Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
Google released a bunch of videos yesterday showing off the best features of the upcoming Galaxy Nexus and Android Ice Cream Sandwich.As an added bonus they give us a look at the Verizon LTE model that is due to hit the U.S. later this month.
But after watching the videos, I noticed something really disturbing. Verizon appears to be forcing bloatware like My Verizon Mobile and Verizon Backup Assistant onto the Galaxy Nexus.
That’s awful. The beauty of Google’s Nexus phones is that they’re supposed to be pure Android. No bloatware, crapware, skins, or any other add-ons from carriers or manufactures. Just Android.
It’s the same approach Apple takes with the iPhone and it’s one of the biggest advantages iOS has over most Android phones.
You don’t have to do much guessing to figure out what’s going on here. As of this writing, we still don’t have a release date from Verizon, Samsung, or Google for the Galaxy Nexus. From what I’ve heard, the phone is ready to go, but Verizon is dragging its feet. Meanwhile the U.K. and a few others got the Galaxy Nexus yesterday.
Part of it has to do with pricing. Have you noticed how a lot of the LTE phones on Verizon cost $300 now? That’s because the carrier has to eat a lot of the phone’s cost up front in order to get you on a two-year contract that pays for the rest of the phone over time.
If Samsung and Google want the Galaxy Nexus to succeed against the iPhone (which starts at $200), it needs to be competitive on price too. On the other hand, Verizon doesn’t want to risk losing a ton of money if the phone doesn’t sell well. You can bet Verizon, Samsung, and Google are going back and forth on cost.
Next comes carrier testing. Carriers have to make sure everything from data to voice to overall experience with the OS are up to par with what they think their customers need. In this case, it looks like that includes loading Verizon’s proprietary apps to the Galaxy Nexus.
Unfortunately, carriers have manufacturers by the balls when it comes to a phone release. If Verizon isn’t happy with a phone’s price or other features, it doesn’t go on sale.
For users, this is rarely a problem. But this time around, Verizon is ruining the best part of Google’s Nexus phones by adding its own apps to the phone. Granted, there are only two Verizon apps on the Galaxy Nexus, but it’s a slippery slope. If this trend continues with Google’s Nexus phones, the experience will be ruined.
One silver lining: Even though the video shows Verizon apps on the Galaxy Nexus, that doesn’t guarantee it’ll ship that way. There’s still a possibility the phone will be bloatware free. I hope so.
UPDATE: I tried asking Verizon if it could confirm it would pre-load apps to the Galaxy Nexus as shown in the official videos from Google. A company rep declined to comment until an official release date is announced.