Google’s Nexus One Is Not An iPhone

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Apple iPhone observers say Google’s Nexus One phone can’t compete – but what if the game is actually a different one, asks Clint Boulton?

Just days before the launch of the Google Nexus One phone ABC News has published this doomsday piece by Michael S. Malone, who notes that while Google’s Nexus One device is getting a lot of buzz, it won’t rightfully challenge Apple’s iPhone hegemony.

Google is expected to unveil the device on 5 Jan at an Android press event at the company’s Mountain View, Calif., Googleplex. We know the device is made by HTC, runs Android 2.1 and is super fast, with a Motorola Droid-like big touchscreen.

Documents indicate Google will sell the phone online in the US for $529.99  (£327)  unlocked or $179.99 (£111) through T-Mobile with a two-year contract.

Read Malone’s piece and weep, Googlers and Google Fanboys alike. Most of the piece is an unabashed tribute to how great Apple is, detailing how great Apple’s iPhone is and how most of whatever Apple turns out for consumers turns to gold. If you dislike Apple, this may set you to Level Seething, or at the least redden your cheeks a tad:

It has taken nearly two years for Apple’s competitors to field products that are even close to the iPhone; to identify weaknesses in the device (such as the lack of a real keyboard for texters, its commitment to AT&T as service provider) and respond. Apple, meanwhile, has used that time to continuously improve the iPhone – the result being that the company now dominates the smartphone world to a degree Apple hasn’t enjoyed since the early years of the Macintosh.

True, true. Motorola’s Droid is passable, shipping nearly one million units since the November launch, which is not bad for the holiday season.

Android is no iPhone

But it’s no iPhone, and neither is Verizon Wireless’ lower brow Droid companion, the Droid Eris. But after Googlers were given the device to dogfood, some concluded that the Nexus One could be the first real iPhone challenger.

Malone iced this idea:

Unfortunately, the early reports suggest that what Google will introduce next week, the Nexus One, will be a largely conventional smartphone. That’s a pity because I suspect Google will never get this chance again.

Malone does suggest that it would be unwise to bet against Google, given its core search strength, smart people and billions in cash to spend. Moreover, he wrote:

Google could stun the tech world – and hit Apple at its weakest point – by coming out with a “Webphone,” a device that uses the Internet, a la Skype, as its transmission medium and thus escaping forever the tyranny of the phone companies. There’s a lot of problems with that strategy, of course, but it would certainly shock the world and put Apple on the defensive. Unfortunately, the early reports suggest that what Google will introduce next week, the Nexus One, will be a largely conventional smartphone.

But one can easily tell Malone doesn’t believe the Google-stunning-the-world scenario is likely, so drunk on Apple’s Kool-Aid is he.

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