Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 are hot, but will Google help them succeed?

Some of you may not remember this, but a lot of us where confused by Google’s announcement of the Nexus One so many years ago. We eventually understood that at a time when Android was beginning to dilute itself in a sea of custom skins and lackluster specifications, Google needed push OEMs to dare the odds of the spec sheet with more powerful hardware, and it also needed to show the world what Android was truly like under all the existing bloat. Google succeeded in this endeavor, and even if the Nexus One wasn’t a hot seller in numbers because of its price, it was my first Android smartphone for a reason.
The rest of the Nexus story is a mixed bag of strategies. The Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus followed the Nexus One legacy in the spec race and price point, but the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 did the complete opposite. Times had changed, and Google needed to push OEMs to drive the price of their smartphones and tablets down in order to make Android more accessible to everyone. Google succeeded when it came to tablets, but not so much in smartphones. The company struggled so much to meet its smartphone demand that customers (like me) were forced to look elsewhere.
Today’s silent announcement of the Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Nexus 6 by Motorola and the Nexus 9 by HTC has done an amazing job at stunning the media to some degree. This is clearly the maturity we’ve dreamed about in Android over the last couple of years, and the design and specifications of Google’s Nexus offerings are simply outstanding. The reason I say “to some degree” has nothing to do with the products themselves, but with their parent company. History has proven that Google doesn’t do these products enough justice, and let me explain why.

A silent announcement Google, really?

If Samsung launches a twitter-powered refrigerator, it does so at CES. If Huawei launches its cheapest smartphone line-up for Asia, it does so in an event. If Apple wants to sell us a bigger iPhone that’s just a bigger iPhone, it does so with an event. Where’s the Nexus event Google?
Some of you may not find this necessary, but the average Joe will care about your product as much as you do. Everyone I know, even if not tech oriented, is already waiting for the Galaxy Note 4 or the iPhone 6, even if these phones are not sold in my country yet. Why? Well, that’s what marketing does. It’s designed to create a need, even if you don’t really have one. How can you want a Nexus 6 or Nexus 9 if Google won’t care to make a big deal out of it?
Ever since the launch of the Nexus 4, Google has become inconsistent about event announcements, and it has done a terrible job at marketing its Nexus products. Back when these were extremely affordable, that word of mouth would help, but that will be a tough one at the price points of the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9.

Will Google make enough of them

I’m not ashamed to admit that the last Nexus products I owned were a Galaxy Nexus and a first-generation Nexus 7. Yes, I did try to preorder their successors and failed. Yes I did wait weeks for them to be available. Yes, I was even willing to spend more money on them on eBay, until I talked some sense into myself because it would defeat the purpose.
Every other product sold out early, and took months to meet the rest of the demand. You could say that selling out a product is good because Google is exceeding its projections, but it’s not like of Google has ever been proud of how many Nexus products it has sold.
At a time where I can bring the full Google experience to almost every smartphone, be it through the Google Now launcher or CyanogenMod, it made no sense to waste my time waiting for the full Nexus experience. Surely the timely software updates were a good reason to wait, but that’s not a priority for the average user.

The bottom line

All this said, we do wonder if these Nexus products will create the level of need from the market that we saw from some of their predecessors. We do hope Google ups its ante when it comes to generating buzz for them, but the lack of an event is not a good way to start.
Back when buying a Nexus meant that you would almost get a flagship for a very affordable price, doing this was relatively easy, but today you’re getting a flagship just like every other, with the same price as every other, and with the risk of them being diluted in the crowd because of terrible marketing and availability. The success of the Nexus lies in its parent company, and not in market acceptance. There’s nothing to complain about with these Nexus products, except when you simply don’t know or care enough about them. Your move Google! We do hope you get the whole banana right this time.
Are you ordering either of these Nexus products? Leave us a comment down bellow.
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