Google’s forthcoming GPhone is critical to helping Google unlock the dreamy $50 billion market for mobile advertising that Eric Schmidt keeps talking about. It’s critical to proving that Google can be successful at something besides search. It’s critical to re-inflating Google’s droopy stock price. And it’s finally almost here!
Are critics and analysts waiting breathless on the edge of their seats? No, says the FT’s Richard Waters. Why? Because they’ve already panned it.
When the first of Google’s long-anticipated Android mobile phones hit the stores in a matter of weeks, they will land with a fizzle rather than a bang.
That is the overwhelming verdict of internet developers and mobile industry executives who have closely followed Google’s progress and, in some cases, worked with early versions…
For Google, comparisons with Apple are turning out to be both inevitable and damning. If the iPhone has been a text-book case of how to develop and market a new consumer electronics product, Android is the opposite, according to industry experts. “It ain’t no iPhone,” said John Jackson, an analyst at Yankee Group, echoing a widely held view.
Disparagement of Android has touched on everything from an alleged lack of sophistication and stability in the software, to the fact that successful devices such as the iPhone and the BlackBerry are based on a different technology model. “The best experiences out there today are ‘vertical’ experiences, where the hardware and software come from the same company,” said Tom Conrad, chief technology officer of Pandora, whose internet music service is one of the most popular applications on the iPhone.
More important, according to some critics, has been Google’s lack of clear consumer focus, in marked contrast to Apple, whose iPhone was designed and marketed to meet very specific needs.
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