Nexus One: The Second Coming but Not An iPhone Killer – Part 1

I have a had few days to play with the Nexus. Its an incredible phone, not so incredible that it will shake the iPhone from my grasp but incredible enough that it will have a huge impact on the cell phone industry.

Compared to the iPhone, my Nexus* has a beautiful screen, incredible speed, much better integration of online social networking tools and a better Maps experience.

By the same token it is more complicated to configure and operate and functions best in the cloud. It is missing the simplicity of single button control, tight iTunes integration, doesn’t work well with Exchange and is still missing some basic features that Apple has defined as the new standard for smartphones like copy & paste and multi-touch. With but one upgrade of hardware and software by Apple, most of the Nexus’s current advantages will be gone.

It is a gorgeous phone, with a beautiful implementation that doesn’t quite match up the iPhone’s overall usability. So is the Nexus One Google’s “iPhone killer”?

While it may be a TeleAtlas killer, an iPhone killer it is not. Not just because of the hardware though.

The telling fact is that the Nexus really only runs well on one second tier cell provider in the US. T-Mobile is, at the end of the day a minor player, with but a fraction of ATTs or Verizon’s subscriber base and roughly an 8% market share. While the phone does run on the ATT network, very few will pay $600 to run it at the slower Edge speeds to which it is limited on their network. It is difficult to kill the iPhone let alone conquer the world from the diminishing market share of T-Mobile.

Something much more subtle and nuanced and simultaneously bold is going on here.

The iPhone when first introduced was viewed by market pundits as a long shot. In a few years, it has become the de facto standard and in doing so has threatened not just Microsoft, Palm and Nokia but RIM as well. It has taken the hardware market a long time to catch up. Microsoft didn’t do it, RIM didn’t do it, Nokia didn’t do it. Palm came close but nobody believed that they had the staying power nor presence to make a difference.

It took two years and a non-traditional player in the phone business but Google seems to have finally matched the iPhone with quality, features, panache and staying power. In succeeding where others have yet to succeed, the Nexus One is, in some sense, the second coming of the iPhone. It’s the first iPhone that isn’t an iPhone.

It may not be the iPhone killer that the press seems to want for but more importantly it could very well be Google’s admission ticket to a relationship with AT&T and the big leagues of the cell wars.

*Note I was given a Nexus by Google so please take any positive comments that I make with a grain of salt and as a potential conflict of interest.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Nexus One: The Second Coming but Not An iPhone Killer - Part 1 by

10 thoughts on “Nexus One: The Second Coming but Not An iPhone Killer – Part 1”

  1. Mike,
    Like I’ve said, it’s a relief to me that you have many positive things to say about the Nexus when compared to the iPhone. Choosing a cell phone was a bit agonizing for me, and a little daring to choose something no had ever used before. I’m really glad to hear you like points about this phone, even if it doesn’t live up to its predicted iPhone-killer status. I don’t care if it kills the iPhone. I just want it to work well, and the usefulness of the G Maps display is a really winning point, in my book.

    So good to be seeing reviews from you!
    Miriam

  2. Well while you and Miriam play your your new toys, I will stick to my brink nokia with a Weezer snap on cover. Thought it can’t take pictures, check email, voice dictate, or any other thing that makes a great smart phone, I can play snake and I have gotten rather good at it over the years.

    :)

  3. @Mike
    I had a Nokia Brick 3650 for 5 years but when it got so bad that David Mihm couldn’t understand me and it stopped ringing, I had to replace it. Your time will come and I have to admit its fun checking twitter while waiting for children to be done with an activity.

    @Miriam

    Now that you have such a great phone for Twitter, I was wondering if you had an account yet. In fact Mike Ramsey was twiitering about you just this afternoon. :)

  4. “I can play snake and I have gotten rather good at it over the years.”

    Haha, that made me laugh, Mike R. Gee, I haven’t even gotten into playing video games on the phone. I bet there’s an app out there for my fav. old Atari 2600 games. Oh, gosh, I could waste so much time.

    Mike B., nope, no Twitter account. I am flattered, though, that you and Dave want me to join. I was talking to Dave about this last week.

  5. Miriam, you really should fall into the peer pressure. Benifits of twitter include…

    1. Seeing how early Mike B. is getting up and how fast he is able to tweet great stories of the day.

    2. Pretty much every comment by @earlpearl especially during fantasy football season.

    3. “This day in history” by Will Scott

    And much much more! How about this deal. If Miriam joins twitter than a certain @mblumenthal will have to follow a certain @niftymarketing.

    ;)

  6. I didn’t think Nexus would be an iPhone killer even when they first announced about the phone. I’m sure it gives iPhone some competition, but not one that can beat it.

    -Kai

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