Originally Posted by mjtomlin
Google has already stated that they will offer other phones from other manufacturers in their e-store. This HTC phone is only the first.
Furthermore, Google has also made it clear that this is an HTC phone, not a Google branded phone. Let's also not forget that Google worked closely with Motorola and Verizon on the Droid; it was the first device to get Android 2.0 with its turn-by-turn navigation. This type of "favoritism" is going to happen with each new hardware / OS release.
Most people would consider this a Google device. Yes, HTC is identified as the maker but the Nexus brand is controlled by Google. It is a bit muddled but certainly Google marketing is behind the Nexus more than any previous device. While Google may offer devices from other makers in the future, nothing kept them from offering the Droid and the Eris and other Android phones there today.
Yeah, maybe Google did work with Verizon and Motorola on the Droid but typically one would expect the lifespan before a competing device is offered to be more than 2 months. It would not be an issue if it were simply a competitive device offered by HTC but this device is being heavily marketed by Google as their own offering. Google hosted the press conference. Free devices are being given to YouTube vloggers. There are links to the Nexus One all over Google's web properties. I mean you can't honestly say that Google is giving equal treatment to all devices on the Android platform can you?
Originally Posted by mjtomlin
All Google is really attempting to do is remove the carrier from the equation and offer a direct to consumer experience. By law, mobile carriers must allow any compatible device to run on their networks. Google is providing the phone and will also bundle service plans just as Best Buy and any other retailer does. This will give Google a way to control the platform better. This is more similar to the Windows desktop market, than it is to Microsoft's mobile platforms market, in which they have an incentive to give an advantage towards its own branded hardware versus any licensed competitors.
I don't really see the comparison to Windows desktop. It would only be that way if MSFT was selling their own brand of PC. They have wisely stayed out of that market.
In this case its not really like anything that has come before. Android is an open system. Nexus is controlled by Google. Only certain devices will get Nexus treatment we can assume and they will need to follow Google guidelines to get that treatment. I am not saying there is anything wrong with this but its not really the open, hands off, approach that many people imagined with the OHA and Android. So something has changed here. They must be very motivated to do this. Carriers can do what they want with Android, makers can go and do their thing to Android, and now Google is seeking to pull it in another direction. Ok. They can do that. It might all work out. It might be kind of a mess. We'll see.
I think it is less about carriers, everyone's knee-jerk villain. than it is about keeping their own control over the platform. I really think Google went into all this so that they could have more control over the mobile device and drive mobile search to Google. They later realized that once Android is in the wild they have no way to dictate that, for example, Google's search box is on top. That decision is made by the maker or the carrier or whoever downstream makes the call. Google might actually have found itself having to pay Motorola for prominence on the platform it defined. Or worse, Bing might be there in some cases. So the Nexus brand is the way to fix this. If you want Google's Nexus stamp, to sell in the Google store and Google marketing behind you, you have to play by the way Google wants the Android device packaged. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that but it just seems like a bit of a mess. Maybe this was their strategy all along but it feels a lot more iterative than that. It will really depend on how much the partners are willing to play ball or get annoyed. It's just not the open happy sandbox everyone was sold.