Remember back when Google launched the Nexus One SmartPhone and told us we should expect to see “their” phone on every major phone network? I commented at the time that the Google Phone looked like way less business change than Google wanted us to believe they were creating, and later told you that Google’s fragmentation of the Android Operating System might kill phones they were less attached to, like the Verizon Droid.
Now it looks like the entire Google Phone movement and creating the Nexus One was nothing more than a red herring to get carriers to develop Android devices.
Any phone running Android is a “Google Phone”. Google launched the Nexus One amidst much anticipation and with great fanfare, showed us a road map for a time when we’d be able to buy phones and take them to any carrier, telling us they were changing the entire phone business, selling the Nexus One using a business model that made no sense and charging incredibly high Early Termination Fees.
And three months later they want people to buy a non-Google-branded-or-distributed phone that is very much like the Nexus One from the one US carrier that could never use the Nexus One.
But Android is now huge.
Looks like Google never really meant to be in or change the phone business, other than to promote Android.
Google lied. It’s the kind of thing that happens every day in business, and as “don’t be evil” is no longer an official Google slogan there’s not even a joke to append here; Google has become the evil empire.
I’m off to use my Google Docs account now . . .
FOLLOWUP May 14 2010:
It’s official. The Nexus One is dead, and Google is shutting down their phone store