Google’s Nexus One – What are they thinking?
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.