The Nexus Prime (or whatever) rant bandwagon
Lots of virtual ink has been spilled the last couple days arguing about the Nexus Prime (or Nexus Galaxy, Galaxy Nexus, Droid Prime, Droid Galaxy, etc.). I’m not going to be taking any sides here or choosing who is right and wrong, but I do want to quickly express my thoughts. Lets also keep in mind that although the Nexus “insert word here” launches in less than 24hours, this whole concept has existed since the Nexus One, and will surely continue quite similarly for future Nexus devices.
Let’s get this out of the way: it seems to me that people really don’t understand the Nexus program. Google doesn’t launch the Nexus to compete with the iPhone. They don’t launch it to try and sell 20 million units. They don’t launch it to be on every carrier and in everyone’s pocket. Google doesn’t particularly care if you buy the Nexus.
Google’s focus with the Nexus devices are (basically) threefold: 1) Release a new version of the Android operating system. 2) Provide a reference platform for OEM’s to create Android devices going forward. 3) Provide developers all around the world with a Google-sanctioned development platform that will run completely stock Android and be promptly updated in the future. Google doesn’t want to deal with marketing, carriers, or subsidies. Nexus devices are unsupported, GSM unlocked, and full-priced (read: not for general consumers).
Anyone who squarely compares the Nexus against the latest iPhone surely does not understand the previous 3 points. Yes, I’m sure the Nexus will be great. And yes, (to the dismay of my wallet) I’m probably going to have an extremely strong urge to buy one. That does not at all mean that it should be considered an amazing, all-encompassing, iPhone-slaying, world-ruling device. It will be “out of date” (specs-wise) in a couple months just as the Nexus One and Nexus S, and that is just fine. Because the allure of this device isn’t the specs, the marketing, or the carrier partners (if any), it is the fact that this device will enable developers all around the world to keep building fantastic applications that you and I download and benefit from every single day.
So the next time you read a post about a Nexus device, whether it be in a couple hours, or several months from now when we’re all talking about Android “Jellybean”, just remember that unless you’re a developer or a tech-savvy nerd, Google really isn’t making this phone for you. But that’s okay! You should be excited anyways. Because what’s good for developers, is good for you.