Posted December 14, 2009 9:02 am by with 10 comments

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Google is the master of creating demand, and it started with a single tweet:

Since then, technology and gadget bloggers have been in a frenzy not seen by me since the iPhone was first announced. I’m not about to get into the many details of Google’s Nexus One phone–I’m going to take a different angle, below–but you can read all about the unlocked Android phone, here, here, and here. Oh, and here’s what it looks like:

So, what’s my take on this?

The media frenzy!

OMG! I don’t know how much Motorola and Verizon spent trying to hype up the launch of the recent Droid phone, but that publicity doesn’t compare to what Google has accomplished over the weekend.

How smart was Google? It handed out free phones to Google employees, either didn’t tell them to keep quiet about it, or actively encouraged the discussions, and let the details slowly leak out. All weekend long, I’ve seen post, after article, after post hit the web. Right about now, everyone that doesn’t own an iPhone is currently drooling over becoming a Google Nexus owner–and there are probably a few iPhone owners feeling the same way too!

Perhaps Google has realized that it’s just not that good at artificially creating excitement with its own advertising. The company became the world’s #1 search engine via word of mouth. Could it own the world’s #1 cell phone the same way?

  • NQ Logic

    Google is moving down in the stack to challenge B2C opponents with an open architecture and new sets of standards. In creating a post-revenue business model, Google can only manage success if consumers accept a co-branding and outsourced manufactured device …

  • Hi Andy

    Nice view point. I find it funny though. All this fight over a transision marketplace.

    Lets look 5 years out. Every smart phone will be able to do what the iPhone does or what Nexus One does. These devices are now undergoing the long, minor innovation cycle. A cycle that allows everyone else to catch up. We’ll all be buying smart phones like we would buy a regular cell phone today. One that looks nice and has a new cool feature.

    These devices are just the first wave of constant connection to the cloud. With dependable constant connnections, apps don’t even have to be on the device. When processing does not happen locally, it all comes down to user interface. I am willing to say here that a personal device like the iPhone will not be our interface of choice. I have seen some great video on about user interfaces. One turns any hard surface into a video screen. You can select and move objects with your fingers. It is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Now you tell me, would you rather carry a device or be the device.

    I know there is money to be made and the free advertising is great but I expect something more than a copy cat device from Google. Maybe they aren’t as forward thinking as we give them credit.

    • Maybe you’re not giving enough credit to the brand name. Is the iPhone really the most technologically advanced phone, probably not, but we all love the brand. The same with Google. It doesn’t have to have the best phone, just one with its brand on it! 😉

  • Andy, I agree with you from a marketing hype perspective, but the timing of all of this is curious, though. Droid just launched, and both Verizon and Motorola have made a pretty significant bet on Android.

    To have the Google phone drop smack in the middle of Christmas buying season, certainly risks customers holding off on Droid, and waiting to see what Google will come out with for Verizon. Needless to say, the risk of that scenario playing out can’t make either Verizon or Motorola too happy right now.

    More to the point, when you position yourself as a platform for handset makers and carriers, and then turn tail and compete with them so early in the ecosystem seeding process, that has to be a wake up call that maybe the enemy of my enemy (Apple) is not my friend after all.

    The reasoning that Google may feel that they need to put destiny into their own hands RIGHT NOW is something that I blogged about in:

    Android’s ‘Inevitability’ and the Missing Leg

    Check it out, if interested.


  • was really hoping for a completely new piece of hardware from google (i.e. not built by anyone other than google).

  • James

    This phone looks to be very exciting and interesting! It is going to be very interesting to see how Google flips the whole wireless industry on its side. There is already a forum setup to discuss all the goodness that is this phone… http:///

  • Richard

    According to the ‘released’ specs the Nexus One will only work on T-Mobile and AT&T (but not on their 3G network) so Verizon has their Droid and Sprint has their Hero and now T-Mobile will have their nice Android device as well.

    The phone is made by HTC (who also made the G1 for T-Mobile) so I’m not really sure about it being a real ‘google’ phone but am hyped for it regardless since it’s so much better than what’s out there for us T-Mo users anyway.

    I’m sure in 6 months or less another company like Motorola or Samsung will come out with something else for Verizon and Sprint that will make the Nexus One look like a child’s toy so in the end it doesn’t really matter… that’s technology.

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  • Google are always going to be the number one company at creating hype. Especially hype amoung the customer base they’re looking for, which is the internet, as it’s a web orientated phone, and let’s face it, they basically OWN the internet! You want to search for something, you google it. Your webpage not doing well? Get up in the Google SERPS and you’re well away. It’s just the biggest search gateway to the internet, it was only a matter of time untill they brought the biggest piece of hardware to let you access it too. It’s marketing genious. I just hope that when it’s launched in the UK it lives up to all the hype.