Google has surreptitiously answered whether AT&T or T-Mobile would carry Galaxy Nexus, which is available from Sprint and Verizon here in the United States: No. Otherwise, why would Google sell the smartphone direct, which it started doing yesterday. It's a helluva price, too -- $399, unlocked, with no contractual commitment.
This is the HSPA+ model released internationally in November 2011. That means no LTE and only 16GB storage, rather than 32GB -- and it's not expandable. The phone sold for $729 or more from Amazon and handset resellers just a few months ago. Amazon lists the 16GB model for $438 today. But, hey, $399 is better. But is it low enough for you? You can get 64GB iPhone 4S from AT&T for same price -- granted locked, with 2-year contractual commitment. Both handsets are HSPA+, though, and AppleCare+, which offers cheap replacement for broken phones, is an extra $99. So I ask: Would you -- or will you -- buy Galaxy Nexus direct from Google?
Anyone who knows about marketing should readily understand market segmentation: it is a way of isolating customers/users/consumers by type. It could be geographically, it could be demographically, it could be psychographically, or it could be through some other defining characteristic.
The question I have: Why doesn't it matter?
Over the weekend, iPhone 4S and I spent some quality time together. My interest: How does the user experience compare to Galaxy Nexus? There certainly are differences, but the most startling, at least in San Diego, Calif., is data speed. Verizon's LTE network kicks ass, while AT&T's HSPA+ -- on iPhone 4S -- does not. Hey, why walk 30 miles to work when you can drive there?
Finally, after a two-day delay, we have a winner for a shiny, new Galaxy Nexus smartphone. We asked you to offer 2012 New Year's resolutions for Google -- and you did, and some too late to qualify (you missed the deadline, sorry). Among the many on-time submissions, we chose 25 resolutions that Google should consider for the year ahead.
The resolutions aren't as broad as we expected and perhaps the prize is reason. More of you offered suggestions about Android than anything else. In the list below, some submitters appear more than one time, but they were only considered once in the prize drawing. We randomly chose from among all submitters meeting the deadline. In the interest of time -- and preparation for next week's Consumer Electronics Show -- we didn't check to see if all submitters met the other qualifications. We qualified the winner only and would have drawn another name had he failed to meet them (The two absolutely required with the resolution submission: Tweet the post and follow BetaNews on Twitter).
That's the gist of an advertisement running at CNET right now. It's the "first 4G LTE phone from Sprint", according to the banner advert, on the carrier's, ah, coming-sometime-really-soon LTE network. I dunno if the ad spills a pending CES 2012 announcement or what. But leaks don't get much funnier than this.
On the other hand, Sprint held a little event late this afternoon announcing big, splashy LTE network deployment. I suppose the carrier could offer Galaxy Nexus with LTE capability ahead of the bigger pipes. But the handsome smartphone may look a little old in the tooth when quad-core beauties start selling around the time Sprint offers LTE.
AT&T LTE is now available in San Diego, which means I'll soon conduct speed test comparisons around the city against Verizon's 4G network. It will be the Wilcox household network speed test face-off, the wife's Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket against my Galaxy Nexus.
San Diego joins 10 other cities, which LTE service AT&T announced today. They are: Austin, Texas; Chapel Hill, N.C.; New York City metro area; Los Angeles; Oakland; Orlando, Phoenix; Raleigh, N.C.; San Diego; San Francisco; and San Jose. They join 15 others: Athens, Ga.; Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Oklahoma City; San Antonio; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Washington, DC. AT&T claims its LTE network reaches 74 million people; Verizon, 200 million.
BetaNews reader-appreciation week continues with a third contest. We'd like to give one lucky reader the Google-branded, Samsung-manufactured Galaxy Nexus. But you'll have to work for it, by, first, offering New Year's resolutions that Google should make in 2012. We're giving away a Google phone after all.
Earlier today, Colleague Ed Oslwald offered resolutions for Apple, and I'm working on my annual list for Microsoft. Google will come from you, and we ask that you make serious resolutions -- things that could improve the core business, Google products and services and relationship to customers, among others. This is your chance to tell Google execs what you want from the company this year and possibly win Galaxy Nexus in the process.
So much for Apple's voice command/response technology Siri.
Among this year's holiday presents, our family received a gift card for Italian eatery Buca di Beppo, which my daughter gladly used to go out to dinner with a friend. So last night, they're ready to drive but no one knows to where. She pulls out her iPhone 4S and speaks "directions to Buca di Beppo", which Siri can't understand and repeatedly gives meaningless results when she tries again.
Yeah, I know, this is a bit fluffy stuff, but I'm flu-stricken today and barely able to sit up to type. Besides, these are both really great ads that stand out for creativity and how well they demonstrate product benefits. Good marketing is often about great storytelling and, with smartphones like these, communicating a single benefit watchers will remember. You'll remember both these commercials, surely.
This is the droid you've been looking for.
There's saying "three times is a charm" and proven axiom about one of Google's biggest rivals: Microsoft gets products right the third time. Galaxy Nexus, running Android 4.0 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich), is the third Google phone, following the Nexus One (January 2010) and Nexus S (December 2010). If you're an Android user looking for something much better or iOS user/wannabe disappointed there is no iPhone 5 LTE, Galaxy Nexus is for you. Verizon released the long-anticipated US 4G LTE model on December 15. Galaxy Nexus is fast, furious and fun. If not for the 5-megapixel camera, which delivers better photos than I expected, the Android smartphone would be perfect, and it's certainly leaps and bounds above every other handset currently available in the United States.
It's the question I'm asking myself, so I pose it you. After countless launch day rumors, Verizon Wireless is finally offering the Google-branded Galaxy Nexus, the first Ice Cream Sandwich Android, to us poor dodos here in the United States. Seemingly everybody else in the world got it first, like Samsung Galaxy S II before it.
Related is another question: Will you pay more now or pay less and wait? Verizon has Galaxy Nexus available right now for $299.99 -- a penny more than the comparable iPhone 4S, which is HSPA and not 4G LTE; you can walk into a store and get Galaxy Nexus into your greedy grubby hands right away. Fry's Electonics will sell you the smartphone for $219.99 online, with a 2-to-3 day wait, which just might make Christmas; I assume it's in stores today, for West Coasters seeking immediate gratification. AmazonWireless has the best price I've seen so far, $199 -- and that's with no tax. I went through the ordering process, but didn't buy, and got December 29 delivery date -- that's no Christmas for you, bud. Better pricing means waiting longer, and Verizon made you wait so long already.
I sure am, and it's not even on my shopping list. Every day there's a new rumor about the US launch date. We all expected December 8 -- even Verizon Wireless stores (I spoke with a rep last night, who confirmed the date). Perhaps I should ask a different question: Could Google have bungled Galaxy Nexus launch even more?
C`mon, it's the biggest shopping period of the season. Galaxy Nexus is the first Android 4.0 smartphone, and supports fast data (Verizon 4G LTE, baby). It's a no-brainer purchase for the phone geek you love (we won't talk about self-love, but you know) who doesn't give two tits bit about iPhone 4S. Galaxy Nexus should have been ready for sale, on multiple US carriers, by Black Friday.
Last night I watched Samsung TV commercial "The Next Big Thing is Already Here" about a dozen times on YouTube. I'm a sucker for good advertising, and this one is clever to a punch and already is viral among tech blogs. Apple used to make adverts like this one -- inventive, clever, memorable -- now they're staid and boring. Anyone remember Apple's hugely successful "Switchers" and "Get a Mac" marketing campaigns from the last decade? This new TV spot is a hilarious poke at yokels waiting in line for the newest iPhone, all without mentioning Apple; meanwhile something better is already here -- from Samsung.
Now before some commenter calls me anti-Apple, because I watched the commercial a dozen times and it snarks the iPhone cult, my interest is bigger. The advert is clever in so many ways, particularly how it uses jump cuts or little touches make it real. Example: When the iPhone line waiters ask to see a Samsung Galaxy S II, the owner holds it up. Someone in the line leans forward, raises his arm and says: "Can I see it with my hands?" I've embedded the long version above, which isn't as tight or dramatic as the 60-second spot. There's something to be said about tighter editing, more closeups and shorter jump cuts. The 30-second edit is good, too. Update: The 15-second ad is absolutely cruel.
Google's Galaxy Nexus TV spot is simply exceptional. Good advertising is aspirational, and the 60-second commercial is every bit. Something else, and this is particularly true for gadgets: Good marketing emphasizes benefits, not features.
Today was the launch of Samsung Galaxy Nexus in the UK, bringing the first flagship Android device running Ice Cream Sandwich, the newest build of Google's mobile operating system to the British Isles.
The device is expected to launch in the United States on Verizon Wireless soon.