Risks of Buying the First Version of Any Gadget

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-12-21 Print this article Print

5. No subsidy

It's great that the Nexus One is unlocked, but because of that, there won't be a subsidy reducing the cost of the device to a more affordable level. As the world still tries to dig out from under the recession, some consumers might not be willing to drop all that cash for a device that, in many respects, can't compete with the cheaper iPhone.

6. Google hardware

Google is not a hardware company. The company has made bundles of cash creating online Web services and software. It has yet to get into the hardware business. Realizing that, it's entirely possible that Google's first foray into hardware won't be as stellar as Apple's first jump into the mobile market. That's not to say consumers won't be able to trust Google hardware, but it is an unknown entity right now.

7. It could hurt Android

The Nexus One could substantially change the entire Android market. Right now, third-party vendors are relatively happy with Google. They can create devices that run the company's software without fear of Google competing against them. But if that happens, it could reduce the number of companies using Android OS and, in the process, provide a negative impact on Google's bottom line. Could that spell trouble for the Android OS itself? It's certainly possible.

8. Google's focus

There's no way to tell if Google's focus is really on the Nexus One. The company competes in so many different markets that consumers may worry about whether Google will support the device as well as it should. Of course, it's possible that Google would work hard to provide good customer support for the phone. But it's also possible that the company will ignore the device when it shouldn't.

9. Carrier limitations

Since the Nexus One will be carrier-agnostic, some carriers might treat it differently from those products that only work on a single network. Will AT&T be happy about VOIP (voice over IP) applications running over 3G? Will Verizon Wireless play hardball with Google over the Nexus One's access to its network? So far, we don't know. But it could be a problem for consumers.

10. First-gen issues

Maybe it's me, but I don't always trust the first generation of any device. Too often, they're riddled with problems that cause them to not quite live up to the user's expectations. Consumers know what they're getting with an iPhone or a BlackBerry. The Nexus One is still a big question mark. Some may be reluctant to switch to a Nexus One after considering that factor.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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