Why the Nexus is not “just another Android phone”

Okay, let’s make this clear: The Nexus is just another Android phone.

However, it’s one that Google have thrown the full weight of their marketing effort behind. Bear in mind these guys don’t hold press events for the opening of every envelope- the last big one announced Google Wave and that was only as part of a larger Google I/O gathering.

Furthermore, Google are notorious long-game thinkers. They gradually manoeuvre their way around the industry, insidiously implanting the importance of their products into your everyday lifestyle. It’s viral.

For example, Wave. I’m not writing this on Wave, therefore many will be eyeing it up as a bit of a flop. Nonsense, look at the next few years and then we’ll talk.  Again, Chrome– make a solid speedy browser then make it a new kind of operating system that won’t take off for a few years.

The Nexus (or, importantly, the Nexus One) is another step in Google’s long term strategy and just one front of the battle.

Android will sit across dozens of handsets, bringing with it a superior app store experience and a familiar interface across the range.  Don’t doubt the importance of this last point- how many people do you know who stuck with one brand over the years because the buttons were different on others?

But it’s not a superphone, even I have to draw the line there.  Let’s save that for the Nexus Six.

- Max Tatton-Brown

January 6th, 2010

  • Kerry

    You make a really important point when it comes to the ‘superior app store experience’. I believe it is the apps that have made the iphone, and once other brands are able to offer a similiar number and quality the playing field will be levelled.
    For now though, I’ll enjoy my Palm Pre and perhaps consider getting my hands on a Nexus three or four.

  • http://Website Gazimoff

    I’m torn on the Nexus one.

    From a technical point of view, it’s difficult to decide how it’ll pan out. The amount of app storage is tiny at 512MB, meaning that every time you buy an app you’ll be thinking about how big it is as well as how much it costs. Then there’s the lack of multitouch, which is one of the key developments in finger-friendly touchscreens. On the other hand, it has a serious amount of grunt to run 3D apps and multitask happily, crowbarring in plenty of eyecandy.

    I’m also not sure about the pitch – you can either buy it with a contract on one tariff, or buy it unlocked for about £350. While the simplicity will appeal to gadget fans, I’m not sure how it’ll work outside of that segment.

    What I do find encouraging is how it drives the market onwards. Having competition in the marketplace drives companies to out-innovate eachother. I think that over the next few years we’re going to see a range of exciting gadgets that are pocket or satchel friendly, and which will focus as much on making your data easy to manage as they do on providing access to it. This can only be a good thing.

  • Maximilian Tatton-Brown


    Gazimoff:

    From a technical point of view, it’s difficult to decide how it’ll pan out. The amount of app storage is tiny at 512MB, meaning that every time you buy an app you’ll be thinking about how big it is as well as how much it costs. Then there’s the lack of multitouch, which is one of the key developments in finger-friendly touchscreens. On the other hand, it has a serious amount of grunt to run 3D apps and multitask happily, crowbarring in plenty of eyecandy.

    Totally agree with these points- even more absurd when you think that Google are saying they “may” bring multitouch in later because it’s possible in 2.

    Android needs to break through these thresholds before people who know the difference like us consider it.

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    “For example, Wave. I’m not writing this on Wave, therefore many will be eyeing it up as a bit of a flop. Nonsense, look at the next few years and then we’ll talk.”

    Yeah, they’re great at the longterm. I mean look at the success of Lively. Or how they’ve defeated Twitter with Jaiku. And how Orkut has beaten off on the threat of Facebook. Google Video was so successful that who remembers YouTube? Google Notebook is now where everyone stores their notes.

    And I’m still playing Dodgeball.

  • Maximilian Tatton-Brown


    Ian Betteridge:

    Yeah, they’re great at the longterm. I mean look at the success of Lively. Or how they’ve defeated Twitter with Jaiku. And how Orkut has beaten off on the threat of Facebook. Google Video was so successful that who remembers YouTube? Google Notebook is now where everyone stores their notes.

    And I’m still playing Dodgeball.

    All good examples of unsuccessful Google products but each a case study in its own right. For example, Google Video isn’t bigger than youtube but when you own Youtube, that’s not a massive issue.

    In this particular case of mobile, the Nexus is actually a great phone, lots of people will have one. But it’s not the breakthrough people expected.

    Despite this, Android’s open source nature both literally and culturally will mean it can prosper on a level that handsets like the iPhone (which I have owned since importing the original US model) can’t approach.

    As the Google-endorsed superphone branch of the Android tree, this is their iPhone killer effort. Not today, but with a first shot scraping their bow, Apple had better pull something good out of the bag come WWDC.