In a recent interview with the Telegraph Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt discussed the company’s approach to data, its mobile operating system, Android, and its unreleased operating system, Chrome OS. The most interesting part of the interview was when Schmidt said that the company won’t be releasing a second Android device, rumored to be named the Nexus Two. The company sees no need for such a device with there now being many high spec’d devices running Android.
Schmidt discussed the reasoning for Google not to make the Nexus Two stating that “the idea a year and a half ago was to do the Nexus One to try to move the phone platform hardware business forward. It clearly did. It was so successful, we didn't have to do a second one. We would view that as positive but people criticized us heavily for that. I called up the board and said: 'Ok, it worked. Congratulations - we're stopping'. We like that flexibility, we think that flexibility is characteristic of nimbleness at our scale”.
Some people will have been hoping Google would release another Nexus device as it was likely to feature impressive hardware; however there will equally be people who are pleased there isn’t another high profile Android device coming out in the near future. Over the past few months there have been an unprecedented number of powerful Android devices released, annoying some who want there to be a single Android device that is the best for a reasonable period of time. It’s likely this news will also be well received by device manufactures who are thought to have been slightly put out by Google's strategy of providing the operating system and also offering a competing device.
The decision not to produce a “Nexus Two” might also have been influenced by weaker sales than many expected of the original Google Nexus One.
The interview continued on to discuss, briefly, Google’s plans for Chrome OS, the company’s lightweight Internet based OS expected to be released later this year. Schmidt was asked if Google would “consider a similar partnership [as with HTC to create the Nexus One] to help get Chrome OS […] off the ground?”
“We've talked about it. We have a reference spec for Chrome OS, we have a couple of hardware partners all lined up and the open source is all out there. It's on schedule and it will happen later this year. Let's see how well those partners do first. My guess is we won't need to. The PC industry is different from the phone industry. The PC industry is used to working with Microsoft, whereas the mobile industry was not used to working with software.”
Whilst not confirming or denying a Google Chrome OS computer, it’s worth noting that there has been little talk or rumors about such a device. The fact Google has even considered a Chrome OS device of their own is very interesting, if they have a specification and partners lined up for the OS then it should mean Google needn’t enter the market with their own device.
The subjects of Apple and how Google handles data was also brought up in the interview with Schmidt’s responding to how Google competes with Apple being a rather stark picture of how the company’s approaches differ with consumer offerings. "The difference between the Apple model and the Google model is easy to understand - they're completely different. The Google model is completely open. You can basically take the software - it's free - you can modify whatever you want, you can add any kind of app, you can build any kind of business model on top of it and you can add any kind of hardware. The Apple model is the inverse."
On the subject of how much data Google absorbs and how it looks after user's data, Schmidt was keen to tell the Telegraph that the company makes “decisions based on what the average user tells [them] and [they] do check”. When Google launched its Twitter-like service, Buzz earlier this year, they were widely criticized for the way users privacy was handled, however within days Google had added options to Buzz to allow users more control over their data and information.
Google has just released the latest version of Android named Froyo, which some device manufactures are already offering on their devices. Google plans to release Chrome OS and version 3.0 of Android later this year and the company is also rumored to be working on a social network to rival Facebook named Google Me and a music store to rival Apple’s iTunes Store and Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace.