As a tech consumer, there are only ever three things that you absolutely loathe when it comes to your favorite gadgets:
1. When the device is too expensive.
2. When the device is out of stock.
3. When the device is outdated within a short period of time.
I only want to focus on number three for right now. That’s because it is indicative of Android and Google’s current problem.
Note: As I sit here writing this post from my Macbook while texting my mother with my iPhone, it should be clear that I live in an Apple world. However, I arrived late to the Apple world. My first smartphone was a Palm Treo 700p (stylus all the way), which was eventually followed up by the original Motorola Droid. I’ve been reading tech news, particularly mobile tech news, since my family first got the Internet. Although some may label me an Apple fanboy, I simply like to use the most superior product in any given category. This being said…
Google recently revealed its latest update to the Android OS, and keeping in line with the company’s “treat” naming scheme, the operating system has been called Ice Cream Sandwich. It will debut on the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus and will be available soon. It will be a flagship device for both Google and Samsung.
From a technology standpoint, this is great. Who wouldn’t want a new, super powered, 4G, HD, *insert acronym here* device?
Unfortunately, it ends up that the consumers don’t.
Sure, those in the smartphone market will start looking at these new Android devices and sizing up spec sheets to try and pull the trigger on something “just right” for them. But in order to see the real problem, you have to take a look back in time and examine just how little time has passed since the last “great” Android device was released.
Just a month ago, Verizon launched the Droid Bionic. This was hailed as the king of all smartphones and got a huge push from Verizon. The thing is, not only is the Bionic now old news only a month later, but the ill-timed launch of the Motorola Droid Razr was completely overshadowed by the Galaxy Nexus press event.
In the span of a month, and I only mentioned two of many manufacturers, three new devices were pushed to market, all set up to be the next “great” Android device. Consumers are getting overwhelmed by this saturation of spec-chocked Google phones and often times it really hurts the people who went and recently bought an Android device in the first place.
No one wants to own the latest and greatest phone for barely a month.
“But people enjoy the phones they get, why do they care what gets released?” you ask. Well, because it’s not just the new phones and features they will be missing out on for the next two years of their contract. Remember the new, feature loaded OS update Ice Cream Sandwich to Android? Unfortunately, because each phone manufacturer has to get its hands on the source code and make its own modifications for each of its devices, odds are that unless you go buy the Galaxy Nexus right now, you won’t be seeing any of those new features for a while.
This is a real problem. I know more than a few people who are really upset that their “high end” device they paid more than $150 for is now outdated. I doubt it will change at all because people are still buying these phones, but I see it as a huge downfall to jumping into the Android / Google world.