Another Android blow: Nexus One canceled, there will be no Nexus Two
July 19, 2010 by Beatweek
The mobile open-source operating system experiment known as Android has been dealt another blow in what has been a difficult month long stretch for the platform. First, hard data revealed that the competing iPhone is still burying all Android-based phones combined by a margin of more than three to one, which nullified NPD’s earlier small online volunteer survey which Android’s most enthusiastic users had been repeatedly mischaracterizing as “marketshare” numbers. Then last week, after Android-favoring technology headline writers had spent all of July attempting to ignite a feigned controversy over the new iPhone’s antenna, hard data finally surfaced that showed about 99.4% of iPhone users were reporting no reporting no antenna issues. And now the latest bad news for the Android platform comes from Android creator Google itself, which has discontinued its Nexus One smartphone says Techtree, which was supposed to have been the flagship of the Android platform. And no, it won’t be replaced by the Nexus Two; the Nexus line of smartphone is now gone from the face of the earth.
In fairness, plenty of third party Android-based phones are selling in quantity. The problem, however, is that they’re carrier-based models such as the Verizon Droid and the Sprint EVO. How is that a problem? The flagship Android phone was selling so poorly that it got canceled, which confirms what everyone outside the geek bubble already knew: the Android platform has no draw of its own of any kind among mainstream users. In fact it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Android platform only has two kinds of buyers: those hardened geeks who want to be able to hack their cellphone like a toy, and those mainstream consumers who wanted an iPhone but weren’t willing to switch to AT&T just to get their hands on one. They walk into a Verizon or Sprint store looking for an iPhone, they walk out with some flavor of Android phone that the salesman told them was “like” an iPhone, and the Android platform’s cheerleaders think they’ve netted another enthusiastic Android user – when all they’ve really done is allowed yet another mainstream consumer to learn first-hand that Android is no iPhone, making them revisit the idea of switching to AT&T just to switch to the iPhone after all.
If the non-geek public gave a damn about Android at all, the Nexus One would have been the most popular Android-based phone by far, and Google would be replacing it today with the Nexus Two, not scrapping the entire product line. The embarrassing failure of the Nexus One confirms, again, what anyone not insulated inside the geek bubble already knew from the start: Android phones are merely hanging around, temporarily occupying the marketshare void created by Apple’s ongoing refusal to offer the iPhone on any U.S. carrier other than AT&T, and destined to be forgotten by all but the geeks once AT&T iPhone exclusivity ends and customers of other carriers can park their fake iPhone in favor of the real thing.