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Google's Nexus One takes on Droid as Apple's iPhone App Store grows

post #1 of 129
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Expectations that Google would jump into the smartphone business itself and directly challenge the iPhone are being squelched by reports that indicate that the company is really only putting its name on a new HTC device to be sold by T-Mobile, which will compete against the Verizon Motorola Droid instead.

At the same time, Apple's month over month App Store download growth over the holidays greatly outpaced the growth of Google's Android Market by a factor of 2.5 this year, refuting the idea that Google's last flagship phone, the Verizon/Motorola Droid, had any real impact on the iPhone during the key holiday season, or that it even helped Google to catch up to Apple.

Apple's phenomenal growth sets up limited prospects for Google's next attempt to deliver the new Nexus One as an iPhone alternative in partnership with HTC and T-Mobile during the post-holiday season, given that the Droid has already consumed most of Android's potential market opportunity.

G-Phone 2: This time it's personal

Rumors of a Google Phone first circulated in late 2007 before the company formally announced that its new Android would be a broadly-licensed platform like Windows Mobile rather than a tightly integrated product like the iPhone.

Two years later, the concept of a new Android phone built "specifically for Google" to market under its own name was again promoted by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, who described the rumored new Nexus One model as a "pure Google-branded phone."

Unlike existing offerings from HTC (like the G1, MyTouch, and Verizon Droid Eris) or Motorola (the Verizon Droid), Arrington said "every last piece" of the device would be dictated by Google, similar to how Apple exerts total control over all the details and user experience of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iTunes.

An Android phone without the Android problems

"[There will be] no splintering of the Android OS that makes some applications unusable," Arrington wrote. "Like the iPhone for Apple, this phone will be Googles pure vision of what a phone should be."

As of a month and a half ago, Arrington said that he doubted reports that the new phone would be built by HTC, the company that historically has made nearly all Windows Mobile phones and most of the devices running Android.

Instead, Arrington claimed "fairly good information that suggests" that Google was building the new phone itself using LG or Samsung, an indication that the new device was really a unique iPhone-like product rather than just rebadged model.

Another Android developer phone

However, the latest information shows that the new device is really just an extension and broadening of Google's development phone program, which allows users to buy an unlocked Android device and use it on T-Mobile.

Rather than just being limited to developers, Google now plans to market the phone under its own name, selling it over the web directly with or without a subsidizing contract, just like it has always sold its Android developer model.

However, there is no indication the phone's hardware is at all dictated or managed by Google. Instead, it's just another new phone from HTC, which has always churned out several new models every year.

Like HTC's previous Windows Mobile and Android phones, the Nexus One is still limited to a relatively small amount of system RAM and internal storage RAM, killing any prospects for the new model to take over the iPhone/iPod touch in terms of sophisticated apps, and in particular games.

Rather than mounting any real competition to the iPhone 3GS, the Nexus One will immediately make HTC's existing Android phones look long in the tooth, including the HTC Droid Eris Verizon is currently marketing alongside the Motorola Droid.

The Droid Killer

The Nexus One is essentially HTC's answer to the Motorola Droid. Both sport a high resolution screen and similar specifications that lead the pack of Android offerings. Both also reveal Google's intent to play its licensees off of each other.

For the first two generations of Android phones, Google worked with HTC, the vendor most interested in and most capable of bringing an Android phone to market. HTC was well positioned because it already had completed Windows Mobile phone designs that could be quickly adapted to run Android.

This fall however, Google appeared to abandon HTC entirely as it devoted exclusive efforts to release Android 2.0 in tandem with Motorola and Verizon on the Droid. The Droid was Motorola's internal attempt to revitalize its lagging phone handset business, and was originally designed to run Windows Mobile before being conscripted to run Android.

Google did not immediately officially release the Droid's Android 2.0 for other Android models, and instead left other licensees in the dark to the point where HTC and Sony Ericsson have announced plans to continue to ship future phones running earlier versions of the Android operations system.

Now, Google is returning to HTC to release Android 2.1 on the Nexus One, leaving the Droid to catch up in the background and Sony Ericsson still on track to debut its new phone later in 2010 running Android 1.6. Verizon Droid or Droid Eris users can't just switch to the slim new Nexus One because it only works on T-Mobile's GSM/UMTS network. Verizon also charges a steep $350 termination fee on its Android smartphones to prevent any desertion.

Snowballing vs cannibalization

This ensures that Android fans and early adopters simply can't regularly upgrade as iPhone users could, either in hardware with annual device releases or in software with annual new reference releases and the regular free updates in between. What Android updates are available to end users are a combination of what the vendor and mobile carrier choose to support and deliver, much as was the case with Windows Mobile.

While Apple snowballed interest in its iPhone platform and grew rapidly by word of mouth, Android appears to be cannibalizing itself with competition between vendors not just for potentially incompatible hardware innovations (such as different screen resolutions) but also in a confusing mix of Android operating system versions.

This is splintering the development community and preventing the snowballing growth seen in the cohesive iPhone platform. Android's fractionalization as a platform prevents it from attaining the interest of key developers, and therefore impedes the critical mass needed to attract users and other commercial developers, resulting in a hobbyist community.

iPhone App Store growing 2.5 times as fast as Android Market

The result of this is that Apple can claim, not just a much larger share in unit sales and software downloads, but also much greater growth in App Store interest in December over the previous month than Google's Android Market can.

According to mobile analytics firm Flurry, Apple's App Store download growth increased by more than 50% this month over November, while Google's much smaller Android Market grew by just 20% over the same period, despite the massive advertising blitz Verizon contributed during the holidays.



With a much smaller unit installed base and a library size of around 15,000 apps compared to Apple's 100,000, Google should find it easier to increase its percentage of growth faster than Apple, but that simply isn't happening. Google was left behind in the busiest holiday season of the year.

Google will now have to struggle through 2010 as Apple launches its slate product and the expected 4G iPhone and iPhone 4.0 software this summer.

Rather than rolling out its own incremental upgrades to Android, Google will be juggling the interests of HTC, Motorola, and new offerings planned by Sony Ericsson, LG, and Samsung, while attempting to play the role of both the independent platform licensing agent and a direct competitor, an impossibly difficult task that tripped up Microsoft as it attempted to run PlaysForSure and directly sell the Zune at the same time.

Rather than gaining any ground against the iPod, Microsoft only killed its existing broadly licensed platform and turned the Zune into a tiny property of little consequence.
post #2 of 129
I should say, Android Developer Phones were never marketed towards consumers, only developers. And even the task of requiring that a person be a developer in order to purchase the phone (simple and free), is enough to turn 99% of people off from a developer phone.

No, the real difference in a "Google phone" is if Google decides to put its own marketing muscle behind the phone, unlike other Android phones which have always been pushed by carriers. It's different from the Motorola Droid in that people think of the following companies before Google: Verizon and Motorola. Heck, for some people, they think that the carrier actually MAKES the hardware (yes, people are that unaware of things), since the Google logo is only on the back in a faint font compared to the white on the front of the Droid.

However, with no other branding besides Google itself, it gives them full ownership of it's success and/or failure with no one else to blame. And for those that argue that Google isn't making the phone, HTC is, I want to remind you that Apple doesn't manufacture the iPhone either, it's produced by Foxconn. People don't remember hardware manufacturers, they remember the brands they are attached to!
post #3 of 129
I think the Google phone will be more competition for Droid and other Android platform phones than the Apple iPhone and App store. So no matter what people say about the "openness" of the Android platform and the multitude of devices that will run it, the more the merrier as far as Apple is concerned. It just helps divide the market more easily for Apple to keep conquering.

Apple sorta gets to relive the argument for "those who care about software also do the hardware" versus only doing software. The difference being now Apple doesn't have any execs screwing up Steve Jobs' vision or stopping Apple from beingApple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

... People don't remember hardware manufacturers, they remember the brands they are attached to!

I agree strongly with this move by Google to brand the phone alone - however I would modify your thought by saying "they remember the brands that keep their promise they are attached to!" Apple's products are not just an Apple logo, but the look and feel and everything about the products match Apple's DNA. From what I've seen of the Nexus One, it doesn't LOOK like something that represents Google in any special way. From a brand perspective I think of Google as playful, geeky, colorful building blocks on top of a clean-simple-white platform. The Nexus One LOOKS nothing like any of that.
post #4 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's phenomenal growth sets up limited prospects for Google's next attempt to deliver the new Nexus One as an iPhone alternative in partnership with HTC and T-Mobile during the post-holiday season, given that the Droid has already consumed most of Android's potential market opportunity.

I think this conclusion is an overstatement. The potential market opportunity for Android, as well as other smartphone/application phone makers, still includes dumb-phone owners who will upgrade.
post #5 of 129
I'll be buying a Nexus One if I can buy it unlocked and use it on T-mo. Sorry, Steve. You need to end exclusivity... and fast.

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post #6 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'll be buying a Nexus One if I can buy it unlocked and use it on T-mo. Sorry, Steve. You need to end exclusivity... and fast.

If you thought Att's 3G coverage sucked, wait until you use T-Mobile.

That being said, I'd still use T-Mobile.
post #7 of 129
...With a much smaller unit installed base and a library size of around 15,000 apps compared to Apple's 100,000, Google should find it easier to increase its percentage of growth faster than Apple, but that simply isn't happening...

This article certainly offers some good points, but this statement is just plain false. According to the caption on the graphic, this shows the percent increase of actual tracked downloads, not apps available for download in each app store. If you look at the percent increase of apps available, the Android Market went from 10,000 to over 20,000 since the Droid's release.

Just sayin'.
post #8 of 129
Once the next iPhone hits it's back to the drawing-board for everyone else.
post #9 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Once the next iPhone hits it's back to the drawing-board for everyone else.

Yes, but when will that be? Can Apple afford to just update annually, now that more and more competitors are entering the fray?
post #10 of 129
Just an FYI: the article’s ‘4G iPhone’ is referencing the 4th generation phone from Apple, not LTE the 4th generation radio communication standard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapper31 View Post

If you look at the percent increase of apps available, the Android Market went from 10,000 to over 20,000 since the Droid's release.

Also, I’m pretty sure the number of iPhone OS apps is closer to 150k than 100k.
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post #11 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Once the next iPhone hits it's back to the drawing-board for everyone else.

Yep agreed. In fact I bet everyone else stays at their drawing boards (or is it copy machines) round the clock waiting for the next Apple product whatever it is! No one else seems to have an R&D department anymore!
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post #12 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Yes, but when will that be? Can Apple afford to just update annually, now that more and more competitors are entering the fray?


but will the current set of android makers keep on making phones now that google is competing with them?

everyone else is on an annual upgrade cycle as well. they just release at different times of the year
post #13 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

but will the current set of android makers keep on making phones now that google is competing with them?

I dont see why not. They need to use a mobile OS and Android offers a lot of advantages over paid-for mobile OSes. Not just price, but the app store ecosystem and rate of change.
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post #14 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

If you thought Att's 3G coverage sucked, wait until you use T-Mobile.

That being said, I'd still use T-Mobile.

T-Mobile is still expanding...AT&T has been standing still nearly upgrading its network in "trouble spots" If i could use my Bold 9000 with 3G id most likely switch to T-Mo, cause then id actually pay for what id get lol.

As for the Nexus it could see very good success since T-Mo has pushed Android very hard, if its even better than the Droid, which is a good device, it will easily push well over a million units.

Also this whole Nexus swallowing the iPhone thing is just absurd. This phone wont singlehandedly blot out Apple because it wont be pushed with the force Apple does the iPhone (it is the ONLY model they have). Android is taking the Windows approach, and at the rate the OS is gaining marketshare id say its doing a damn good job.
post #15 of 129
Watching Android rollout to date, I am left with two conflicting data points. One, is that everyone I talk to within Google is supremely confident that the data (that they are looking at) suggests that they are poised to win in the market. Two, I am confused relative to the battles and war analogy, what is the battle they are fighting and what is the war that they expect to win.

By that, I mean at this stage they are not in the same league to win the potential iPhone buyer, as Android lacks on hardware design, developer tools, apps momentum and marketplace. Yet, based upon RIM's last quarter, it's not like they are taking share from the Blackberry. Hence, best guess is that they are REALLY going after Nokia and Symbian ecosystem, which is fine and logical, as comparable structure in terms of variety of device form-factors, multi-carrier approach and Nokia/Symbian is a dispirited developer base.

The only paradox is that to win that audience, you can't be effectively competing with the handset guys (i.e., Motorola, HTC, Samsung, LG) in either soft or hard form (by anointing a preferred device/partner or formally branding, marketing a Google device). Yet, to not do so is to guarantee that the distance between iPhone and Android only grows.

Personally, I think that they have misread the market, and face a choice between a fragmented market or abandoning their open credo and trying to go toe-to-toe with Apple in areas that Google hasn't proven to be strong at; namely, hardware design, user experience, developer tools, etc.
post #16 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I dont see why not. They need to use a mobile OS and Android offers a lot of advantages over paid-for mobile OSes. Not just price, but the app store ecosystem and rate of change.

Not only that but many companies simply dont have the resources to create a robust OS of their own. Both Motorola and Sony Ericsson come to mind. HTC just seems interested in hardware sales and not have to worry about the OS...let Google and Microsoft deal with that.

I really wish that Palm would let their WebOS go multi-platform cause it has a lot of potential, just little support
post #17 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Just an FYI: the articles 4G iPhone is referencing the 4th generation phone from Apple, not LTE the 4th generation radio communication standard.


Also, Im pretty sure the number of iPhone OS apps is closer to 150k than 100k.

Oh yes I agree, in fact I thought I read that it was going to top 200,000 soon. I was just pointing out that the information in the chart did not agree with his statement; it is easier to increase the percentage of the apps available, not the percentage of apps downloaded (as is shown in the chart).

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Yep agreed. In fact I bet everyone else stays at their drawing boards (or is it copy machines) round the clock waiting for the next Apple product whatever it is! No one else seems to have an R&D department anymore!

I don't know that it's fair to say every developer is copying from Apple wihout adding any innovation of their own. They are certainly trying to compete with Apple and gain market share (which is proving to be extremely difficult), and to do this they need something to distinguish themselves. Motorola for example took what they saw as shortcomings of the Iphone and included them in the Droid. They obviously didn't "kill" the Iphone, as the media loves to speculate, but the features offered in the Droid and other competing smart phones only raise the bar for the Iphone 4G (or whichever device is coming next). It's all good for the consumers!
post #18 of 129
While I do appreciate that this is an Apple biased site... The statement that the Nexus one has "small amount of system RAM" is... well.. completely wrong.

It has 512mb RAM <-- that is DOUBLE whats in the iphone 3GS (256mb). It is a very capable phone, there is no reason to dog it before its even out.
post #19 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by sherifone View Post

While I do appreciate that this is an Apple biased site... The statement that the Nexus one has "small amount of system RAM" is... well.. completely wrong.

It has 512mb RAM <-- that is DOUBLE whats in the iphone 3GS (256mb). It is a very capable phone, there is no reason to dog it before its even out.

Im pretty sure it should be interpreted to mean 512MB of built-in flash memory for system files without using a MicroSD card to offload data files for larger apps and personal media. I think that is a valid complaint and issue compared to phones with 8GB+ built-in flash storage that dont require developer work arounds for large apps or a deliberate limiting app capabilities and refinement to reduce file sizes.
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post #20 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

If you thought Att's 3G coverage sucked, wait until you use T-Mobile.

That being said, I'd still use T-Mobile.

I'm already using T-Mo, so I have nothing to lose. Also, I'm not particularly interested in 3G, just a marginally better phone than the one I'm using now.

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post #21 of 129
I'm beginning to see why some folk react negatively to Prince McClean's articles. They are, as tech posts go, well-written, sometimes exhaustive, pull together lots of disparate info both past and present, but have a slant that always seems to make Apple look a fairly omniscient, all-wise, etc. and this POV brings him to conclusions that go beyond those a less cheerleading observer might reach.

There are lotsa smart people not working in Cupertino and lots of capital being invested in non-Apple efforts. And if there's a giant corporation people have as much positive attachment to as Apple, it's Google.

I'd be guilty of the reverse bias if I compared what happened last time Apple had market share, mind share and unified platform/software advantage, i.e., the time just before the Apple II got crushed by a motley bunch of manufacturers with inconsistent implementations running multiple versions of an buggy, immature operating system from Microsoft. Guilty because Apple's not a tiny-start up with a garage feel and has spent 30 years building the best image and the most buzz in the entire tech world, so concluding they will inevitably be dethroned again by the sheer breadth of the competition would be an unjustifiable stretch.

Still, they're not invulnerable and Msr. Jobs will retire someday - and his personal charisma, however tightly he's still able to hold the reins and how much mojo he personally brings to the office these days, is Apple's greatest public asset.

And the iWhatever could yet turn into a solution looking for a problem and be the next Newton - really, really cool but not a mass success, or the 4G iPhone could just be a warmover (that's happened with Apple refreshes before as well) and the public is fickle.

Or not. I'm just sayin' I'll still read Prince's articles, but more for the facts he pulls together than for his often over-extrapolated conjectures on same.

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post #22 of 129
This news makes me sad. When is apple going to finally release the 4G iPhone?? I want to multitask apps.
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post #23 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

This news makes me sad. When is apple going to finally release the 4G iPhone?? I want to multitask apps.

Solution 1: Jailbreak iPhone, install Backgrounder.

Solution 2: Dont run 3rd-party apps on iPhone.
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post #24 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifail View Post

Android is taking the Windows approach, and at the rate the OS is gaining marketshare id say its doing a damn good job.

Which sales reports are you looking at? Android had just 3.5 % of the smartphone market last quarter, growing slower than the iPhone did 2 years ago. Android will be lucky to take over the #4 spot from WinMo this quarter, behind the much larger Symbian, RIMM and iPhone OS, and I wouldn't even bet on that, because there are always plenty of people buying WinMo devices no matter how bad the reviews are. It 2010, once Bada comes pre-installed on the 10 million+ touchscreen phones Samsung is already shipping each quarter, Android will find itself handed down to #5 or #6 again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ifail View Post

Both Motorola and Sony Ericsson come to mind. HTC just seems interested in hardware sales and not have to worry about the OS...let Google and Microsoft deal with that.

There's no guarantee that all 3 of these will stick around to support Android for much longer. Moto and SE are not profitable. The Droid was seen as the turnaround device for Moto, and Google has spoiled its sales over the last few weeks. Sony has repeatedly said that they might give up on the SE joint venture if it doesn't turn around soon. Some consolidation in the mobile phone market is bound to happen, and of all the big players the Android supporters seem to be among the weakest links.
post #25 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

However, with no other branding besides Google itself, it gives them full ownership of it's success and/or failure with no one else to blame. And for those that argue that Google isn't making the phone, HTC is, I want to remind you that Apple doesn't manufacture the iPhone either, it's produced by Foxconn. People don't remember hardware manufacturers, they remember the brands they are attached to!

Sorry, I am sick and tired of this stupid arguement from people who know very little about what they are talking about.

Assembling != producing brand
When HTC designs and builds phones for other companies and sticks their logos on them, thats HTC producing the product

When Apple designs, prototypes in house, manages every detail, and hands it off to companies who perform automated assembly, it is Apple producing the product.

Don't you see the damn difference?
Apple designed..... vs HTC designed

Its not just who assembles something, no one owns their own assembly lines anymore
In the cell phone and computer industries lots of companies use designs that are actually designed by others! stock Intel motherboards go into name brand computers, HTC makes most Windows and Android cellphones and handheld computers.

Apple isn't selling a product with Foxconn technology.... just like Microsoft doesn't sell Xbox's with Foxconn technology. In house designed products ARE NOT PRODUCED by outside firms, just assembled.

There, did my 50 repetitive ways of phrasing that sink in people??
post #26 of 129
It sounds like Google is continuing to follow the design by committee mentality that the phone companies have been doing forever. Partly designed by the carrier, the hardware manufacturer, and the operating system vendor. Nothing good ever comes out of this. I'm sure there will be some (that never used an iPhone) that will be happy with this phone. They will wonder why they need to buy a new phone to run the latest apps (or fail to run the old apps) a year after they get it (with half of their contract left) then either blame google or blame the carrier for a $350 termination fee. This is like having an orchestra with three conductors...

I can't understand why the majority of manufacturers can't stick with a similar design and build upon it. It seems that every non-Apple phone tries to reinvent the wheel every time. A product should get better over time... not just generate more variations of the same thing.
post #27 of 129
Someone's not reading their history books, no one wants to copy the Apple model, it would take too much work to catch up but [not] doing so is like playing hot potato with a gun.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Google, you've been phased...
post #28 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by dguisinger View Post

Sorry, I am sick and tired of this stupid arguement from people who know very little about what they are talking about.

Assembling != producing brand
When HTC designs and builds phones for other companies and sticks their logos on them, thats HTC producing the product

When Apple designs, prototypes in house, manages every detail, and hands it off to companies who perform automated assembly, it is Apple producing the product.

Don't you see the damn difference?
Apple designed..... vs HTC designed

Its not just who assembles something, no one owns their own assembly lines anymore
In the cell phone and computer industries lots of companies use designs that are actually designed by others! stock Intel motherboards go into name brand computers, HTC makes most Windows and Android cellphones and handheld computers.

Apple isn't selling a product with Foxconn technology.... just like Microsoft doesn't sell Xbox's with Foxconn technology. In house designed products ARE NOT PRODUCED by outside firms, just assembled.

There, did my 50 repetitive ways of phrasing that sink in people??

There seems to be a trend of products that are designed and marketed by different companies. Hopefully this trend doesn't catch on. It is a horrible for the consumer because the manufacturer and the marketer will both lose interest in the product. They will hype it, sell as many as they can, then fail to continue to evolve the product. There may be other branded products, but they will not be compatible. Just look at the Zune for example...
post #29 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilogic View Post

Someone's not reading their history books, no one wants to copy the Apple model, it would take too much work to catch up but [not] doing so is like playing hot potato with a gun.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Google, you've been phased...

Unfortunately most companies don't care about real innovation anymore. If it takes more then a year, they are not interested in the investment. I think that has benefited Apple. It's been much easier for them to create hugely successful products because nobody else is in the same league due to lack of effort.

I seems that most of the industry has a "reactionary" attitude instead of planning and making a real investment. Lets make X product to combat Y product instead of lets make X product revolutionary. This "reactionary" attitude doesn't work against the iPhone because they would need to make a real investment. They can't just put components together in a different way.
post #30 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

It sounds like Google is continuing to follow the design by committee mentality that the phone companies have been doing forever. Partly designed by the carrier, the hardware manufacturer, and the operating system vendor. Nothing good ever comes out of this. I'm sure there will be some (that never used an iPhone) that will be happy with this phone. They will wonder why they need to buy a new phone to run the latest apps (or fail to run the old apps) a year after they get it (with half of their contract left) then either blame google or blame the carrier for a $350 termination fee. This is like having an orchestra with three conductors...

That sounds like a cool idea (in an Ornette Coleman kind of way)
post #31 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapper31 View Post

...With a much smaller unit installed base and a library size of around 15,000 apps compared to Apple's 100,000, Google should find it easier to increase its percentage of growth faster than Apple, but that simply isn't happening...

This article certainly offers some good points, but this statement is just plain false. According to the caption on the graphic, this shows the percent increase of actual tracked downloads, not apps available for download in each app store. If you look at the percent increase of apps available, the Android Market went from 10,000 to over 20,000 since the Droid's release.

Just sayin'.

Then, obviously, the author's idea of what constitutes growth is different than yours. Just sayin'.

One would think that the sheer number of apps would increase quite quickly in the Android store, maybe for a variety of reasons: maybe there are thousands and thousands of developers all over the world that have traditionally developed apps for WinMo, Symbian, Java, etc. and are jumping on the new, hyped platform; maybe all the apps that got submitted to various stores opened by different phone manufacturers and different carriers all finally got submitted to the flagship store; whatever. One would hope that the apps are there with all this talk about how great Android will be and how all the phone manufacturers and carriers are going to get on board.

An obvious measure of real "growth" is not how many variations of a fart app a developer can come up with, but the real use of the store by customers. The author does well to recognize this. Everyone was surprised, probably most of all Apple, that there are 100,000 apps in the iTunes store.

Furthermore, an iPhone app developer need only produce one version of his app, instead of multiple versions for umpteen different phone configurations.

However, it is not so surprising that Apple can maintain consistent and accelerating growth on the buying/downloading side with their industry-leading store and experience with music downloads and movie rentals, etc. This is where the money is for the developers and this is what serves the customer, which in turn leads to even more growth.

Now, if Google is going to run their store like MS did, then the growth they want to see IS the number of apps alone: because they are fleecing the developer with subscription and submission fees and know that there are few customers who can actually figure out the store, figure out how to delve through all the crap about versions and hardware specs, and after all that, fewer still who will pay the exorbitant prices for that crap.

The author implies (and he has several articles on this) that the gap will only increase since everything Apple does is reinforcing its one mobile platform while Google does not seem to care that they are fragmenting theirs. There may be lots of apps on the Android store, but each potential customer can only use a given percentage of them depending on his phone, Android version and carrier; even apps that would work on a given hardware configuration will not be as readily useable since the OS version may be stuck until Google gets around to dealing with the carrier -- by contrast, iPhone OS updates are pushed out universally and ready for you when you synch with iTunes. This means that each Android customer cannot just browse the store and download just anything that strikes his fancy.

I have an iPod Touch and over 300 active apps in my iTunes library. I could download new apps all day long. I could do nothing but try out new apps all day long. Fortunately, I have some self-control and allow myself iTunes app sessions just a couple of times a month. I might download 20 or thirty apps in one go, that I have heard about or read a review of on a blog. If I just browsed iTunes app store on these occasions, I could easily happily spend hours and download hundreds of new apps.

Despite the billions of iPhone apps downloaded, not everyone with an iPhone or iPod Touch can yet relate to my interest in new apps -- my dad can't (he isn't into finding new apps yet, though he loves his iPhone). Yet he is now browsing iTunes with his new Apple TV. So, the potential for even more incredible growth is there just waiting to explode.
post #32 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermark View Post

Watching Android rollout to date, I am left with two conflicting data points. One, is that everyone I talk to within Google is supremely confident that the data (that they are looking at) suggests that they are poised to win in the market. Two, I am confused relative to the battles and war analogy, what is the battle they are fighting and what is the war that they expect to win.

They need Android to put them in the right place relative to Microsoft to avoid Bing taking over in Search, and they need a strong enough platform to keep RIMM on their toes with exclusive search agreements. Same goes for having the "knighting power" on the carrier end, but they aren't anywhere near that position yet.

Google might be losing focus on Android though. I'm not so sure that they have the position they think they have on the hardware side, and once the easy prey are gone things might get harder...
post #33 of 129
Hello world,

it really looks like only blinders-wearing fanboys comment here...

Sorry guys, the Nexus has way more superior hardware than even the iPhone 3GS... :-(

I agree that the android market has less apps in terms of numbers, but in terms of functionality it is close to be there to have what you need. It even has iFarted. Many major iphone-apps are being released to the market on a regular base, the last of them being Evernote. Also the growth-rate of the market outpaces the growth of the saturated app-store.

The main difference between android and iphone-os is that iphone-os is available on one handset manufactured and controlled by one producer, and software development for it sucks (C? I was not even born when C was invented, and I'm not a youngster) since the hardware-producer wants to control the software that runs on it's device. That's worse than Microsoft does!

Android is an open-source, free and unrestricted system which as of today runs on 16 handsets made by 6 different companies. I did not count-in the non-phone devices as e.g. the Nook, or the Carmangi.

Look here

From a developer pov comparing android to iphone (java to C) is like driving a car vs riding a horse.

So guys, sorry. But it's just a matter of time before you will see android everywhere around you.

And app developers will also like the fact that their app not just runs on their mobile, but as well in their car, their digital picture frame, their GPS and so on.

Apple has done a great job. Especially I am thankful to them that they shook up the competitors. Their "control-freak" and "I-am-the-boss"-philosophy will pay back.

Edit: One major thing for developer-adoption I forgot is:
To hack android-apps you can use the OS of your choice. You are not humiliated into buying a $1000+ computer to get on hacking.
post #34 of 129
Excellent line, beautiful in it's simplicity and says so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...Microsoft only killed its existing broadly licensed platform and turned the Zune into a tiny property of little consequence.
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #35 of 129
Troll resistance training is now in session.
post #36 of 129
Bigpics, very well put. I read of lot of news feeds, often without looking at the site or writer, and can always tell when it's AppleInsider right away..... the obvious slant. It's all good though. I like macOS desktop and the iphone OS, but despise the iPhone ecosystem and outlandish ATT pricing caused by exclusivity, not to mention the App Store policies and overall tight grip apple has. If it weren't for Android, this situation would only get worse. We should feel good about supporting Google. In fact, the best situation we could hope for is to have 3 or 4 big players (iphone, android, blackberry, nokia). For sure, we do not want just one.
post #37 of 129
/yawn

This is what we have been hearing since 2007.

Want to buy a HTC Magic?

We have some gathering dust in our storeroom, they have Google written on the back and everything.

PS the Nexus has similar hardware to the HTC Touch HD2 does it not?

If you replace HTC's video drivers with custom one's it almost catches up to the 3GS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nesnayu View Post

Hello world,

it really looks like only blinders-wearing fanboys comment here...

Sorry guys, the Nexus has way more superior hardware than even the iPhone 3GS...

...blah, blah, blah...

I like the free iPhone I get on a plan in Australia luckily the iPhone isn't exclusive to AT&T.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bstring View Post

... but despise the iPhone ecosystem and outlandish ATT pricing caused by exclusivity,
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #38 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by nesnayu View Post

Hello world,

it really looks like only blinders-wearing fanboys comment here...

Sorry guys, the Nexus has way more superior hardware than even the iPhone 3GS... :-(

I agree that the android market has less apps in terms of numbers, but in terms of functionality it is close to be there to have what you need. It even has iFarted. Many major iphone-apps are being released to the market on a regular base, the last of them being Evernote. Also the growth-rate of the market outpaces the growth of the saturated app-store.

The main difference between android and iphone-os is that iphone-os is available on one handset manufactured and controlled by one producer, and software development for it sucks (C? I was not even born when C was invented, and I'm not a youngster) since the hardware-producer wants to control the software that runs on it's device. That's worse than Microsoft does!...

There may be a few more developers out there who already know how to code in Java versus those who already know C. And C may have older roots.

However, your characterization of development on the iPhone is a little off. Especially since many major developers have come right out and said it is not worth their while to consider developing for anything other than the iPhone, despite Apple's control. Not only that, the iPhone platform has by all accounts empowered every little guy with an idea who had the least inclination to try, to have a go at app development -- on the iPhone -- even if he never created another programme in his life. There may be grads coming out of schools who all had courses in java and platforms other than C; but I don't know that any of these others have been described as empowering or excited many newbies into just having a go at creating an app.

The main thing you are overlooking is that the iPhone model is directed at serving the user, not the app developer. If the developer likes that, he can get onboard and get developing. He has a few incentives, of course: the terms for subscription, submission and all the value he gets from the hosting and easy sales on iTunes are about the most favorable in the industry (heck, MS charges more per year, then per app submission, then per resubmission after rejection, and then per version for each phone configuration -- this is because the MS model is to make money off the developer and not the customer since it knows no customer wants the crap they supply).

Secondly, despite C's apparent age, the APIs supplied by Apple are state-of-the-art and ready for drag and drop deployment in moments. The focus is on getting a real useable, polished app out the door and onto the shelf so that Joe consumer can download it with a tap of his finger. Again, if the developer doesn't like this, but would rather pay more himself for the pleasure of being able to tinker around for ages as he hand writes every bit of his lame app so that he can have a uniquely ugly and awkward app, that is his business. But Apple provides the tools to quickly and easily come up with something that has predictable and familiar UI elements so that everyone's grandmother can use it and happily pay for it. Take a look at the UI's side by side sometime, and see how the flick of a finger makes an app on each platform respond, and then reevealuate your opinion about which platform is more future-proof.

The one App you mention by name, Evernote, is not a good example for you to use to make your case. Many apps like this have a special business model: they are free as phone apps and they are intended for use with the developer's website accounts, servers and desktop app for syncing (intending to draw subscription fees). They did not write an Android or other OS version of their app simply because they thought they could write a nicer app or give it any more functionality on another platform or something. They wrote it because they have customers already using their servers and desktop app who may be using all kinds of phones. That people use their service is not a testament to the java version of their phone app, but rather that people like the whole desktop to server to phone syncing setup.

I could almost guarantee that anyone who is really into Evernote and is a poweruser of that kind of app, will switch to an iPhone or iPod Touch the first chance they get. If such apps are a big part of their routine and they ever see how smoothly such apps operate on a friend's iPhone, they will be wanting one.
post #39 of 129
ok, if the pricing was comparable to other carriers, things would be different here. Still, the tight control kinda ruins the user experience, no freedom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

/yawn

I like the free iPhone I get on a plan in Australia luckily the iPhone isn't exclusive to AT&T.



Just FYI, this is only true for CDMA carriers with calls placed over 'the cell voice network' when no wifi is present. Fortunately, Android phones can make/receive VOIP calls over 3G without jailbreaking. Also, with Google Voice, inbound calls can be transferred without the other caller even knowing. Freedom...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


iDo let you use the Internet or check your email while on a call...

iDroid don't.
post #40 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

They need Android to put them in the right place relative to Microsoft to avoid Bing taking over in Search, and they need a strong enough platform to keep RIMM on their toes with exclusive search agreements. Same goes for having the "knighting power" on the carrier end, but they aren't anywhere near that position yet.

Google might be losing focus on Android though. I'm not so sure that they have the position they think they have on the hardware side, and once the easy prey are gone things might get harder...

One could argue, though, that they should focus on raising the floor - on the premise that anything that is good for the web is good for google - which is more inline with their original mission and broad multi-handset ecosystem approach (which is also inline with the other objectives you note), but which is unlikely to beat Apple/iPhone - OR focus on beating iPhone, which is more congruent with building their own device. Trying to do both simultaneously seems to be a recipe for a 1+1=<2 outcome, IMHO.
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