Dan Frommer, writing for Recode:
Why should Google cede the high end of the handset market to Apple
— which dominates the industry’s profits — by default? Google
can now really, truly make the best Android phone by tightly
integrating hardware, software and services. And, if successful,
it could eventually join Apple in profiting hundreds of dollars
per device sold — not just the smaller amount it makes from
Phones are today’s focus, but what’s next matters more.
While HTC is keeping its Vive VR business, it doesn’t take much of
an imagination to think of things that smartphone hardware
engineers could be asked to work on.
What comes after the smartphone? Augmented reality (AR) or “mixed
reality” glasses? AirPods-like earpieces? Wearable sensors?
Implanted devices? All of the above? It’s increasingly clear that
Google’s parent company Alphabet won’t be leaving this problem up
to its Nest subsidiary to solve. Google must play a leading role
in the next wave, or it will lose relevance.
In the near-term, the challenge for Google isn’t making great phones. They proved they could do that with last year’s Pixel models. The challenge for them is bringing them to the masses. I don’t know anyone who owns a Google Pixel who isn’t involved in the tech industry in some way, either as a developer or in the media. No one. The Pixels are Android’s best answer to the iPhone, and no one knows about them.
Google can build all the great new hardware they want, but they’re not going to succeed until they learn to do product marketing.
★ Thursday, 21 September 2017