Yesterday, I posted Google, The Vampire in which this revelation appeared:
This is going to sound really cynical, but the only thing that really matters is how many of these we ship – how many Android phones.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
The more I thought about that in the time since, the more it bothered me. What’s basically being said there is this:
1) This is a numbers racket we’re running
2) We don’t give a damn about the end user, they’re suckers
And then today while doing another post, I tripped across an earlier one of mine with a quote that put it all into perspective for me:
You see, that palpable fear I associate with Microsoft products is the fear that no one company is truly accountable for the Microsoft experience.
This is exactly what we’ve been seeing with Android too. And apparently, as we see from the first quote, Google really doesn’t give one damn about that.
The only company out there that seems to understand people just want a product that works and is as friction-free as possible is Apple.
Android is totally untenable as an ongoing competitor as long as more than one company uses it.
Think about it.
We’ve already seen this happen with Windows Mobile. How Microsoft pushes out an upgrade and then leaves it up to its licensees to decide whether or not they will offer it. The licensees in turn pass the buck, saying a carrier must request it. The carrier passes the buck by claiming only the “tech nuts” want it.
And so no one winds up with any improvement.
Look at what’s happening with Android today on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. There’s the risk of YouTube disappearing. To get the Google Experience requires a hack.
Are people going to want to put up with that?
The Camangi WebStation had to set up its own marketplace too, since its flavor of Google does not have the Google Experience.
These two — and other — vendors will use the open source Android, further muddying the waters of what “is” and “isn’t” actually Android.
Could you imagine anyone in their right minds wanting to step into that swamp?
And what does Google itself have to say about OS upgrades?
Whatever the case, DiBona defends Google’s decision to give some partners access to new code before others – and to let them offer their own UI.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Doesn’t this sound just like Windows Mobile’s OS upgrade debacle?
In fact, it’s worse — because hardware manufacturers are now slapping their own lipstick on this pig: HTC’s Sense, Motorola’s shade of pixelry, and who knows what other suckers are in the pipeline? This wasn’t originally permitted with Windows Mobile. Adding that layer of lipstick means further delaying OS upgrades to customers because the manufacturer must first upgrade its lipstick!
What’s the effect to the true customer — average people like you and me who just want something that works?
We have to pay attention to what software works with which version of Android.
This is nuts.
No one is going to put up with that for long.
Just yesterday I had to look up AlphaSmart. They offer a very basic writer’s tool for the bargain price of US$169.00. I was intrigued. Then I had a look at their download page and that US$169.00 was no longer any kind of bargain — it was work! No possible sale from me!
And that’s going to happen with current Android owners too.
At some point their initial joy is going to turn into effort — into work.
As I quoted from a review of the Motorola Milestone (aka Droid):
I don’t consider it to be a consumer’s primary task to fix a flawed smart phone OS
What about having to fix a flawed smartphone OS that’s been poured into a mini-tablet?
People will not put up with that.
The overarching principle here too is that Google is not to be trusted as a partner.
But why should this be news? I revealed Google’s strategy back in 2008 — Google Uses The iPhone As An Android Testbed
Now we see Apple looking to evict Google Maps from the iPhone. Apple understands it’s being used as a testbed by Google and will always be offered less than what is offered to Android.
It took Apple two years to wake up.
In the next two years, everyone else — Android licensees, Android open source device manufacturers, and Android customers — will wake up.
Google will pull Android back into the GooglePlex and Google will be the sole source of all Android devices.
They will mask it under the guise of offering a “consistent experience.”
In plain language: Gotcha, suckers!
Like Apple, all of you are nothing more than another Google testbed.
Any company that’s betting its future on Android has already lost that bet.
You didn’t enter into a contract.
You agreed to a suicide pact.
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Another great piece of analytical work and keep it up.
Yes, that is absolutely true. All of it. Phones are one place where vertical markets are better than horizontal markets.
Take a developers point of view. he wants to use the Maps API on the iPhone. Its new in OS 3.0. So off he goes, knowing that nearly all iPhone developers will have OS 3.0 installed, and most iPod touch owners.
On Android he has to know who is releasing what. Androidn 5.0 will have features which are not used by any carrier – the decoupling of the OS from the device is sucidal. In fact he cant be sure that even Android 3.0, or 2.0 is being used very much ( without doing osme research) , nor can he know exactly the size or form of the device he is targetting. The OS is not coupled to a device.
And Android devices can be touchscreen or not, have keyboards or not, and can adjust to landscape or portrait, or not. A keyboard device will be permanently landscape.
The generic simulator for the android, in fact, looks nothing like any machine out there.
Added to that the fact that the IDE is slow, and Eclipse is bad. Not worth it. There is a reason there are so many apps on the iPhone
I’ll just keep on enjoying and upgrading my iPhone.
Android is a mess. It will stay a mess.
I have been saying for months that the Nexus is the same as the Zune. Compete against your partners and soon you will be alone and unpopular.
Ho! That’s a great line!
I will give you credit when you say that it’s a big ol’ test bed; that much is true. But to expect an underpowered phone to run a higher version of an O/S is just DUMB. What do Apple customers chase? New hardware, with O/S tweaks. Is that better than buying a (eventually underpowered) phone and expecting to be using it for the longterm, and the ability to upgrade full O/S?
“The only company out there that seems to understand people just want a product that works and is as friction-free as possible is Apple” = read = so easy a 5 year old can use it.
To view Google’s Android as a static venture, would be foolish, and with that people have to understand that cellphones area ALREADY becoming obsolete faster and faster. To complain about “Fragmentation” in Android’s development is like complaining about having so many choices in life; what kind of car do I want, what kind of toothpaste do I prefer, etc.
You could always argue from Apple’s standpoint: “What kind of iphone do I want? A NEW ONE!”
Wow, where do I begin when confronted by such non-thinking?
>>>But to expect an underpowered phone to run a higher version of an O/S is just DUMB.
>>>Apple” = read = so easy a 5 year old can use it.
No. So easy that *people who want to DO things in real life* can use it.
>>>cellphones area ALREADY becoming obsolete faster and faster.
See iPhone. Again.
>>>To complain about “Fragmentation” in Android’s development is like complaining about having so many choices in life; what kind of car do I want, what kind of toothpaste do I prefer, etc.
Wow. Just wow. Cars are standardized on the things that matter. You don’t need to upgrade your teeth when switching toothpaste.
Nice try, though. Actually, not at all. FAIL.
Nice inspiring blog, dude. I enjoy your posting. I am about to create blog about mobile phones, too.
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