How will Google’s Android Nexus S smartphone fair? Phones bearing Google’s Android OS continue to gain steam in the marketplace. I see lots of users who probably would have liked an iPhone but have Android phones instead, and seem just as happy with them. A Best Buy email ad just popped into my inbox promoting Google’s own smartphone, the Android Nexus S on T-Mobile. Sales began last Thursday, December 16, and the phone is selling for $199 with a 2 year plan (or $529 with no plan) and is running the latest Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread version. Sales in the UK begin tomorrow.
I don’t own any Android devices…yet…and I haven’t really spent much time on an Android device to really know how well it stacks up to Apple’s IOS 4. But I do have a Samsung Galaxy table coming soon which will close my Android OS experience gap rather quickly. I don’t have plans to move off my iPad anytime soon but if Android proves to be more effective in a business and IT setting, that would be pretty compelling.
Time will tell whether the Nexus S is a better phone than HTC, Motorola and others make. If there’s one potential advantage it’s that the Nexus S may have less (or next to none) bloatware vs. what other manufactures load on. We’ll see on all counts.
Nokia’s made a very strategic move by announcing their acquisition of Navteq, supplier to over half the markets street and satellite mapping information. Rand McNally, GPSs (personal and automobiles), online mapping services like Google Maps and Yahoo Maps, personal computers, PDAs, and phone manufactures are just a few of their customers. Navteq owns more market share and is considered to have a duopoly with TeleAtlas, their nearest competitor.
As both a competitor to other phone manufactures and keeper of key mapping data, Nokia is holding onto some very valuable information and could also move into markets to compete with Garmin and other GPS products. It’s a surprise Google, Microsoft of some other cash-rich tech-savvy company didn’t buy them up before this, though $8.1B is nothing to sneeze at. Sramana Mitra called attention to this one earlier (here and here). Navteq’s been around for a while (since 1985) and became much more visible when the went public. You didn’t have to re-read Megatrends to figure out the GPS and map information is the current and future currency of mobile computing, especially as hardware, software and services become geo-aware.
Looks like Nokia played this one right and snatched Navteq up before someone else did. There has to be a lot of eyes on TeleAtlas now.
It’s rumored that Goggle may announce a new Linux-based phone operating system after Labor Day. As a web 2.0 user and enthusiast I say "wonderful" on several accounts. First, any opportunity for someone to enter the scene and put Windows Mobile Smartphone (what runs on my Motorola Q) to a quick death would get my vote. Even a swift kick might be helpful.
I’ve had Windows Mobile on two phone platforms and nothing could be more painful to endure; the phone reboots itself several times a week, hot keys suddenly go on a Microsoft veteran sabbatical, and I still haven’t figured out how to do a simple 3-way call. I live for the day Verizon carries a viable alternative, like the current Blackberry Pearl. Could a Googlephone be in Verizon’s future? That would be a blessing.
What’s even more exciting about a possible Googlephone is having an open mobile platform in which applications can truly be integrated and interoperate with network web 2.0 apps. Maybe then I could do a 3-way call too. I know, I know – all the iPhone-ers will say get an iPhone but compromising on call quality with Cingular/ATT’s network, and paying the $200 drop charge plus $600 for the phone doesn’t exactly fit into the empty-nester / 2 kids in college gadget budget.
Go Googlephone. I’m excited to see what they have.