Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nexus One

Just a quick note.  People have asked me how I feel about the Nexus One being discontinued (at least from Google directly).

First, I'm unhappy about it, mainly because I like the idea of a 'developer phone' that doesn't come with all the lockdown behavior from carriers.  HTC has been awesome.  They've swapped defective phones for me in spite of the fact that as a developer I've unlocked the bootloader.  They were under no legal requirement to honor a warranty that I had technically voided.  But first, they did not make it a hack or a 'jailbreak' to root their phone, and second, they have honored the warranty when they saw the problem was a hardware issue.  HTC has been a model of how a company should handle these things.  I will continue to be a loyal HTC customer for that.

As to Eric Schmidt's contention that the Nexus One was a success, I think that's corporate spin.  Google had two stated goals for the Nexus One:  to break the carrier lock on selling phones with long contracts, and to provide a great example of what an Android phone could be.

In the first case, they failed spectacularly.  The carriers stuck to their guns, and as a result, we did not see Verizon or Sprint Nexus Ones, and confusion was created with T-Mobile about who exactly one should call when problems are experienced with the phone.  In short, Google fought the carriers and the carriers won.  Noble attempt, but fail.

In the second case, they succeeded spectacularly.  The Nexus One blew away the Motorola Droid in performance and features.  It is still a fantastic looking phone and in spite of a few small issues, runs great.  I have no desire right now to get a new phone, either a Samsung Galaxy S, a Droid X, or one of the new HTC's, all running Android, because the Nexus One is still so great for me.  It runs the very latest Google Android OS 2.2 ahead of everyone else, I can develop on it, root it, and whatever, with no problems from carriers.  But it also set the bar for everyone else to match and beat.  So now we have a raft of very, very powerful and slick Android phones.  Remember that before the Nexus, we had the G1, the MyTouch, the Cliq and the Droid.  That's it.  Now I have lost count of the number of Android phones out there, and the floodgates really opened at the beginning of this year when Google showed the Nexus One.  So, if it primed the pump for all these other great phones to be made and sold through the traditional model, then mission accomplished.

So, Nexus One was a success and a failure at the same time.  It's still also a fantastic phone, and I am sorry it's going away.

No comments:

Post a Comment