The day Google Nexus One came out, my co-workers were looking at the features and thinking to themselves, “When is this going to come to Singapore?”. While it didn’t take long for people to start complaining about the confusion and frustration created by the weird relationship between Google, the handset-maker HTC and the mobile operators.
Perhaps the somewhat disturbing problem is that Google have started becoming somewhat ‘evil’; The Economist reported on how they were telling everyone they weren’t intent on having their own phone but eventually came up with this awesome one. Google’s model for developing the phone is typical of course, using an open source mobile phone operating system, contracting the hardware development to an experienced handset manufacturer in an emerging economy with loads of hi-tech industries (in other words, Taiwan).
This contrasts starkly with the Apple model of production, which involves enclosed development. Perhaps this war of phones and wider consumer electronics will demonstrate which model of development would prevail in long run. I tend to think Google’s strategy is more robust but Apple should be able to hold out for quite some time still. Being a Mac user, I’ve confidence in Apple’s ability to churn out products that they would eventually manage to market to the mass market and aid consumers to love them. Google might want to spruce up their ability to do just that.