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4 years ago

Who says Google failed with the Nexus One retail strategy?

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On the heels of Goldman Sachs cutting its sales forecast for the Nexus One -- which at the time of this writing is easily one of the top five phones HTC-manufactured phones available -- we're already seeing headlines (at ZDNet) that "Google's online-only phone selling model has failed."

Says who?

Let's back up. According to Electronista, Goldman predicted about 3.5 million Nexus Ones to be sold by the end of 2010. Now, a little more than two months into the year, Goldman says "just" 1 million phones will be sold. That's not a lot of phones in the scheme of things as Verizon reportedly sold more than a half-million Motorola Droids in its first month. (And it follows a rather suspect prediction of just 20,000 Nexus Ones sold in the first month.)

But the Nexus One didn't see your normal smartphone launch. It's not sold in stores. Its only advertising has been online -- that's not negligible, but neither is it anywhere near as visible as the marketing push we've seen behind the Droid, which continues on television, online and in magazines today.

Here's a news flash for you, courtesy of our friends at Goldman Sachs:

"We assume that Google rolls out a second Nexus handset, markets it more aggressively, and makes it available offline, and therefore forecast that Google sells 2 million handsets per year in 2011 and future years."

Wait, you mean to tell me a company will sell more of something if it puts it in an actual physical store and throws more marketing dollars at it? Great ghost of John Maynard Keynes, methinks they're onto something.

Seriously, the only company that can decide whether the Nexus One launch -- we'll even go so far as to call it an experiment -- is Google, and HTC, we suppose. They know how many were ordered. If as many or more have been sold than first thought, it's a success. If less were sold than originally anticipated, it's been a failure.

Regardless, we got a pretty darn good phone out of it, customer service mistakes, misguided analysts or not.

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4 years ago

HTC Supersonic makes brief appearance

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HTC Supersonic

Not much to say about the video that follows (after the break) other than somebody has an HTC Supersonic and wanted the rest of us to know it. That's it. You see it appears to have a dual flash (or is that a flash and a light sensor?) and there's the camera and speaker. Otherwise, we wait. [AndroidMobileOS via MobileCrunch]

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4 years ago

Verizon already training employees on the Nexus One? What for?

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BGR has heard some whispers that Verizon has started training employees on the Nexus One. When that happens, it typically means that a product launch is right around the corner as employees are getting ready to sell the device to customers in stores. But given that the Nexus One hasn't been your typical carrier branded smartphone, as in it wasn't available in carrier branded stores, what does this mean?

BGR believes that it means there's a chance that the Verizon Nexus One will show up in stores. We're a little unsure because if the Verizon launch of the Nexus One follows the T-Mobile launch, it'll be more like a non-launch. The Nexus One will just one day begin to exist on the Verizon network. And the only way to get a Verizon Nexus One (like a T-Mobile Nexus One) would be to go through Google.com/phone. We'd be ecstatic if the Nexus One showed up in Verizon retail stores, but it seems like Google is committed to their current strategy.

Our conclusion is that Verizon is simply training their employees on the Nexus One so they can be better equipped to deal with customer issues and problems that T-Mobile went through. Boring, we know, but unless the Verizon Nexus One is a complete curveball from current strategy, it's probably the most logical. For the record, we wouldn't mind being completely wrong on this one.

What do you think Verizon is training their employees on the Nexus One for? Customer service or in-store sales?

Update: Got pinged on Twitter by someone who says they're a retail manager for Verizon and hasn't heard anything about that. Lends credence to our belief that this is more customer service than in-store sales.

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4 years ago

New Android NDK brings Open GL ES 2.0 support

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Android

Seriously, we're not going to try to explain to you the ins and outs of this one. But know this: The Android NDK (that's native development kit) has been updated and with it comes new Open GL support.

Applications targeting Android 2.0 (API level 5) or higher can now directly access OpenGL ES 2.0 features. This brings the ability to control graphics rendering through vertex and fragment shader programs, using the GLSL shading language.

Cool. That means better graphics for apps on newer versions of Android. As for everyone else? Well ... [Android NDK via Android Developers Blog]

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4 years ago

Yeah, yeah, we get it -- you think Google's evil

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Yeah, yeah, Google is Evil

So by uploading your little "Google is Evil" manifesto to YouTube which is ... wait for it ... owned by Google, you're saying what? Cute picture, though. Video after the break. [via Walt Mosspuppet, which makes this even more ironic]

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4 years ago

AT&T locks down its first Android phone, the Backflip [and so what?]

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Motorola Backflip

As Android reviewers and the hacking faithful are finding out this week, the Motorola Backflip on AT&T has been locked down a bit. Namely, you can't load apps from outside of the Android market. It's not just that the option is turned off, as it is by default on most (if not all) Android phones. It's that the option isn't even there on the backflip. [via MobileCrunch]

And so what?

The Backflip is a Motoblur device. That is, it's got an operating system that's heavily skinned for social network aggregation and isn't really meant to be a phone nerd's dream device. And if AT&T wants to take out an option that could potentially open up the phone to trouble, then so be it. I'm willing to bet that 95 percent of the people who buy the Backflip don't even know what sideloading is, let alone care to do it. So what if they can't load beta apps. You think they care about using the PDANet app that MobileCrunch uses as an example? If you're buying this phone, you're doing so because you want easy access to Twitter, Facebook and the like, and you want that crazy keyboard, and Android, and that's it.

So, yeah, AT&T took out some functionality. It's allowed to. (Oh, and by the way, it has nothing to do with the iPhone. At all.) If you need to sideload that badly, chances are you're not going to be buying this phone in the first place.

We never like seeing a carrier or manufacturer strip functionality from the phone. But to the typical Backflip (and Motoblur) user, it's a non-issue in this case.

Update: OK, except for when you take into account Engadget's interview with AT&T exec Ralph de la Vega a year ago. Oopsie, pal.

Update 2: Android and Me points out that you can sideload over ADB. Which proves our point even more.

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4 years ago

Entourage Edge E-reader gets reviewed

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If you're interested in unique, Android-powered e-readers, the Entourage Edge is a great place to start. It's a dualbook meaning it has an e-ink screen on one side and a LCD on the other. We briefly saw the Entourage Edge at CES but as it was in non-working order, we couldn't really get a feel for the dual-screen device. Luckily, Laptop Magazine has reviewed the Edge and comes away decently impressed (but not without reservation). Here are the highlights:

  • It's heavy and when open, can get hot
  • You can fold the screens back to back
  • You can highlight and mark notes on the e-ink screen with included stylus
  • Page turns are slow
  • Runs Android 1.6 but has no access to Android Market

It seems like the Entourage Edge is a solid start, it'll soon get better if updates that'll add Android 2.0, Flash lite, webcam functionality, an app store, and bluetooth connectivity are delivered as promised. We're excited to see if the Edge can succeed. What do you guys think? Hit the link for the full review

[laptopmag]

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4 years ago

Verizon shows off its (newly) exclusive Skype service for Android phones

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Skype Mobile on Verizon

Meet the new Skype, same as the old Skype. Except that this Skype is exclusive on Verizon (and is no longer welcome on Windows Mobile, apparently). But no bother. We've got the Android-powered Motorola Droid, Droid Eris and Devour on Big Red, so there will be plenty of VOIP calling to be had.

If you're new to Skype and the whole Voice over IP (Internet Protocol) thing, Verizon's worked up a handy cartoon (after the break) to explain what all this is about. What it doesn't answer: Exactly when we're going to see it. And color us paranoid, but we're still waiting to be nickled-and-dimed somehow. There must be charges at some point, right? Anyhoo, check out the video, and stay tuned for the Android app to come. [Verizon Wireless]

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4 years ago

Droid brightness, Top Twitter app, Nexus One ROMs/hacks, Android killing itself?

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From the Forums is a great way for you, our readers, to see the hottest topics being discussed. But you must be a registered member and becoming a member is a simple process. So if you have not already already done so, head on over and register now!

See you in the forums!

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4 years ago

Motorola Opus One now the Motorola i1

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We've seen leaked pictures of the Motorola Opus One, and now we know it as the Motorola i1.  Wish we could give you more about the specs, other then it's an iDEN device (get the name now?) running on Android 1.5 (is this a bad joke?) and a 3-megapixal camera, and will most likely have Motoblur.

For those not familiar with Motoblur, it's Motorola bringing all your social Web sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and the like straight to your home screen, so you don't have to go through each one individually to update your every move. [via Engadget]

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4 years ago

Leaked Droid 2.1 update shows live wallpapers

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Droid update

We've had discussion of the ESE53 build of the Android 2.1 update for the Motorola Droid (yeah, say all that 10 times fast) for a number of days, but now there's video to go along with all that talk. And the buzz is that live wallpapers are included and run just fine. There are only three homescreens, though that's easily fixed, isn't it. Peep the whole video after the break. [Droid-Life via AndroidCentral Forums]

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4 years ago

AndroidCentral asks: What's your favorite Android Twitter client? [Contest]

 What's your favorite Android podcatcher? [Contest]

Twitter clients are nearly as ubiquitous as Android phones these days. There's Seesmic, Twidroid, Tweetcaster, HTC's Peep, HootSuite, Touiteur, Twicca and Swift, to name but a scant few. And then there's always the mobile Web site. And it seems that new clients are being introduced every day.

And so, we want to hear from you. Head on into the forums and tell us what you use for your daily Twitter client. We'll pick one lucky winner at random to win a free 16-gigabyte MicroSD card from the AndroidCentral Store. We'll take entries through Wednesday, and announce your two Twitter client pics later this week. Good luck!

Update: Good news, everyone. Because of the overwhelming response, we're upping the prizes. We're now giving away a 16GB microSD card and two 8GB cards. Posts count through Wednesday.

What's your favorite Twitter client?

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4 years ago

Motorola Backflip -- AT&T's first Android phone -- now available for $99

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Motorola Backflip

Just like it was promised, the Motorola Backflip is now available on AT&T for $99, making it the carrier's first and only Android device. You'll want to check out our hands-on with the phone back at CES, as pictures really don't do it justice.

The Backflip -- which sports the Motoblur social networking interface -- has a unique fold-over keyboard and 5-megapixel camera, along with a 3.1-inch touchscreen (at 320x480 pixels), comes with 512MB of storage memory and 256MB of RAM, and its microSD card can handle up to 32GB.

The Backflip is available starting today for $99 along with the usual 2-year contract and $100 "promotion card" rebate, or you can buy it outright for $349.99 (which isn't a bad price, actually). [AT&T]

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4 years ago

Just Browsing - Applications outside the Android Market

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Hey everybody! Jerry here again for our weekly get-together. I hope everyone survived another crazy week of things like data outages and Eris leaks. And Droid users, don't fret – your time is coming soon, I'll bet.

This week let's talk about apps! Everyone loves apps, and they're one of the biggest draws of the Android platform. The Android Market is growing by leaps and bounds, and I for one am loving it. But there's a whole internet full of stuff beyond the Market, and we're gonna explore it.

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