The Google phone, Nexus One, “is a real looker” and probably runs a great version of Android, Farhad Manjoo writes, but all the breathless predictions about its revolutionary impact on the market ignore the core principles of the company that makes it. First off, “Google doesn’t care about hardware.” Their entire business model is based on giving people great, free software across all platforms so they can sell ads.
For Manjoo, writing on Slate, that means the Nexus One won’t have any “exclusive” features needed to market it as a category killer, which is the second point. And why would they want to KO those other Android phones anyway? The whole point of the OS is that it’s free to manufacturers who give it to customers who then get on the Web and…look at Google ads. Start competing, and “expect handset makers to balk.” As for why Google is selling the phone outside of the carrier subsidy system, Manjoo has no answer. It’s just “odd.”