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Google Nexus One  (Source: Google)
Torvalds says the Nexus One is the first phone he doesn't "hate"

There's plenty of attractive smart phones -- the iPhone, Blackberries, Droid, and the G1 Phone -- but none of them satisfied Linus Torvalds, the famous computer programmer who initiated the kernel development of the Linux operating system and remains its chief kernel architect.  He describes, "I generally hate phones - they are irritating and disturb you as you work or read or whatever - and a cellphone to me is just an opportunity to be irritated wherever you are."

However, Mr. Torvalds has finally found a phone he can truly embrace -- Google's Nexus One.  Mr. Torvalds, who formally owned a G1 phone and a China-only Motorola Linux phone, writes in his blog:

But I have to admit, the Nexus One is a winner. I wasn't enthusiastic about buying a phone on the internet sight unseen, but the day it was reported that it finally had the pinch-to-zoom thing enabled, I decided to take the plunge. I've wanted to have a GPS unit for my car anyway, and I thought that google navigation might finally make a phone useful.

And it does. What a difference! I no longer feel like I'm dragging a phone with me "just in case" I would need to get in touch with somebody - now I'm having a useful (and admittedly pretty good-looking) gadget instead. The fact that you can use it as a phone too is kind of secondary. 

Many do not know it, but Google's mobile phone operating system Android uses a modified Linux kernel.  While not everyone will appreciate Mr. Torvalds' sentiment, it's high praise for the father of Linux to personally endorse the new phone.

Google has yet to release sales figures for its new smartphone, which it is offering online only.  In January it is estimated that Google only sold 80,000 Nexus One units -- a rather disappointing launch when compared to the 600,000 units Apple's iPhone moved in its original launch month back in 2007 (most of those sales occurred within three days).  The sales estimates come courtesy of Flurry Inc., an analytics group.



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Maybe
By MrFluffo on 2/8/2010 4:49:19 PM , Rating: 5
Maybe because you could only get it with a contract through TMobile and have to be on your own account or pay full price for it. I would have upgraded my phone in an instant with TMobile had i been able to keep my family plan.




RE: Maybe
By killerroach on 2/8/2010 5:11:25 PM , Rating: 5
That being said, their plans are cheaper if you pay full price for your phone (by $20 a month). Over two years, you're coming out significantly ahead (it's what I did to get mine; pay up front and enjoy a cheaper overall plan rate).

Shame that it allegedly isn't catching on, as the device is phenomenal. But, then again, it is more of a "geek chic" sort of item... when I first got a first-gen iPod Touch, everybody who saw me with it asked me about it, what it was like, etc.... with the Nexus One, the geeks in my circle of friends are all drooling over it, while my less tech-savvy friends are like "nope, don't care."

Guess branding is more important to some people than functionality.


RE: Maybe
By Jeffk464 on 2/8/2010 6:05:48 PM , Rating: 2
Not me, I want the geek stamp of approval.


RE: Maybe
By GoodRevrnd on 2/8/2010 6:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
You only save $10 per month with the no contract. That's $240 over the course of the contract, which is less than the $350 savings for a new contract on Tmobile w/ the Nexus, and still $10 less than the $250 savings with an upgrade.


RE: Maybe
By GoodRevrnd on 2/8/2010 6:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
Or maybe not, looks like they changed the pricing structures a bit and there's no $40 1000 plan and $35 Web/Text.


RE: Maybe
By PrezWeezy on 2/8/2010 8:55:44 PM , Rating: 2
More than likely it's because it's not original. The iPod touch was kind of unique, many people hadn't seen full touch screen devices yet. Today it's old news and everyone either has one or knows someone with one.


RE: Maybe
By omnicronx on 2/8/10, Rating: 0
RE: Maybe
By mcnabney on 2/9/2010 10:06:56 AM , Rating: 2
You are exactly right. The Nexus made the same mistake as Palm. They put their premier device on a small carrier with an inferior network that competes on price. At least Apple was smart enough to go to AT&T when Verizon turned them down. The Nexus is essentially the Droid in a slimmer case without a keyboard and with 2.1. The newer OS will eventually be pushed to the Droid, so they are essentially the same phone with a different body. It will sell a lot better on Verizon when it arrives next month.


RE: Maybe
By PrezWeezy on 2/9/2010 2:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say they were a fad. What I said was that full touch screen devices weren't common 2 years ago. Today, they are. No one is jumping to look at what that guy (the person who I replied to) has in his pocket anymore. I didn't say anything about it being a fad or that they weren't stylish or useful or on a good or bad carrier. I simply stated that people have seen them, the novelty has worn off and they are functional devices instead of the newest toy that no one has seen.

You may now sit in the corner for being too quick to get upset.


RE: Maybe
By omnicronx on 2/9/2010 2:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yes you basically did imply it was a fad. Either way you are wrong, people are still buying up iPhones like no tomorrow. i.e the novelty obviously has not worn off..


RE: Maybe
By PrezWeezy on 2/10/2010 1:34:55 PM , Rating: 2
I did not imply that, and I didn't imply that people aren't buying them up. I said that no one wants to sit and look at the one I use every time I pull it out anymore. Stop being a douchewaffle and looking for people who say anything that's less than absolute praise about the iPhone.


RE: Maybe
By yomamafor1 on 2/8/2010 11:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
Or that Google spent minimal amount of resources in promoting it. I sit in front of the internet all day reading through tech news, and even I don't know what kind of capabilities Nexus One offers over other phones. With the iPhone and Apple's marketing, people can easily understand the appeal of it.


High praise?
By Suntan on 2/8/2010 4:35:11 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
it's high praise for the father of Linux to personally endorse the new phone.


Not really.

Cell phone usage is such a varied and personal thing, quite frankly I don’t care what anyone thinks about any of the phones out there. Because they aren’t going to be interested in the same things I am.

You may see high praise, I see a dude who is probably a bit of a shut-in and probably likes it more for the underlying kernel that it runs on than he does because you can actually talk to other human beings with it.

-Suntan




RE: High praise?
By rcc on 2/8/2010 5:19:01 PM , Rating: 3
Ditto, looks like an advertising ploy to me.

"Hey, sales aren't what we hoped. Let's get an endorsement"

That said, I'll be looking at this phone once the kinks are ironed out. But if I get it, it will be because it meets my needs better than anything else, not because someone I don't know says it's cool.


RE: High praise?
By Sivar on 2/8/2010 9:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
Linus isn't exactly the kind of guy to do a covert corporate endorsement.


RE: High praise?
By Clairvoyance on 2/9/2010 12:38:37 AM , Rating: 3
I'm Linus Torvalds, and this is my favorite phone on the Citadel.


RE: High praise?
By FlyTexas on 2/9/2010 2:22:11 AM , Rating: 2
+6

Damm, that was funny...


RE: High praise?
By omnicronx on 2/8/2010 11:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
If the world were as rational as your statements there would not be endorsements. Alas the world is not and some fool will buy this phone just because it was endorsed by Mr Linux himself. (I'm not knocking the phone, I want one, but because its crazy powerful not because it was endorsed by Linus)


RE: High praise?
By callmeroy on 2/9/2010 1:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more with Suntan on this one.

I don't give a rat's arse who endorse a cell phone -- I like what I like....which of course means I don't like what I don't like as well..

(actually come to think of it I'm pretty much someone who doesn't care who endorses "whatever" item....unless there's reason to take someone's advice -- IE...stuff for your car -- ok I'll listen a bit to what a mechanic has to say, medicine..ok what does my doctor say about it, etc. but normal things -- no actor/well known pop figure..don't care what they say)


Nokia N900
By Freddo on 2/8/2010 5:37:29 PM , Rating: 5
He should have tried a Nokia N900 instead. The GPS navigation there is absolutely free and doesn't involve any data traffic at all. And it uses Linux too and is more open to the user who can do whatever they want with the device and not limited in any way.




RE: Nokia N900
By Jeffk464 on 2/8/2010 6:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
You think apps written for the driod OS will run on the nokia?


RE: Nokia N900
By sprockkets on 2/8/2010 6:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Phone functionality is more of an after thought on it. That and its resistive screen is retarded.

The Nexus one has plenty of third party firmwares you can get for it too. No jailbreaking necessary.


RE: Nokia N900
By omnicronx on 2/8/2010 11:34:39 PM , Rating: 4
Snapdragon 1ghz vs cortex a8 600mhz.. 3.7 inch screen vs 3.5 inch screen.. capacitive touch screen vs resistive touch screen.. AMOLED vs LED..

These are reasons to buy one phone over the other, not the GPS software that comes with it.

If I was sure there would be no 3g issues, I would buy one in a second, the N900 is not even in the same league. Well unless the GPS software that comes with your phone is the main concern.


Torvalds comes off as an old man
By Yawgm0th on 2/8/2010 5:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"I generally hate phones - they are irritating and disturb you as you work or read or whatever


"I hate these new-fangled gadgets! In my day, we used smoke signals and carrier pigeons to communicate." /old man voice

The man who wrote the original Linux kernel should not be this way. I actually can agree with him to the extent that I dislike talking on the phone, but saying "I hate phones" sort of eliminates any value your opinion on phones has.




RE: Torvalds comes off as an old man
By BansheeX on 2/8/2010 9:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
I can't imagine Torvalds is as smart as people make him out to be. Linux could have become a viable gaming platform years ago, but sputters endlessly because it does not see sound/video/input as needing the same authoritative standardization as the kernel itself. As a result, there remains a lot of redundant work in writing software for "it" and "it" lacks a marketable identity. An official distro would go a long way to improving this problem.


By Sunner on 2/9/2010 1:16:26 AM , Rating: 1
I don't know how smart Linus is, but your comment certainly shows that you don't understand the motives behind Linux. Did it ever occur to you that Linux lacks the things you mentioned because Linus doesn't WANT there to be an "official" distribution, nor cares about market share on gaming computers?
You might as well complain that Volvo makes shitty cars because they aren't represented in Formula 1.


Formally?
By 3ntreri on 2/8/2010 5:15:01 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Mr. Torvalds, who formally owned a G1 phone and a China-only Motorola Linux phone...


What, did he dress it up in a suit? Or did you mean formerly?




RE: Formally?
By Diesel Donkey on 2/9/2010 12:46:02 AM , Rating: 2
I took it to mean that he publicly said he owned those two phones and kept other phones he had to himself, but you're probably right.


80,000 + 1
By cwilson on 2/8/2010 4:41:26 PM , Rating: 2
In for 1, as for Mr. Torvalds... I'd say he's probably the strangest dumb smart guy ever. He isn't newsworthy in this case.




I LOVE mine
By descendency on 2/9/2010 1:05:20 AM , Rating: 2
One of the best phones I've ever owned. my only gripes so far are the recessed head phone jack (causes problems for headphones other than the ones packaged) when hit and the lack of a multi-touch keyboard... That's a DUH to me.




Yet another might have been.
By cmdrdredd on 2/8/10, Rating: -1
RE: Yet another might have been.
By BZDTemp on 2/8/2010 4:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
As far as it being a phone then the Nexus One is a iPhone competitor but so is a Nokia 3310.

I know many thing the iPhone is a geeky thing but it really is not while the Nexus is. Google is building their place in the market by going for the really hard core gadget people which is very different from Apple so of course the sales figures are lower.

Once the geek army get in stride with the google phone then it is another thing. The magic of a open platform combined with the backing of google plus the power of free thinking programmers is gonna make this a hot item down the line - even for the average consumer!


RE: Yet another might have been.
By kmmatney on 2/8/2010 5:22:05 PM , Rating: 1
The iPhone can get geeky pretty fast if you jailbreak it.


RE: Yet another might have been.
By Jeffk464 on 2/8/2010 6:03:12 PM , Rating: 1
Yup, I agree with you 100%. An open platform backed by google can't help but end up being the best platform for consumers. Any manufacturer can make a phone based on this OS, anybody can write apps for this OS, it can't help but be a winner. Sign me up, I want one.


RE: Yet another might have been.
By porkpie on 2/8/2010 6:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
"The magic of a open platform combined with the backing of google plus the power of free thinking programmers is gonna make this a hot item down the line - even for the average consumer! "

I heard the same thing about Linux 15 years ago. Stil waiting for it to be a hot item for "the average consumer".

Its just not going to happen...and if it ever did become a consumer success, the "army of free thinking geek programmers" would then disdain it and move on to some other fringe frontier.


RE: Yet another might have been.
By Jeffk464 on 2/8/2010 7:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
Google is working on linux based OS's for netbooks. If google ends up spending money developing and pushing linux your wait might be over.


RE: Yet another might have been.
By BZDTemp on 2/9/2010 4:11:37 AM , Rating: 1
I see your point but there is one think different here. For Linux to become a consumer succes, apart from it already being in lots of gizmos, it had to beat Windows and OS X. With phones it is a different scenario because most users have not yet moved to a smartphone - in other words it is a more even playingfield.

Being an open playingfield still no question it is not gonna be forever and we can easily see it become a fragmented playingfield instead. There is iPhones OS, Windows mobile (yuck), Android, Symbian, and a few others and winning market shares is largely done by winning shares in the expanding market.

As for moving on. Yes, that will happend but there has to be something to move on to.


RE: Yet another might have been.
By Storkme on 2/8/2010 5:36:39 PM , Rating: 3
Shrugs. I'll agree that it doesn't have the universal 'fun' appeal that the iphone does, but with better spec and a (comparatively) open platform it's a tinkerers dream phone.

So it might not be the iphone killer some people expected it to be but it certainly has its niche.


By damianrobertjones on 2/8/2010 5:38:27 PM , Rating: 3
..and the more people that buy, the more that people will start to inistall absolute rubbish that trashes the phone.

Welcome to the Windows world :)


RE: Yet another might have been.
By damianrobertjones on 2/8/2010 5:37:36 PM , Rating: 3
Funny that. My girlfriend wanted an iPhone and despite my obvious dislike of anything Apple (for calling all pc users sad etc), she went ahead and jumped all over it.

Before the iPhone she'd been using a Samsung Omnia i900, a HTC Touch Pro and looked at my Toshiba TG01 (I now have the HD2).

Four weeks later, she hates the texting, gets annoyed with iTunes as she 'has' to sync with it instead of just damn well moving the files onto the Samsung and doesn't think much of the UI.

Funny that. The odd thing is, she's the FIRST person I know that has actually admitted that it has faults. I respect that.


RE: Yet another might have been.
By melgross on 2/9/2010 2:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that you've already admitted that you dislike anything Apple, your entire post has to be looked at as being questionable.


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