Mario Queiroz - Vice President of Android Product Management

So what, exactly, killed off the Google phone store? We had a couple really good questions during this afternoon's Q&A regarding the death of the web distribution model, and what happened with the Sprint and Verizon versions of the Nexus One. Said Mario Queiroz, above, vice president of Android product management:

"The web store as a direct distribution model is really a very small part of the overall Android strategy. With the Nexus One we had the objective of bringing to market a very technologically sophisticated phone, which we did, which really set a new bar for quality. And I think you've seen a lot of the phones in the market today, that have come to market in the past few months, have been influcing, in many ways ... by what the Nexus One was able to do.

"The web store was another element of the strategy. It was, in many ways, an experiment for us. ... Android was in a very different place six months ago. ... And today, we believe that the right thing to do from a distribution perspective is different from what it was a few months ago. And so we've chosen to double down on our partnerships ... we're focusing on building great technology -- being an Internet software company -- and working with our partners on distribution."

Andy Rubin followed up with a great explanation with what goes into working with carriers. Check it out after the break.

 
There are 35 comments

dan1431 says:

I am not sure that it is the total answer, I am sure that is part of it, but something says that the carriers were not really thrilled about the lack of control.

VZW as company is know for being a total control freak (CDMA breeds that), taking away that control is liable to make some people in the decision spots really unhappy.

Dan

Interestingly enough, Verizon didn't bloat the phone BS nor lock it down, unlike what AT&T is doing with its phones.

icebike says:

Having played extensively with both a N1, and an Incredible I'm here to tell you Verizon DID bloat the phone. It came loaded with a ton of crapware, many of which you can't delete, many of which run by default.

Filter your applications by those that are running, you will be astounded. Then on top of that, they installed a task-killer to clean up after that bloat.

stubbda says:

That task killer is one that is on the market just like all the other hundred other task killers and it can be removed. When most of the people that are getting the Incredible have not had an Android phone or even a smart phone before it helps customers in that situation know how to keep the battery life manageable.

And What bloat ware are you referring to? Every review i have read said nothing about any extra stuff added to the phone. Ya you can download the My Verizon app to get account access but its not pre-installed.

Every time i see a review for the Backflip one if the first comments is all the crap Att did to lock it down. No way is that done on the Incredible. Maybe you should remember that Sense is on the Incredible and the N1 is stock Android.

I happen to like the stock Android but some people want a dedicated phone button on the bottom of every screen.

sp991 says:

.

pmasinvest says:

You are wrong. There is no task killer installed on the Incredible. I have two..I know..further, there is no bloatware aside from cityID which is installed by HTC, not VZW.

mritter88 says:

What are you talking about? My Incredible had nothing pre-installed on it except for CityID, which I know a lot of people complained about in the forums, but it really wasn't a big deal. It was a neat feature to have, and once the free trial was over it disappeared (I know it's still on the phone but it doesn't give me pop ups or anything like that). I got mine on launch day, so unless it's changed since then...they didn't "bloat the phone...with a ton of crapware."

Duvi says:

You said "phones" and I then became confused...

What phones (plural) has AT&T locked down? Name two. I'm actually opening this up to include non-android smartphones.

luke31 says:

Well, sir, I'll have you know that there's the iPhone and... and... um, so yea there's the iPhone (just give me a few more seconds here...)

Seriously though, I own the Backflip, and I'm starting to get extremely frustrated at it. Its not, as some people believe, a terrible device. It has been rendered that way by AT&T, and until they learn better, nothing will change. Its so sad.

sp991 says:

My blackjack 2 was locked down by at&t

Now my N1 enjoys the feeling of total freedom :)

snookiesnoo says:

Verizon just started doing that as well as allowing wi-fi on their phones. You can thank Apple for that.

aldrydd says:

I think it's the subtext for what Andy said about Mario working six months on just one carrier... Clearly this model would be the norm if carriers were interested at all in competition.

Menno says:

Interesting to Point out that it was the "control Freak" carrier that pushed out 2.1 to both their "legacy" phones faster than anyone but the Google phone.

The Devour is the only phone on Verizon's lineup that isn't 2.1, and the Droid was specifically listed for an early 2.2 upgrade.

They are controlling about their network, but they're also the company that doesn't let their handset manufacturers wrest on their laurels

snookiesnoo says:

How exactly does CDMA "breed" control?

FatMikeNJ says:

no point in pushing the nexus one if we have the new droid incredible just released on VZW and the evo on Sprint.

John-Paul says:

Just curious...what was used to record the video (assuming it was AC staff). If a phone...which one?

Sanyo Xacti.

slinky317 says:

Did I miss the explanation about why VZW and Sprint bailed? All I heard was a vague "we're going a different direction" answer.

icebike says:

Repost (it got lost)...

Does all this reference to the Nexus One in the PAST TENSE and this stating new directions mean there will never be a Nexus TWO?

Because that would be a crying shame.

Quasar says:

I agree! Google should still have their own phones made that they are in control of, like the Nexus One, even if they are distributed through the carriers. I really like stock Android and the fast OS updates. The only way I will want to update from the N1 some day is by buying an updated version of the N1 that is totally supported by Google.

theeroopable says:

Google just needs to quit playing. Buy TMO or AT&T, rename it to Google, have a 20G network and be done with carrier nonsense.

2WheelCowboy says:

Lol @ icebike. I OWN both the Incredible and the Nexus One. Verizon didn't "bloat" anything. They didn't load a task killer.They load that on the in store devices because 99% of the reps don't have a rats ass clue in what they are doing. I bet if you ask them they would say windows is the most secure OS there is. Don't play your friends nexus and a incredible in store for five minutes and say you have had extensive time with both devices.

swimrage says:

I was willing to bet the 'bloat' was Sense, and thats HTC not Verizons doing
however, every phone Ive seen in a V store is bloated with a stupid Family Guy soundboard
and frankly, the Market is bloated with those.

abf005 says:

For crying out loud, won't anyone admit that buying an N1 phone through Google was next to impossible? Google's purchase process and contract restrictions were so ridiculous that I ended up opting out of buying one of the most desirable phones ever made.

T-Mobile bent over backwards to try to help me get an upgrade priced N1 and Google refused to acknowledge my status as eligible.

Plus requiring potential buyers to break up family plan packages and a few other ridiculous restrictions, shame on Google for just not selling the hardware outright as promoted.

Kiserai says:

They did sell it outright to me. I had absolutely no issue at all with getting it, but then again I wasn't trying to get it with a contract and a discount. I'm in the middle of an AT&T contract already, but I was sooooooo done with my iPhone and so I just ponied up the cash and bought the AT&T version at the no contract price.

It wasn't a hassle at all. I bought the phone with my Google checkout account, they shipped it out that same day, and it came the following morning at like, 11:00 AM. Free FedEx Overnight shipping. Best 576.02 (after tax) that I've ever spent on an electronic device.

Doesn't sound like the problem was specifically with Google, but rather some kind of communication issue between T-Mobile and Google. And the whole thing you talked about with breaking up family plans and whatnot doesn't sound like a Google thing at all. As long as they get their 529.00 (most of which comes from T-Mobile in your case) they could care less what kind of plan you're on or how much you're paying your carrier.

At any rate, it sounds like the T-Mobile rep you talked to was very good at his job, which goes in line with what I've heard about T-Mobile's excellent customer service. Too bad he was mostly just blowing smoke.

kpeste99 says:

Agree, problem was the buying process. My girlfriend, a tmobile customer under contract but eligible for a phone upgrade, wanted the N1. We could not, to save our lives, figure out how to get the phone and keep her same plan. She could get the N1 with the offered plan but then have to pay a penalty to cancel her current plan, or lose her number, we don't know because phone calls to tmobile brought more doubts since we received different answers. Google's help was also confusing saying one thing in one paragraph and then another in the next paragraph. We gave up saying if they don't want to make is easy for us to buy the phone then F*CK THEM!

eljoker says:

I guess I'm apart of the 1% of the reps that actully knows what I'm doing. As for the n1 not coming to vz or sprint, it makes no senese to realse a phone that spec wise is in between the droid and droid incredible on the verizon side. It would of made more sense to realse it on sprint which is lacking a vinilla android phone but the evo will out sell the n1 just as quicky as the incredible has sold out. Even if incredible and n1 are only a slight diffrance in spec wise people mostly buy on inpluse and when they see 8mp camera 8gb internal storage, tv out support, fm support then jump on it. When the evo hits its main selling points will be front facing camera, 4.3 screen, 4g, 8mp camera, hdmi. Even if we carried the n1 it would still be over shadows by these phones.

And for the record blackberry is the most secure, unless your rocking a palm pre or pixi and that's even more secure, not because of all security palm does but because only a handful of people buy them so they aren't targeted by hackers.

gbhil#AC says:

Your first sentence and your last sentence contradict each other.

klopinator says:

I couldn't have said that better.

Joker402,

Sprint does have a Vanilla Android phone. It's called the Samsung Moment. I own one. No Sense UI at all. Just plain jane Android 2.1 at this time.

My Comments:

I think Google really botched the Nexus One launch. If you knew that within 6 months HTC was launching both the HTC Evo & the Droid Incredible, why not hold off on the Nexus One & launch the Nexus Two this fall?

The Nexus Two could have and this is all "theoretical", have the new 1.5 Ghz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1.5 GB RAM, 1.5 GB ROM, 8 GB internal storage, 10 MP Camera, wireless N receiver/hotspot, Android 2.2 FroYo installed, microSD up to 64 GB, new generation Lithium Ion battery, 4" SuperAMOLED screen, & triple band GSM/CDMA/Wi-Max radio. Built for any market, anywhere in the world.

That would be a mind-blowing revolution in handset design. It would put Apple on the defense & allow for any carrier compatibility. You make sure that all the carriers have them instore on Day One. You allow them two come in two choices, vanilla or carrier tinkered version. The last piece is that both the carriers & Google handle support. The consumer has a choice of support & can go to either at any given time. I think that's where the revolution in phone market needs to go.

DaSpitter says:

Seriously,

I think what they were trying to say was that the N1 failed as "top-notch" android phone and that they are, seriously, abandoning the phone to work on their other "successful" products. It's okay to have a failure every once in a while Google. Dang...

Android Phone User

2WheelCowboy says:

BB is only secure through it's emails and that's only if you are using BES. They have built an image of being a secure device but they are not as secure as you think. Android is the most secure device on the market. No virus. If some one writes a malicious app that their name is stamped to it. Remember their guy who write a bank account app, one day it was in the market until the banks knew, google knew, and the police knew. It's much much easier to write an app for blackberry that gets buried inside then it is for android. For this to happen you would need to write from the kernel up. With BB you can write from the top down. Just, fyi. Glad to see a rep on here. If more would get involved like you we wouldn't have so many dumb customers.

eljoker says:

Posting half drunk in the middle of the night doesn't seem to help with grammar, spelling and making vz reps look like a lot smarter lol. Ma bad.

The moment is vinilla? I thought it still had a UI over stock android?

Also I haven't sold a single palm and only 2 have gone out from my store, 1 came back and my store does 300+ phones a month. The phone just does not sell, so on one bothers to hack it for personal info.

And last but not least every carrier has dumbass reps but the vzw guys down the street at the CORPRATE store take the cake. Those guys make walmart reps look like harvard grads, serioulsy I get more customers that walk in and sit there for hours telling me what they were told. Gotta love being franchised.

all i wanna know is when will we be seeing the nexus one in tmobile stores so i can buy it and beable to stand along side those that have the incedible, droid, hero etc. im sick of the G1

snookiesnoo says:

The reason they didn't get the Nexus One is it was outdated by the HTC Incredible. Not very complicated.