MG Siegler disses Google for announcing its own Android phone merely a couple months later Motorola brought the Droid phone out, saying Google is undermining their reputation and killing each other inside its ecosystem rather than shooting iPhone off the top spot. But he still thinks in the end Google had made the right decision. Why?
The single biggest reason that the iPhone is great is because Apple is in nearly complete control of it. In fact, the only thing they’re not in control of, AT&T’s network, is its greatest weakness. Before the iPhone, no device manufacturer, let alone software manufacturer, had anywhere near the type of control that Apple does over a mobile device. With Nexus One, Google is moving in that direction too. And that’s the right call.
We have seen outrageous success stories of companies having complete control of their device’s hardware and software.
- Nintendo has created Wii with its revolutionary motion control but everybody agrees that they couldn’t have pulled off the game so brilliantly without the bundled killer title, Wii Sports.
- Amazon is enjoying a great success with its Kindle e-reader. Again, they own the hardware, software, and even the network – downloading is allowed only through Amazon’s proprietary channel.
On the other hand, we have seen companies which made fantastical flops even with total control. What the following two companies have in common: bureaucratized corporate structure and inconsistent decision making.
- Microsoft creating Zune
- Sony creating Playstation 3 (compared to Wii and Playstation 2)
Drawing lessons from the above-mentioned examples, it looks like the shortcut to having a revolutionary hardware is to:
- Have control on both hardware and software.
- Have integrity in what you do.
Google has it both. Although they are technically not in charge of the hardware (HTC is), the two have worked closely from the dawn of the Android OS (HTC Dream was the world’s first Android smartphone). In addition, there are only three decision makers in Google – Schmidt, Larry, Sergey – with two of them (the founders) having greater power to veto decisions made against their will.
Therefore my verdict is that the new Googlephone will not suck, in fact it should be great, and I will be having one as soon as it comes out legally or illegally. Sometimes it really sucks that the latest mobile phones do not always reach Taiwan immediately, even though they are likely manufactured by a Taiwanese company.