Editorial: It's OK to take a breath

Way too much hay has been made over Google and Samsung's decision to postpone Tuesday's Nexus/Ice Cream Sandwich event at CTIA in San Diego. It's disappointing, to be sure -- especially to those of us who were going to be there. Samsung and Google events, separately, are something to experience. Put them together, and, well, we can only imagine. But it's also disappointing for everyone else, as the event was to be streamed live, for everyone to see it, and not just those lucky enough to be in the room. That's very openy of Google, ain't it?

It didn't help that the postponement message appeared to be somewhat bungled, with word apparently first trickling out from Samsung UK (which being hours ahead in Europe was actually awake), while the U.S. arm was the one that had sent the invitations in the first place, so presumably it would be the one to give us the bad news after breakfast. (And, in the end, it did.) That's inside baseball, though, and shouldn't really matter. When two major companies are coordinating something like this, stuff happens.

And it didn't help that barely hours before, another major Ice Cream Sandwich/Nexus leak hit with video and screen shots of the new phone and new device. First thing many of us saw after waking Friday was a shiny new phone and version of Android. It's Christmas in October, right?

But then we get official word, and the conspiracy theories began. Ice Cream Sandwich isn't ready. The hardware isn't ready. The event presentation isn't ready. Apple filed another pre-emptive lawsuit. Plausible theories, all (especially the latter, we suppose). A statement was later released, saying "We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs's passing."

We should all respect that.

We tend to think of these phones as ours. Our phones, our platforms, our ecosystems. We take them personally. We fight for them. That's not a bad thing. We should care, and maybe even be a little overzealous. But something most of us outside of the companies involved need to remember is that we see the end product -- we don't truly understand the blood, sweat and tears, days and weeks and months and years that go into building these phones. The developers. The engineers. The debuggers. The managers. The PR folks. The countless wives and husbands and children. Trust me, they take these things personally, too. They fight for them. They care. And maybe they're even a little overzealous. That's how they should be.

ZENandTECH helps center your inner geek and de-stress your connected life.

I don't pretend to "know" Google any more than I pretend to "know" Apple. But I do know they're companies made of people. I was lucky enough to spend a few hours in Mountain View earlier this year, and one thing that stood out was just the overall vibe of happiness of the people mulling around, eating lunch, going from building to building and generously tolerating a bunch of nosy journalists in their way for the morning. It's palpable. But another thing I'm pretty sure of is that for all the secrecy and competition, it's also a fairly tight-knit community. Friends. Family. Respected competitors. (Remember that Eric Schmidt was once on Apple's board.)

This week, they -- and to a different extent those of us in the general public -- all lost someone whose effect on our lives, both personal and technological, likely will be measured not in product cycles or releases, but in the way our children and grandchildren live their lives.

Point is this: We want the next Nexus phone. We want Ice Cream Sandwich. And soon enough, we'll have them both. And they'll be spectacular. And they'll be replaced by something else in another year and we'll go though the process again.

If the men and women of Google and Samsung and any other tech industry more directly affected by Apple and Steve Jobs want a little time next week to reflect, regroup and take a breath, let them. They deserve it.

  • I don't buy the Steve Jobs angle.
  • Then clearly you don't have a brain.
  • Or he can't read lol
  • Do you believe ALL you read? ... Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I personally believe companies take into consideration both social and economic issues before making their decisions.
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  • You might want to rethink that then. If they go through with the announcement at that time then the general public will see it as Steve Jobs' biggest competitor is attacking his company at a time of mourning. They won't realize this event was planned far in advance, they'll just cry foul. Also, seeing how huge of a media storm Jobs' death created, that storm won't have passed by next week and, if anything, his funeral will keep it going strong. It'd be hard to for Google and Samsung to get the media attention this event is intended to generate in light of this, so it's best for them to delay it.
  • This is 100% truth.
  • l u just explained it superfluously, good job
  • And yet, here it is, "next week" (October 11th.) I just went through all the morning stories and... No Steve Jobs. The media has already moved on. Sad to say, but even the passing of a Giant like Mr. Jobs will get no more than a couple days' play at most. Let's be honest; Mr. Jobs was a good man who died quietly at home after a long battle with cancer. Beyond the most perfunctory note, that's a non-story to a "if it bleeds it leads" media. Now, if he had died a Jackson-esque death involving drugs or suicide or something else titillating, then the circus wouldn't stop for 3 weeks. But a quiet departure for a good man? The media doesn't care. It's sick, but it's true. Honestly, There was no need to delay the release of the phone. Nobody would be making anything of it other than a few raging nerds. Frankly, the delay is frustrating. I need a new phone. Not want, Need. My old Palm phone is on it's last legs and I have been waiting for the Nexus prime since HP scuttled WebOS in an orgy of stupid mismanagement. If I get some other phone now, I blow my Sprint Gold member discount and have to wait a year before I can upgrade. So here I am, with a broken and dying phone, waiting on tenterhooks for the release of this new phone and "Oh sorry, we're gonna delay this phone because Steve Jobs died, and some small number of Apple nerds who would never buy our phone anyway might have their widdle feewings hurt." ARGH! A year from now, nobody is going to remember that Google delayed the Nexus Prime launch. There isn't any good will to be gained by this. JUST LAUNCH THE PHONE ALREADY!
  • You are going to be majorly disappointed when they release the "Prime" as a Verizon only device for a few months, followed by ATT, T-Mobile and then (probably) lastly Sprint. That Pre had better hang in there a long while longer, methinks.
  • Well, if the announcement doesn't include Sprint, then I'll just go for a Galaxy S II instead. It's not like that's a BAD phone or anything. I would prefer the Prime, but if I can't get it, I'll go for something else. I would like to know what's happening sooner rather than later so I can plan accordingly. My understanding is that in the past, the Nexus devices have been released on all carriers simultaneously, because they are generic devices with vanilla Android on them. Is that incorrect?
  • Regarding your last paragraph. Yes, that is incorrect. The Nexus devices have always had their initial launch on one carrier.
  • You don't buy that a man died?! The man who basically is reason why Android was pushed to the limits that it is today? Why the laptop I'm typing on is from that man. Its a F****** phone. It will still prob come out at the same time. We all know what it is. God like your life is over with or something. It was a huge lost for everyone in the tech industry.
  • sounds like you just wanted to let us know you had a mac.
  • You're an idiot. It's called explaining how much his products is in people's hands and how he has changed the tech industry. Nice try tho.
  • Then your a dumb ass.
  • Oh the irony...
  • "you're" would make you look like less of one :P
  • I agree. This is a business and just because someone passes doesn't mean you can't announce a new product. I mean would apple do the same if another companies CEO passed? Doubtful. ICS most likely is still buggy and google wants to push it back a little( event atleast) so they can release it with less bugs. Most likely they would have made us wait a few weeks from when they introduced it anyway so maybe now it will be announced and then preorders and availability will be much closer such as a few days or even same day preorders.
  • All their saying is , their not gonna announce it on Tuesday. The phone has a release date. their gonna stick with that . Steve Jobs was a pop icon , like it or not, just as Gates , Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey and a cast of others. I would go as far as comparing him to Henry Ford. If Android and Samsung would do this now , why would look really bad. They can afford to hold off for a week or so. Especially being his nemesis. I love Android , cant wait for this phone to come out , but it seems as thou your more upset then me , do you really want this phone also?
  • Exactly. It's only a phone. One which you'll most likely replace this time next year for something completely different. Occupy your time as an adult and when the phone drops, go get it. There are bigger things in life to worry about.
  • Cj, you're probably an asshole. Might want to get that checked out.
  • You guys keep building up the suspense in me! My God.
  • Well said...
  • Well put! Despite the competitive nature of the industry, I'm sure there are friends, former co-workers and even admirers of Steve Jobs within both Google and Samsung, who need some time to grieve in their own manner. There will be plenty of time to introduce what will be the next great headache for Apple but right now, lets give the human beings the time to mourn the loss of another human being in the way they see fit.
  • This said, and the fact that they postponed the event and hopefully not the release date. Great piece of commentary!
  • This comment will get lost in the sea of comments, but Phil, if you see this. Know that stories like these are why I read Android Central. You guys make it about more than the rumors and devices. Keep up the good work.
  • +1
  • +1
  • +1
  • +32767
  • Amen
  • Amen. +1. Whatever.
  • +1
  • Too bad this wasn't the first post. +1
  • While I do agree with the gist of the article, the worst part of the timing on this is with the tmobile launch. I was really hoping to have confirmation of the phones specs and ICS improvements before deciding to buy the tmobile version. If ICS disappoints, I have no qualms with buying the tmo unlocked device and putting it on the new $30 walmart plan, if ICS is the shizz, I want this + 720p samoled +. Oh well, to gamble or wait? That is the question.
  • sorry they inconvenienced you. You gonna be ok?
  • Well put.Phil
  • Phil this hits the spot, good writing and thanks. I can breath again. I do get excited.
  • NICE!!!
  • I always enjoy reading your editorials Phil.
  • phil = reason, thanks!
  • Kudos, Phil. Well said! :-)
  • When Jobs died, I thought about the release of the Nexus Prime and ICS, and how Google wouldn't want to look disrespectful by releasing a competing phone and OS in that environment. But I also thought a week (6 days anyway) would actually be enough for the news cycle to have cleared, and people to accept a new Google phone. I suspect Google's publicity department thought differently. Or perhaps the powers that be at Google really felt in their hearts that it was too soon. After all, they linked to Apple on their home page out of respect. Had Brin or Page died, I highly doubt Apple would have done the same. They're a ruthless company that has never (in my memory) displayed the lightheartedness and friendliness toward rivals that is characteristic of Google. So maybe they felt there really should be a longer period of mourning than 6 days. But it's probably just the publicity department not wanting them to look bad. Understandable.
  • What should be considered is the funeral itself, which I am sure will be quite a media event. Can you imagine if the funeral and the phone were announced on the same day? The nicknames for the phone and Google's image would take quite a hit.
  • ...Or maybe they felt there really should be a longer period of mourning than 6 days. Understandable.
  • Well said Phil! I've been just as excited and wishing Tuesday would hurry up and get here like some 6 year old waiting for Christmas morning like the rest of you! But in light of the Passing of Steve Jobs I think it was a smart move and Google and Samsung are better for it. Will I be sad if this ends up affecting the release date? yes! do I think it will? no! ICS and the Droid, Galaxy, Nexus Prime will be official soon enough. Relax and enjoy life knowing that this phone will exists! :)
  • I hope they canceled because their redesigning ICS.
  • Thanks TROLL!
  • Like in most companies, the management positions get ALL the credit for the hard work. Of course, there are other much harder-working people that make it happen behind the scenes: http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/113636/design-spotlight-thr... It's easier for Jobs to just say "I don't like this" or "change that" than it is to create the artwork/design itself. And like most people, he was not a saint: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/technology/steve-jobs-defended-his-wor... But nonetheless, he did have A LOT to do with Apple's success and he deserves to be recognized. I, however, will pay tribute to something more important today (like the troops fighting for our freedom).
  • + 1 Tron. So pathetic this gets more press coverage than deaths of our soldiers.
  • well said Phil.
  • We all know who will not be taking time to mourn -- Apple's Legal Team!!
  • Well said, but with Jobs' funeral happening today, it seems a bit over the top imo.
  • Great written article.
  • very well said, I enjoy reading these article that have real emotion put into them and I am glad you put this in all your reviews. It makes me love this site more and more! And to those complaining that "Apple would never do this". Ask yourselves does that even matter? Google and Samsung are taking the high road and postponing a very big launch so people can mourn for the man. They are being very respectable and I applaud them for doing so.
  • Thanks, Phil. We're very excited about things to come. Will be worth the wait. ;-PhilipBerne, Samsung Mobile.
  • IMHO, this is just Google and Samsung doing what THEY find as respectful to Mr. Jobs and his family. It has nothing to do with what any other company might/would have done. Great OpEd Phil.
  • Excellent point of view, Phil. The device and OS will be out soon enough and we'll all go a back to daily living :)
  • After seeing the phone, I am underwhelmed. There is WAAAAAAAYYYYYY too much bezel at the top and bottom of the screen. I am proud of Samsung, but can't support them until they improve their build quality and reduce bezel. That phone has more bezel than the iphone. I will continue to rock my Thunderbolt with CM7 : )
  • Palpable, indeed indeed, let the hierarchy sit. Good show Google.
  • To those that don't believe the reasoning behind the postponement, I think it takes a lot for a company to postpone a major launch event and for this reason I feel it is the truth. I am sure the decision was difficult to make and entirely genuine. I don't believe, as big and as bad as they may be, that either Samsung or Google would use the death of a fellow human being as a scapegoat to postpone the launch event because they weren't ready. That would be a disgraceful move and that would be a PR nightmare if it were to be discovered to be true. As much as I am looking forward to this, I have much respect for their handling of this situation and will continue to wait. Plus we have more rumors to keep us going than iPhone 4's sold on launch day. Every other tweet in my timeline seems to be ICS or Nexus WhateverWeAreGoingToCallIt related.
  • Well said thanks!
  • Great post Phil! Well said. I am as anxious about the new Nexus phone and ICS as any Android fan, but I also acknowledge the contribution that Jobs made to the industry and respect Google's/Samsung's decision to postpone their event. +1
  • Good for Google and Samsung to do that in respect to Jobs. That's an incredible thing to do in respect to another person. That's how it should be, competition shouldn't be so fierce that we all don't care about the general well being of others, especially when it's someone as influential as Steve Jobs was. I don't agree with Apple, but I respected it's founder.
    Plus, stabbing Apple through the heart with something way more awesome that what they got going is not the way to treat them after the passing of their founder. And I would think people would call Google and Samsung assholes for doing it.
  • Can We Please, Have a Moment of Silence...........
  • I believe the only reason Google delayed the unveiling is because they did not want it lost, and left unoticed under a sea of Steve Jobs news. As a customer of Google's I respect the decision. I will also continue to support Google by purchasing the next Nexus at my first chance.
  • I'm never satisfied its a curse
  • Someone curb stomp the first poster
  • Steve Jobs' funeral was yesterday (Friday) as I write this. Did Apples legal teams around the globe or near slave labor manufacturing at Foxconn plants in China stop? Somehow I doubt it. But Google/Samsung can do as they wish it's their product. The commenter above was correct. Tronthedon pointed out this man was no saint. None of us are. Lets stop the deity worship now. Will you give as much attention to the armed forces fighting in combat right now? Agree with them or not on why or how they got there, I think their work should bring a little more reflection & debate than Steve Jobs passing from natural causes. But as I've seen already on this site that kind of thinking makes me an idiot/troll/asshole/insert adjective here.
  • uh... on this site enlisted service men are not relevant, all respect due to them. But Steve Jobs is relevant due to the fact that this is a mobile technology site. Should we also create articles in this space about the death of Casey Anthony and who got voted off Dancing with the Stars? Hmmm?
    I'm sure the aforementioned subjects get their due treatment on other sites. Thanks.
  • I'm ok with the postponing the event if the releasedate is already set, then the wait wont be so long. It be pretty awesome if like. "Here is the NEW NEXUS" "when can you buy it?" " TODAY!!!" *audience cheers*
  • Amen! Great editorial Phil. Thanks.
  • I think Google and Samsung should close up shop and go out of business to show how respectful and sweet they are.
  • And going forward you should boycott all Google and Samsung products.
  • Phil, that was a great right up. I feel that what ever the reason is for the delay we are all going to still get the phone in a few weeks and no one will even remember that the phone was delayed. That is why Google and Samsung decided to delay the release cause in this ever changing world people will have forgotten that an inovator in this industry is gone.
    It is like the bully that always bothered you in school and you would wish him gone. When he is eventually gone you would still miss him because you were used to him being around.
  • I've given this some thought and originally I was against the delay of the announcement. I'm pretty sure that they are planning on hitting the iPhone pretty hard since the 4s announcement was really weak and the Nexus is going to be groundbreaking. With the proximity to Jobs' death/funeral, the announcement could possibly be perceived as an attack on Jobs. I think the phone will be a winner no matter whether it is announced this week or not.
  • I don't understand the point. Why does anyone care about life going on just because Jobs died. People die everyday and they're all important to someone. If they would have gone on with it and not said anything, noone would have connected the two anyhow and for the few apple cores that did, who cares. They're not buying android anyhow
  • It's ok not to understand the point. Those who do care, including Google and Samsung, understand the point, hence the postponement. Thats all that matters.
    You can boycott the phone when it comes out or you can purchase it. Either way, the sun will still rise each day.
  • Great point of view. There are a lot of lives behind the scenes.
  • Personally I would like to say this is a great article and very well written. There is a lot of chatter on this subject and this cleans it up. Life will continue, lets show some respect. And yes I too am dying for this phone or something worthy of retiring my OGD.
  • The Steve Jobs story was big, but the story has already lost major steam and is just about done now. Very few news stories have any staying power. Heck, the Bin Laden death story was over in a week! Thus, it has no effect on any of this android business.
  • I have to say that many of the above comments or ratings are biased. Many truthful comments are given a thumbs down. You cannot deny that Steve Jobs contributed a lot to the tech world, especially the mobile market. There might still have been Android if he hadn't announced iPhone, but it was surely him who started the craze for tablets. Despite the fact that I'm anti-iOS, I respect him a great deal. To me he deserves the mourning by Google. Of course, you could think it this way - it would damage Google and Samsung's reputation a lot if they hadn't postponed the announcement. Heartfelt or not, this postponement is reasonable. Well-written article, Phil.
  • All very well said, Phil. There is a saying: never kick a man when he's down. Steve Jobs was definitely one of the greatest marketers of our time, and most definitely the vision behind a lot of the great devices from Apple. He's a good chunk of the reason why the world of mobile phones has come into its place today thanks to the iPhone. If my memory serves me correctly, the iPhone even changed how Android was to be done (originally, it was supposed to more closely mimic blackberry). With Steve Jobs passing, Apple's employees were and are in a place of mourning. I remember when I was in high school, and one of the students passed away, we had grief counselors available for not just six days, but a whole month. Everyone takes different amounts of time to be ready to move on in the world, and this, in my view, is one thing Google and Samsung are recognizing. Probably not only out of respect for the staff at Apple and the numerous Apple fanatics worldwide, but also for the staff within their own organizations who may have worked closely with Apple and/or Steve Jobs. There's other reasons too, obviously. Timing is everything in the world of business, and if a product is released at the wrong time, it gets swallowed up very quickly in the sea of announcements. Release a device that puts a competitor's product to shame in nearly every way too soon after said competitor's founder has passed away, and you look more like you're attempting to either dance on their grave or were waiting for the leadership to pass on before crushing them. Not things that Google or Samsung would want to do. Obviously all this is already said up in Phil's editorial, and I will note this is why I read Android Central and Crackberry... you guys are beyond just the devices, especially when it comes to your editorials. You show us you are people too... not just device junkies :P. Thanks for the editorial, Phil.
  • Brilliantly awesome Phil. You're best one yet. I'm very excited about the unveiling of this gem, but for some reason I was not as disappointed as I though I would be about the postponement. I guess my patience has grown and matured as I head toward my quasi mid-life elder days. Keep churnin' out these awesome pieces Phil and stay TECH-ZEN! Cheers.
  • I am sure many in the industry like upper execs at Google might be attending any services/Funeral etc. It would be difficult at best to manage an event like a release of a major OS update on a different coast while trying to pay respects to someone in California. We are talking about the passing of human being and many here are arguing they are worried about what the buttons are going to look like in Ice Cream Sandwich and want to know on Tuesday.
  • Good article, let's all have a little perspective and see the bigger picture. I, for one, do buy the announcement out of Google. They admired Jobs greatly: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/66114966/
  • Postponing the announcement had NOTHING to do with respect. As pointed out earlier, the Apple stores are wide the "F" open and riding the sales wave of sentimental purchases. No shuttered stores or black banners draped on every Apple owned buidling because they're making bank right now.It's business. Samsung/Google delay is PURELY business/marketing strategy and that's IT! No kudos due there in the least. The only kudos due there are to the person that said "Oh sh*t we better pull the plug on this baby!" It's business pure and simple. At best we can hope it's ONLY the announcement that is delayed and not another GsII fiasco on our plate. Phil I can understand where you're coming from and appreciate your efforts in writing this piece. You're right it is their company, that said some of us are tired of poorly built/rushed to market devices (highly speced non the less). These device companies screw with us because they know they can. Exactly what the US auto industry did until they got called on it.
  • Wow Phil. That was awful. I'm a loyal reader of AC and will continue to be, but reading this after that cop-out you did at the beginning of the AC Podcast on Jobs was sickening. You spent, quite literally, about a minute at the top of the podcast talking about Steve Jobs. Love Apple or hate Apple, you have to recognize the impact he's had on multiple industries. And yet you spent less than a minute acknowledging the death of the man, and even felt you had to tell everyone to "keep everything in perspective", including (with a laugh)a mention the Gawker article "Steve Jobs is not God." Then you say, "they're just products" and talk about how you're looking forward to Android and iOS butting heads. I thought that was a bit crappy at the time. You're a journalist. You couldn't offer just a little perspective on the Jobs impact on the technology world? But then you sit down to write this editorial about how it's ok and good for the happy people at Mountain View to be able to take some time to mourn a man that has had such a profound impact on them, "whose effect on our lives, both personal and technological, likely will be measured not in product cycles or releases, but in the way our children and grandchildren live their lives." So one day you spend a few seconds telling us all to keep Jobs' death in perspective, but then when it affects the people of Google, you're talking about him in terms of affecting our grandchildren. So Phil, which is it? You say they deserve the time to take a breath. I agree. I also say we deserved a little more from the editor of the best Android site on the web than just an admonition to keep things in perspective, and that Steve Jobs is not God.
  • I was found it quite refreshing when i listened to the ac podcast and for once this week didn't have to listen to the worship of jobs. If jobs is your hero, icon or god, then great this is a free country your welcome to your beliefs. My only image of the man is the evil sob that has set the tech world back unknown amounts with all the lawsuits, and that's my damn right as well. For those that loved the man and the company i am truly happy for you all that you have all of this coverage to salivate over. When i tuned in to the podcast i was dreading that it would be like every other newscast this week spending the whole show on some guy dying. Anyways thank you android central for letting the android podcast focus on android.