Adam Richardson over at frog design talks about Why Google had to take control of Android with Nexus One.
I agree with Adam, that this move by Google to make it’s own phone is its attempt to ‘do Android the right way’. But is Google going to make any progress with the Nexus One? I’m not convinced they will.
For one thing, the Nexus One doesn’t sound like it’s much different than any other Android phones on the market (Boy Genius Report, NYTimes, WSJ, TechCrunch). Secondly, I don’t see how Google producing their own phone is going to stop fragmentation of the Android market.
The lackluster success of the early Android phones has surely made Google realize that they need to take a much stronger role in order to bring all the pieces of the experience together. The catch-as-catch can approach they’ve had to far just isn’t going to cut it. Fragmentation is a death knell for a product like this at this stage of maturity. Google needs to lead the charge with an integrated platform until the experience gap is fully closed.
Ironically, it seems possible that the better Google’s Nexus One gets the more fragmented the Android platform could become as partners such as Motorola and Samsung continue to improve their ‘flavors’ of Android.
Google wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want to be like Linux, open source and customizable and simultaneously like Apple, closed and consistent across devices.
Google, honey-baby, you can’t have both.