Phone + Android = Google Phone? Nope

So this Android phone isn't a Google Android phone?

Where’s the clarity in the Android market? Google have just announced a use for it’s old Nexus One website as place for users to go to find “real” Google phones, but is that really any help?

The site – previously occupied with Nexus One details – now has a list of “Google” phones, as opposed to Android phones. It’s a nice start, but really it’s too little too late. Google should have been doing this a year ago.

So, when is an Android phone an Android phone, when is it a Google phone, and when is it just a platform for a manufacturer to stick a layer of crap interface on top?

With some “Android” phones the “Androidness” of the phone is buried so far down that it’s just not obvious that is an Android phone at all, and all of the Android ease of use, simplicity, and power is thrown out of the window. It just confuses the customers, and it screws up the brand and Google can’t afford to allow this to happen.

Additionally it doesn’t help that, unlike Apple with it’s single App store, there’s more than one Android app store* and that this is about to be added to with an Android app store from Amazon. If reports are correct not only will the retailer sell Android apps it’s also likely to start to sell their own exclusive Android apps.

The upshot of all of this confusion in the market, is a nightmare for mobile app builders. Not only are users unsure that they have an Android phone, they also have to search through levels of unneeded interface to find the app store, and that’s not going to help any mobile app builder. Then to add to the misery there are multiple app markets where builders have to sign deals with more than one market, and they have to decide if they’re going to be “exclusive” to Amazon or not. It just turns building an app into a nightmare scenario. If we were Android developers we’d be thinking about jumping to another platform.

As a punter would we go to the Google site before we bought an Android phone? Not really.  So what exactly will the site achieve, other than more confusion?

Comments please?

* Currently there are App stores from the likes of Mobihand, SlideME, and AppBrain.

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  2 comments for “Phone + Android = Google Phone? Nope

  1. I think it illustrates the fragmentation of Android. Some phones are more Google than others, it appears.

    But the other interesting question is whether, on those phones that are Android but not Google-ized so much, Google is getting any incremental revenue over and above what it would get if those same users had iPhones (or Nokia, or whatever) instead?

    If not, it rather undermines the business case for Google to create Android in the first place.

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