Forresters Golvin Shrugs Shoulders at Googles Web Store
Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin didn't see it that way and doesn't see the big to-do others do over Google's new Web store. "What they announced from a retail perspective is not interesting. You can go to a lot of online retailers today, whether it's the carrier themselves or Amazon or Best Buy Mobile, and choose between a phone at full rate and no commitment or a subsidized phone.Today users in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore can buy the Nexus One from Google and get it serviced by T-Mobile. In the spring, Google is adding Verizon Wireless and Vodafone to its cast of supporting carriers. In the future, one can easily envision Google offering several Android phones, with options to have them serviced by most or all of the carriers in the world who choose to participate. Still, Golvin believes Google won't put any Android device in its Web store, noting that it will be a flagship store for things that carry the Android banner the best. "In the same way that you wonder about how applications rise to the top 20 in the featured list at the Apple App Store, how is it going to play out for Google's partners on the OEM side for which devices make it into that lead promotional position because after all, as they pointed out themselves, they can buy a lot of traffic to that location?" Golvin said. Again, this points to Dulaney's comment that all of Google's roads lead to advertising. It will be interesting to see how Google and its partners leverage Google's Web store, but it may be awhile before we can see its impact. In keeping with its practice of putting technology in front of the press, Google didn't play up the money-making aspects of this store. Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Android, said that while Google may make some margin on unit sales of the Nexus One, profit is not the primary goal. Analysts such as Sandeep Aggarwal from Collins Stewart believe the Nexus One and Web store are geared "to increase the attach rate of its products for the fast-growing mobile Internet markets in order to replicate its 'Net ad dominance in mobile Internet as well."
"It's not a huge change there. The only thing they have that differentiates them is they have an exclusive on what's going to be a pretty hot device. Isn't this the same exact thing as what you get from the Apple store if you buy an iPhone directly from Apple?"