Google Talks Nexus Strategy Amid Nexus 4, Nexus 10 Launch
November 5, 2012 10:43 AM
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Google changes gears with branded products
Google Inc. (
over the smartphone market in
, even as it has
struggled with profitability
intellectual property concerns
But the taste of success in the mobile space has left Google hungry. Amid mostly
weak tablet efforts by OEMs
, Google has opted for a bold strategy that is
to Microsoft Corp.'s (
-- offering a compelling array of branded options, while continuing to offer OEMs opportunity to produce their own branded product by offering licensing opportunities.
the Nexus family grew
into a product trio -- a phone (4-inches), a mid-size tablet (7-inches), and a full-size tablet (10-inches).
I. The Product
Here's a quick recap of the changes/new stuff:
OEM partner: LG Electronics (
4.7-inch True HD IPS PLUS (1280x768 pixels)
1.5 GHz quad-core SnapDragon 4 by Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM)
: Adreno 320
8/16 GB (
8MP, AF, LED flash (rear); 1.3MP (front):
: HSPA+ (no LTE), 802.11 b/g/n
NFC, wireless charging, BlueTooth 4.0
Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean v2)
OEM partner: ASUSTek Computer Inc. (
7-inch Asus TruVivid (1280x800 pixels)
1.3 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 by NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA)
: 416 MHz 12-core GeForce ULP (NVIDIA)
1 GB DDR3L
16 GB ($199) or 32 GB ($249) (
: HSPA+ (no LTE) for +$50, 802.11 b/g/n, BlueTooth 3.0
Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean v1), upgrade to 4.2 this month
OEM partner: Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
10.1-inch PLS-backlit display (2560x1600 pixels)
1.7 GHz dual-core Cortex-A15
: Mali T-604 (ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM)
2 GB LPDDR3
16 GB ($399) or 32 GB ($499) (
5MP, AF, flash (rear)/1.9MP (front):
: 802.11 b/g/n, BlueTooth 3.0
Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean v2)
II. The Strategy
One week later, Google's John Lagerling, director of business development for Android, participated in a
special Q&A session
The New York Times
discussing the motivation for the expanded Nexus push.
He emphasizes the need for Android to get more aggressive in tablet pricing, calling the Nexus 7/10 price points "pretty revolutionary." Pricing was a key driver of Android smartphone adoption, and higher prices on Android tablets have been a key adoption deterrent, so this makes sense.
John Lagerling, Android business director [Image Source: Pocket]
He comments, "We did really well with the Nexus 7, I feel, because nobody really pushed the envelope with seven-inch in terms of price and performance. It really proved that category. We felt the 10-inch category was overpriced and underpowered, and we wanted to see what we could do for that from our perspective."
When it comes to subsidiary Motorola, he somewhat contradicts the
past commentary of
who said the acquisition wasn't just about patents, by commenting, "The way I understand it is, it’s mostly about the patents."
Asked about why Motorola was not included in this round of the Nexus lineup, he says that they have the chance to bid on each product just like the other Android partners without a featured product. When it comes to choosing OEMs he says the variety is "not so much fairness as it is to sort of work with partners who happen to be in good “phase match” with us in what we’re trying to do."
After a frustrating stall in the tablet market, Google, much like Microsoft, is finally seeing fresh life. Not content to take a second-seat
, Inc. (
, Inc. (
), Google is finally offering hot products at alluring prices.
Mr. Lagerling summarizes, "I'll admit we’re finally much more closer to our actual vision in the past year than we have ever been."
One key issue not touched upon in the discussion is a glaring weakness of the Android market when it comes to super-HD tablets like the Nexus 10 -- a
lack of super-HD-resolution apps
(Apple's own selection of "Retina" iPad apps, while far from the lower resolution selection, is industry leading). Apps, of course, follow a
Field of Dreams
"if you build it, they will come" sort of trend, but for early adopters a smaller catalog may create headaches for Nexus 10 owners.
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RE: Great summation
11/5/2012 9:38:14 PM
The problem is that you wouldn't know what a good tablet platform is.
You've convinced yourself that a 2011 Kindle Fire is a "good tablet" and you clearly have blinders when it comes to the hardware and software superiority of the iPad, so how would you even know what software optimized for that platform is like?
Not optimizing for a tablet is one of several reasons why a cross-platform developer will have the inferior version on Android (the rest comes down to lower sales, piracy, crap app markets, OS fragmentation, the usual).
RE: Great summation
11/6/2012 10:04:51 AM
Unlike you I don't need to base all my knowledge on personal experiences, or "people I know" (something you do WAY too often). By making this about me and whatever tablets you think I own, this only shows the weakness of your argument.
In your mind an app cannot possibly be "good" if it's resolution upscales. Forgetting the fact that iOS had many of these apps when the iPad3 came out not running in it's native res, of course. Pretty sure not ALL iOS apps run in the iPad native res today. And you still herald it as the best "ecosystem". Again, double standard.
You're a known Apple homer here, and everything you say reflects that, TonyYourPoints.
RE: Great summation
11/6/2012 4:03:37 PM
This isn't about native res, this is about arrangement of the UI to be better suited for a big 10" screen (ie - multiple panes instead of a single column).
There is a huge difference between optimizing an app layout between a smartphone and tablet, and I think Google is doing a disservice to their platform by not incentivizing developers to properly format their UIs for a tablet. The result will be continued inferior apps, which in turn will be a hindrance to people buying them since the better apps will be on other platforms.
And yes, these stories from developers corroborate wide statistics. Bury your head in the sand, it doesn't change reality.
I just said "Google needs to encourage developers to make better tablet apps", and you're basically saying that people can be happy with something second rate because it isn't a problem.
I'm giving real constructive criticism and you're saying that a bad policy is perfectly acceptable. Why do you actively want your platform to be inferior?
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