updated 11:55 am EDT, Mon July 5, 2010
Google thinks one self-made Android phone enough
Google chief Eric Schmidt in a recent interview talked down the possibility of a sequel to the Nexus One. He treated the device as a one-off project to spur on Android hardware sales and claimed it was successful. The Desire, Droid Incredible and Evo 4G were all offshoots of the Nexus One and in some cases were used to justify dropping the Nexus One at carriers that had rough equivalents.
It was so successful, we didn't have to do a second one," he explained to the UK's Telegraph. "We would view that as positive but people criticised 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."
Schmidt was more ambiguous on the prospect of a Google-branded tablet or netbook to have a similar effect on Chrome OS. He admitted that Google had "talked about it" as there was a reference spec, but decided that hardware partners should try their hand at computers first before Google gets involved. The executive added that the computer industry was more likely to support a separate OS as it's used to working with an outside provider like Microsoft where many phone makers often develop some or all of their platform in-house.
Whether or not the Nexus One has been successful has been called into question. Google also described its phone as an attempt to challenge the carrier model, which put the emphasis on choosing the network over the device, and initially placed most of its attention on its web-only sales strategy. The firm only ended up selling small numbers and eventually turned to a traditional carrier model to spark interest. Leaks late last year also made it apparent that HTC was developing the Desire side-by-side with the Nexus One and thus that there was always going to be a Nexus One-class device regardless of Google's involvement.
It's also suspected that Google was gauging the viability of an Apple-style model for Android where at least one company was in direct control of the hardware design and the software.