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 11:13:33 PM
The problem is Android/iOS/WP8 dev's can't design their apps to be multi-res because of the size restrictions. If they were to include a collection of icons/symbols/etc that had most of the common resolutions in them, the apps would be huge. If they were to implement code for hardware scaling of application graphics, the apps would still be huge (we're talking a lot of code) and the quality might be unpredictable.
Windows RT has it made because in Windows 8, the app size restriction isn virtually non-existant; the only resolution requirement is for the tile animations/data. The app itself scales to whatever the resolution is natively.
Where all of this is simplified is gaming. Games scale to any resolution pretty well (the "mis"-scaling isn't as noticable as with a graphics or data entry app.)
Either way, resolutions need to be standardized for other reasons than just apps.
RE: Great summation
11/6/2012 4:06:43 PM
I feel like many people here are missing the point.
This is less about resolution and more about optimizing the UI for a larger display size. This is about UI layout first and foremost.
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