Motorola’s new Android phone will be released on Verizon for American customers, and in the downtime between hype and release, the once-proud electronics company have somehow dropped the towel from the gentle genitals of their yet-to-be-born handset. But not to worry, their yet unborn offspring ripples with the vigour of advanced hardware features and of course, Android. On the cusp of Verizon’s iDon’t campaign, the whole affair reeks of a well-ordered attack on Apple’s hegemony. Specifically, it targets the iPhone’s following weaknesses:
- iDon’t have a real keyboard
- iDon’t run simultaneous apps
- iDon’t take night shots
- iDon’t allow open development
- iDon’t customize
- iDon’t run widgets
- iDon’t have interchangeable batteries
Motorola’s new Android has an impressively laid paper foundation (which is vital in order to create and sell hype):
From ComputerWorld Blog:
Runs Android 2.0
Only slightly thicker than the iPhone – and that is with a slider keyboard!
Fastest Android device they’ve tested. No surprise because it has an ARM Cortex A8 TI OMAP3430 processor
They say huge display. From the FCC information I know that it is 854×480 pixels, which is 2-3 times the space as the Pre, G1 or iPhone.
Not that it really matters; bells and whistles are hella nice (learned that from a cousin in California), but they don’t exactly translate into a thick, black, bottom line. Not that I wouldn’t be enthralled to see the next Motorola phone capture the hearts of consumers, but doesn’t this situation look familiar? Right, the ‘this’ in the last sentence refers to killer, as in iPhone killer. In order to kill, you have to be sneaky, and unfortunately, the hapless competition is about as quiet as Spinal Tap. Every bit of hype they muster points back to Apple, to the iPhone, and the need to dethrone it; all of it is free advertising for the Cupertino company. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Apple do their best to suppress informant-leaks; sometimes going as far as spreading false information in order to weed out dear Liza.
Other companies are not so lucky. What wouldn’t they give for a few filthy rumours, an explosion of forum-banter, and scalding criticism? When hype about a new competitor starts to ramp up, I still get hopeful shivers; when Apple gurus have to unstitch their bums from their pants, I feel the heat. Competition is good. Hype, competition, and good ol’ fashioned mudslinging is better.
I hate to bemoan the other iPhone killer, Palm’s Pre, but it isn’t easy to build up a hella (there it is again) lot of excitement over a big product release only to be so utterly underwhelmed at its release. Android isn’t WebOS and Google are no Palm, but methinks the iPhone still has life in her veins even when confronted by a competitive challenger. That is, until the shigzeo-designed shiPhone comes out; a phone which will stomp the feakin’ world with heavy shoes made of only the highest technology and hype which Apple can only dream of.
Android may be different. It doesn’t warrant a true analogue in the computer world. ‘Tain’t Windows which began its days as a warehouse manager; and it ain’t MacOS which still can’t shake family connections and the in-laws. Google are their own beast, and in relation to their constant acquisitions (and recent break ups), are the rich and rebellious neighbour’s cute daugther whose list of ex-boyfriends out-paces her BMW. Google’s credentials are completely unrelated to the wireless, hand-held market. But that is precisely why they stand to succeed. Apple too was a fresh face in the stodgy (and boring) handphone market in 2007. Now, the market has rented Redmond’s photocopier, eager to do like Apple do, but better. Like Apple, Google’s fresh face and clear head may do better than the wealth of experience from Apple’s competitors.
Think about it: Android is the ‘freest’ of colossally corporate phone OSes. It has steadily ridden a wave of tepid enthusiasm which is just beginning to really bubble and boil. Now, after Apple failed to pull out the next cardinal number after 3 for their current smartphone, Google have been given a gracious next chance. At this point, a number of users would prefer a front-mounted camera to a few extra horses under the bonnet and Google can provide it. Others, just want to change their springboard without Apple pitching a fit. And to Apple fanbois who crave sleek gadgets, two years in a row of the same old same old is hard to stomach.
Google spit out the OS (another acquisition) and let the hard work, and it would seem, the brunt of the marketing be carried on the shoulders of its providers and handset makers. Whether or not the next iPhone killer debuts from Sony or HTC doesn’t matter to Google. What matters is that these companies seek Google, rather than its competitors. That said, Google are said to have a heavy hand in the design of the Motorola, something the ageing maker should feel grateful for.
The search giant already have an icon and a cute logo. The only thing missing is the iPhone killer, but as Google have built the groundwork, it is sure to come, and until that day, Apple will continue to gain free press at the hands of these fastidious competitors who struggle to catch up/out do/overtake the iPhone’s lead. As I mentioned in the LG touch screen phone article, hardware competitors have no clue. Their idea of beating Apple is to design a look-a-like and tack on ‘features’ such as a jog lever, or make room for a stylus in the body.
While the market is full of wannabes, Google may be the divergent factor which can effect real change.