Google’s Android has a ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ problem, and it’s getting worse

Apple Online Store Google “is seriously starting to trip over itself,” MG Siegler writes for TechCrunch.

“This week’s Mobile World Congress is highlighting this exact problem. Yesterday, we saw not one, but two new sexy Android phones announced just by HTC alone,” Siegler reports. “HTC, you may recall, is the manufacturer of the Nexus One, the Android phone that Google felt so comfortable with, it decided to sell itself. Now, just over a month later, at least one of these new phones, the Desire, is simply a better version of the Nexus One. Consumers must be getting whiplash at this point.”

“Leading up to the Nexus One launch, I wondered if Google was just eating its own dogfood (as it said) or its own children. After all, the Nexus One was launching just weeks after the Droid, Verizon’s Android phone that was being marketed as the best Android out there,” Siegler reports. “Plenty of Droid owners were pissed off that they had just laid down their money (and locked themselves into a carrier contract) for a phone that was being upstaged just a few weeks later by Google itself. But now the problem is already getting much worse.”

“It’s not just Google that is upstaging other barely-released Android phones now, it’s the other Open Handset partners, like HTC, doing it on their own. And while it’s great for consumers to have choices, the problem is that consumers must also now deal with the fear that anything they buy will be upstaged by something better in just a few weeks,” Siegler reports. “Why would I buy a Nexus One if I can get the HTC Desire? And why would I buy an HTC Desire when it will just get upstaged by another new Android device shortly after?”

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s a question: Why would you buy any pretend iPhone when you can get the real thing?

Siegler continues, “I can’t help but wonder if we already have a ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ problem with Android. One that is only going to get worse with time… At least with the iPhone, we know that only Apple is going to upstage older versions — and that it will do so once a year.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “GetMeOnTop” for the heads up.]

35 Comments

  1. Not to mention not of their apps run on all of the different model variations. And it is going to get worse. Must be tough to develop for and tough for the consumer to know which app works with which phone.

  2. The real problem is not the possible hardware obsolescence (at least subjectively – objectively they should work just the way they had before a newer model will have come out).

    The real problem is whether the users of these devices will actually receive support and system upgrades after the fact.

    I’ll have no problem owning yesteryear’s iPhone 3GS in a few months when the new one will be out, but that is because I know I will still get an OS upgrade for mine.

    Choice and competition are generally good things – as long as customer support is also kept current.

  3. Theore confusion, frustration and lack of certainty the clearer the choice- Apple’s iPhone.

    Ironically, the company with the biggest secrecy and speculation factor is the most predictable in quality and leadership…

  4. The more confusion, frustration and lack of certainty the clearer the choice- Apple’s iPhone.

    Ironically, the company with the biggest secrecy and speculation factor is the most predictable in quality and leadership…

  5. The “open market” reply is simple and exact. In computer talk, . . . elegant.

    Years ago, my friends always criticized Apple for being a closed system, not allowing just anything on their equipment. I had to point out that this was also a major strong point of the Apple way.
    In light of all the criticism of the App Store, isn’t this just proof that trade-offs are just that. That freedom (of openness) is also the freedom to screwup.

  6. At least the Android and Nexus are on different networks, so that is something a a differentiator.

    Imagine how REALLY pissed off you would be if all this model churn was on the carrier you were locked in to.

  7. Developers Developers Developers. Remember good ole’ Monkey Boy? I have a T-Mobile G1 and an iPod Touch. Which platform is going to be easier to release on and support? I can do just about anything with the G1 and play around with it. It’s fun. But from a business side not so much. All of these Android phones are being released, some with multi touch screens some without. Different screen sizes. Unless you are a big shop and can handle the maintenance costs on these phones and your software, you don’t want to play on that playground. When Apple released the iPhone with a version of Mac OSX that was a platform I could build things on. My only issue with the iPhone is AT&T;. Bring it on over to T-Mobile guys.

    The article is spot on. Giving Telcos an open platform to screw up is like giving PC OEMS the ability to add junkware to the OS build. No thanks.

  8. “Why would I buy a Nexus One if I can get the HTC Desire? And why would I buy an HTC Desire when it will just get upstaged by another new Android device shortly after?”

    Same problem as when you buy a computer. There will always be a better one around the corner.

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