The Hills Are Greener: Not Buying What Google’s Selling – Because They Can’t Sell It

The Hills Are Greener: Not Buying What Google’s Selling – Because They Can’t Sell It

Dec 3, 2012

Let’s compare the approach of Apple and Google.

So Google has a hot new phone on their hands. It’s been sold out for weeks. They finally get in, or at least release, new stock of their new phone. They announce when they’re selling it. It sells out in seconds. Literally: I’m sitting at my iPad shortly after I notice the clock turn to 2:00 pm central on a Tuesday afternoon, and the Nexus 4 is sold out. Already. And there’s no recourse, no preorder process for future batches, nothing. In short, if I want a Nexus 4, I’ve got to wait.

Now look at Apple’s website. Try to buy an iPhone from them. Why, they are quite happy to sell you an iPhone well in advance. They’ll give you an estimate of how long it’ll take to get your shiny new piece of Apple ephemera. They’ll even let you go to pick up your shiny new toy from an Apple Store if there’s one in stock. It works all too well.

I suppose that as a tech addict, it should fail to surprise anyone that I have an iPhone 5 now, considering that the unlocked one finally went on sale? Yup, I’m back on the dark side. Sure, it makes sense for me considering I also love doing iOS reviews, but I also admit that it was something of an impulse buy because I couldn’t get the Android phone I wanted. The Galaxy S III is still a really nice phone, but something was calling me elsewhere. The lure of a cleaner, stock experience, and if Google wasn’t going to give it to me, Apple was.

Now granted, in this situation of selling phones directly to customers, Google doesn’t have the kind of retail and e-commerce experience that Apple does. But still, to be in a position where people that want your product pretty much can’t buy it? It seems like a bad experience. It may build up hype, yes (their phone sold out in an amount of time best measured in seconds), but it’s also a bad experience for people who actually want the phone and not just the hype. And if the reports that Google’s probably backordered for a month during one of the biggest shopping periods, when people will be wanting new phones, are true? Well, it’s just a mess. Good for Google that they have a phone that people want, but they need more stock. They can provide it with the Nexus 7 – it’s time they do it with the 4 as well.

I’m still rocking my Nexus 7, as it is: it’s still a great tablet, after all. But it is weird, making the transition back to iOS as my primary phone and notification source. If only you could have sold me a Nexus 4, Google, I was ready!

Interesting Hardware Announcements from IFA 2012: Samsung Galaxy Camera, Galaxy Note II, Archos GamePad

Interesting Hardware Announcements from IFA 2012: Samsung Galaxy Camera, Galaxy Note II, Archos GamePad

Aug 29, 2012

The annual Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin – better known as IFA – electronics show has kicked off, and there’s some interesting new hardware announcements to go along with it. Samsung held an Unpacked event to reveal a pair of new devices, and even Archos had an interesting new device to show off.

Okay, remember that Nikon Android camera we posted about last week? Well, Samsung might have killed it already. The Samsung Galaxy Camera is essentially a Galaxy S III with a heavy-duty point-and-shoot camera built in to it. The camera has a 16 megapixel sensor with a 21x optical zoom, and F2.8 aperture. On the Android side of things, there’s a 4.8“ screen (the same size as the Galaxy S III), a quad-core processor, and interestingly, no Android hardware buttons, so it will use software menu keys. It will run Jelly Bean, and Samsung is adding in a voice control function to allow for zooming by saying ”Zoom in!" While stock Android may be the best option for phones and tablets, having customizations for this new kind of device are necessary.

Interestingly, it’s going to come with data connectivity, not just wifi, with 3G and 4G variants available. The Galaxy Camera releases this October, and given the powerful hardware under the hood and very capable camera – don’t expect it to be cheap.

Also making the rounds at IFA 2012 is the Galaxy Note II. This followup to the pioneering phablet will follow the same path as its predecessor: giant screen, bigger-than-normal battery, and the S Pen. Hardware wise, the screen is bigger at 5.5“ diagonal compared to 5.2” before, but now the resolution has dropped to 1280×720, so there’s a lower PPI than the original, but it otherwise matches the Galaxy S III in resolution. As well, the hardware has been redesigned to more closely resemble the Galaxy S III – Samsung appears to be trying to use this form factor in order to further differentiate themselves from Apple. The phone will run Jelly Bean, boast a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor (no details given yet – it could change for international versions), and 2 GB of RAM. Software-wise, there’s new S Pen tools to allow for the creation of notes from anywhere in the OS, and Quick Command to launch apps from anywhere using the S Pen. There’s also a Screen Recorder function, that if capable enough, could be a useful tool for recording video.

Finally, Archos has announced the GamePad tablet, which is a 7" tablet with physical controls on each side. The controls will support more than just specific titles, as Archos claims that over 1000 titles with virtual controls will be supported by the GamePad’s…gamepad. That name is just awkward. The price isn’t, as it’s planned to be less than 150 euros, or less than $200. There’s a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor under the hood, so it could be a capable gaming machine.