Apparently, Google will not be releasing the much hoped for Nexus Two, the supposed Super Phone followup to the Nexus One Android phone. Google chief Eric Schmidt essentially confirmed that the search giant has no plans to make or sell the fabled QWERTY keyboard-toting successor to the Nexus One. Google believes that they accomplished their goals and don’t need a Nexus Two Android phone. This is one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to write.
Some will be sad to hear this news, but there are probably more people out there that just don’t care. Some will ask why would Google need to come out with another Android device when their are phones like the Sprint HTC EVO 4G, Verizon Motorola Droid X, and all those Samsung Galaxy S variants? Well, there’s at least one good reason why a Google-branded Android phone with a stock Android homescreen would be preferable. Android OS update cycles.
The three aforementioned phones have one thing in common, and it’s that they all have their own custom skin. This slows down updates, and one of the biggest appeals to the Nexus One was that you would have no doubt that the newest software would hit it before anything else – not having to port a custom homescreen UI to every new software update means shorter wait times for updates. The Nexus One uses an untouched version of Android OS, and no other Android phone can claim that.
Some will argue that the Motorola Droid was exactly the same. That’s both right and wrong. The closest device as far as a purely stock Android device would definitely be the Droid, but it’s under Verizon’s rule. Verizon will add it’s VCAST apps into the device, as well as add their own dedicated tab in the Android Market. Oh, and that free WiFi hotspot feature the Nexus One sports on Android 2.2 Froyo OS? Try finding that on the Motorola Droid, it’s not going to happen. As little of a footprint Google’s online store put onto the mobile world, it was still a good idea. Unfortunately, it just was not executed very well. Google should have allowed their device into carriers’ stores, as well as sell it online. Some may think that that way of doing things would be needless, but it worked enough for me, and I’d still take my Nexus One over any smartphone today.
Here’s what Mr. Eric Schmidt had to say:
The idea a year and a half ago was to do the Nexus One to try to move the phone platform hardware business forward. It clearly did. It was so successful, we didn’t have to do a second one. We would view that as positive but people criticized us heavily for that. I called up the board and said: ‘Ok, it worked. Congratulations – we’re stopping’. We like that flexibility, we think that flexibility is characteristic of nimbleness at our scale.
Frankly, I’m kind of pissed. Yes I’ll get over it, but I was really looking forward to seeing a Nexus Two. If you’ve read anything I’ve written.. I just couldn’t shut up about it the near-mythical phone. If there’s one thing I ask of Android smartphone manufactures, create at least one phone with a pristine Android experience. Make more stock Android devices, damnit.