you go. These are my predictions. Stop by and let me know what you think or what your predictions are.