Having been found wanting by consumers expecting a little more support than email and a user to user forum, it seems the search engine giant has realised expecting potential buyers to stump up several hundred quid for a phone they’ve not had the chance to play with was a touch optimistic.
We can probably all see the theoretical attraction of trying to circumvent the networks and have a direct relationship with users but if it was as easy as slinging up a website and shipping the handsets everyone would already be doing it.
Overall my feeling is that Google have got a lot of the Nexus One roll out wrong, UK customers were only able to pre-order contract versions from the end of April, almost 4 months after the unlocked version went on sale – that’s an eternity in the world of technology.
I’m afraid that these days I’m a little less impressed with Android, initially I was a big fan of both my G1 and Hero but ultimately neither quite do it for me in the same way my iPhone does.
One of my biggest issues is the terminally slow rollout of OS updates by networks who still insist on layering branding and custom apps over the top of the default software.
That’s not Google’s direct responsibility but I can’t help thinking they’d be better off focussing their efforts on speeding up the operators to ensure the Android experience is seamless and identical for all users.
Plus of course if you’re a Mac user it’s not so easy to update those phones which don’t get the same over the air updates as handsets using the default build of Android.
Sadly, and although the total sales of Android phones is pretty impressive, the fragmentation caused by so many handsets running different versions of the OS will eventually prove damaging to the umbrella brand once people are no longer able to run apps their mates have been showing off.
Even Apple, soon to unveil their 4th version of the iPhone, have had to disappoint users by restricting the features they make available to older handsets in OS updates but at least they have the advantage of there being a single, easily identified latest model for people to drool over.