Risks of Buying the First Version of Any Gadget

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-12-21
 
 
 

10 Reasons Not to Buy the Google Nexus One Smartphone


Google's Nexus One mobile phone is capturing the kind of hype previously only seen for the Apple iPhone. Already people are getting excited about using it. They're expecting big things from Google's device. It has become such a hot topic that some folks are already saying it could be the first viable competitor to the iPhone. Simply put, expectations are high for Google's mobile phone.

As exciting as the device might be, it's important to bear in mind that it hasn't even been released yet. No users aside from Google employees have gotten their hands on it. And considering the fact that it's running Android OS, it's not the iPhone and there are several devices on the market that might already provide a similar, worthwhile experience, it might not even be worth buying. So instead of heaping praise on it, let's take a look at some of the reasons why Google's Nexus One phone might not be the best buy when it hits store shelves.

1. Remember the iPhone

The Google Nexus One looks like a great device at first glance. But when consumers go out looking for the top phone, what makes Google or any other vendor think the iPhone won't also play into that equation? The iPhone is still the top phone on the market for good reason. It has most of the features users are looking for. And by the looks of things, it might have more going for it than the Nexus One.

2. The Android market

Although it now has over 20,000 applications available, the Android Marketplace still pales in comparison with Apple's App Store offering of over 100,000 applications. That's a real problem for Google. As consumers try to find ways to expand their use of mobile phones, the Nexus One simply doesn't compare well.

3. It's Android software

Google's mobile operating system is great, but it doesn't provide the kind of experience already offered on the iPhone. Apple has done a great job of building software that consumers want to use. It has consistently increased the usability of that software in each revision. Android is still young and it still has issues that need to be worked out-before the Nexus One is released.

4. Where are the multitouch features?

According to reports, the Nexus One lacks multitouch features that users will already find in the iPhone. That means there's no pinch feature. It also means that when users compare the Nexus One's usability with the iPhone, they might be quite disappointed. It's a problem that Google needs to address as soon as possible.

Risks of Buying the First Version of Any Gadget


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.

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