The company's brief experiment in direct mobile phone sales has been revived as a showcase for Android devices sold by Google's partners
In January, Google launched an online storefront to sell its Nexus One mobile phone directly to consumers. By May, the company saw the writing on the wall and closed its phone store, citing poor sales and saying nothing about stepping on the toes of its Android partners.
On Wednesday, Google made amends by converting its challenge to mobile carriers into a showcase for its partners' Android wares. If the writing on the wall could be read, it would be something along the lines of "If you can't beat them, promote them."
"Since there are so many great phones, we wanted to make the selection process a little easier for people who are in the market for a new one," explained Google Android product manager Ben Serridge in a blog post.
Serridge notes that all of the phones in the gallery include Android Market, Google Search and other Google Mobile services, as if it weren't clear that the likes of the Samsung Fascinate -- which defaults to Microsoft's Bing search engine -- aren't welcome.
The Google phone gallery allows users to filter phones by country, manufacturer, and carrier. While the ability to view technical specifications and features side-by-side is helpful, Google has neglected -- at the behest of its partners? -- to include truly useful information: the cost of monthly subscription plans and the total cost of phone ownership over the life of the service contract.
In any event, Google's timing is good: interest in Android is at an all-time high, according to data released on Wednesday by ChangeWave. A survey of 4,000 people completed last week indicates that 37% of consumers planning to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days voiced a preference for an Android OS device. That's an increase of seven percentage points since a similar survey was fielded in June and a mere one percentage point behind the number of people who say they want their next smartphone to be an iPhone.
Building A Mobile Business MindsetAmong 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 18, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."