The Chromebook Pixel. How vivid the image remains of the day, nearly two years ago when UPS delivered that tech goodness to my door. My oh my, I surely felt after using the Pixel, that Google would shake the hardware world up for many years to come. Two things; One, their not doing that and two, the fact that I’m typing on that aforementioned Pixel has much to do with that now vivid image…
Here’s where it gets interesting. Like many of us, the Pixel represented greatness in tech, from top to bottom. We all watched as Google pumped out solid smartphones and tablets along with ventures into other markets and countries, balloons providing internet, fiber being fed to homes, cars driving themselves and glasses bringing mobile to the eye (literally).
Then Google commenced this Google Edition device campaign, getting manufacturers to strip their flagship phones and build stock Android with their names affixed. OK, the Nexus line was still in motion, doing well among the loyalist. Some circles wondered if this was a sign that Google was considering walking away from the mobile realm. Let’s jump back to Google Glass for a moment…
What a venture that was, the ultimate wearable in the form of eyeglasses. As I’m writing,we already know that Google has ended the current iteration and somewhere deep in the their basements, some percentage of time is being dedicated to a revived form. Google Glass was at minimum, intriguing to the masses (not the price) and the use possibilities just seemed to grow. Parallel to all that goodness, privacy concerns began to rear and driving while wearing was being challenged. That price of $1500 just lingered and lingered until nearly the end when whispers of sub $400 or $500 would be the consumer price. Bottom line, Google Glass failed and when it did, I think Google’s interest in mobile hardware began a slow decent of no return.
Fast forward to the high anticipation we all had of the successor to the Nexus tablet line, the Nine. Built by HTC with heavy oversight by Google, the Nexus Nine that hit the shelves was a disappointment. Now, it’s a good tablet, top specs, but it wasn’t a home run. The effort, no knock on HTC, just seemed “oh by the way”ish, oh by the way, we need to make this tablet, we’ve committed, so we’ll deliver. I bought and returned the Nine, didn’t last the weekend. Google I/O 2015 is around the corner, maybe there’s some magic up the sleeves that’ll be announced, but the tea-leaves say other.
To all the Android loyalist; Are you seeing the same or do you think it’s just a company going through a typical down phase that’s soon to rise? Even looking at the Nexus 6, while nice, it didn’t set the market afire and look at the price Google tagged it with, whew! The price in itself could be an indicator of Google fading from hardware; lets sell high, make as much as possible vice ways of old.
This is simply one man’s thinking out loud and surely I’ve got no crystal ball into the tomorrow of Google. However, I’ve got what we all have, the doing of Google’s yesterday which can be a strong indicator of path.
No doubt, many of you have thoughts regarding. Share them, leave a comment and we’ll discuss.