The Android Army: Is Google vs. Mac the New Mac vs. PC?

Google Android army

Those slightly amusing Mac vs. PC Apple ads are getting a bit tired now, but when the PR guys dream up the successors, they might need a rethink on the strategy. Because the new "Mac vs. PC" battle might be "Apple vs. Google."

The idea has popped up courtesy of The New York Times's David Pogue, who's also been speaking to the editors of tech blogs Gizmodo and Engadget. In a blog post late yesterday, Pogue believes he has revealed a "whole new untapped population online: The Android Army."

Pogue's thinking rests on an analysis of the user comments on his review of Google's new Nexus One smartphone. Though the review was largely positive, Pogue came to roughly the same conclusion I did, working on leaked data before the launch, that though it's a great app phone, it's "marred by some glitches." And those words seem to have incensed a large number of Google fans, whose attacking comments are in some cases foaming at the mouth.

"You are an idiot" begins one, while another attacks Pogue's attack on the lack of multitouch in the U.S. version: "You write that the Nexus One doesn't have a multitouch screen, but it does; Google just didn't enable it. You should be fired for your incompetence." That's fighting talk, and especially dumb since Pogue is right--the N1 won't be multitouch in the U.S., but will be overseas--and that directly affects millions of end-user's experience of the device.

Pogue concludes that ferocity of these posts (and personal emails to him) stems partly from the slight disappointment in the wake of the N1's launch, and mostly from the fact that it's open-source architecture attracts the right sort of code-head enthusiast who'd be happy to send off a vitriolic comment. The Google defenders are a new religion, in the exact same vein as Mac fans versus PC fans. And it's really a Apple vs. Google thing, since the iPhone is dominating the touchscreen smartphone market that Google's so keen to break into.

Does our own experience bear out Pogue's analysis? Kind of. When I pre-empted the N1 launch with a post titled "Google's Nexus One: Go Home Folks, Nothing to See Here" that was based on leaked info that proved nearly completely accurate later, some comments questioned the title, the body text and my journalistic skills. Admittedly there were also some comments in agreement...and some indifferent ones too. Maybe Fast Company's readers are just a little more level-headed?

However the Android Army marches on into the future, seeing how the battle is waged with Apple is going to make for some very hot-topic news indeed.

[Via The New York Times]

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8 Comments

  • Frances Young

    Well, provided the fact that Mac vs. PC series is ending, we should expect something new coming. I think if Mac's new 'enemy' is gonna be google, than the ads are gonna develop the topic of cloud computing. E.g. when Apple releases the analogue of Google docs (that is a kind of me.com right now). Well, surely it is just my opinion.

    -----------------------
    Frances Young
    http://www.justfitstudio.com
    http://www.justfitstudio.com/w...

  • Frances Young

    Well, provided the fact that Mac vs. PC series is ending, we should expect something new coming. I think if Mac's new 'enemy' is gonna be google, than the ads are gonna develop the topic of cloud computing. E.g. when Apple releases the analogue of Google docs (that is a kind of me.com right now). Well, surely it is just my opinion.

    -----------------------
    Frances Young
    http://www.justfitstudio.com
    http://www.justfitstudio.com/w...

  • George Burdell

    You are an idiot.

    ""You are an idiot" begins one, while another attacks Pogue's attack on the lack of multitouch in the U.S. version: "You write that the Nexus One doesn't have a multitouch screen, but it does; Google just didn't enable it. You should be fired for your incompetence." That's fighting talk, and especially dumb since Pogue is right--the N1 won't be multitouch in the U.S., but will be overseas--and that directly affects millions of end-user's experience of the device.

    I run a Moto Droid with Android 2.0. The hardware is multi-touch. The OS does not use it for shipping applications, but other applications are multi-touch. So you can use it, they just did not enable it in the default applications.

    So again, I say:

    You are an idiot.

    It took all of about 5 seconds to find this story stating that one of the alternative browser apps runs on the N1 and is multi-touch.
    http://forums.t-mobile.com/t5/...

    One more time for good measure:

    You are an idiot.

  • Marcus Goodyear

    Having just purchased an Android phone after much deliberation, I'm really enjoying it. I admit part of the joy is a kind of schadenfreude in the face of all the apple fanboys. If apple has built an army, then the free market will likely raise up another army to balance it.

    More importantly, though, my Android phone works great and it isn't on AT&T. As a bonus, it is easier to listen to podcasts through Google Listen than through my nano that only updates through a cable.

  • Marcus Goodyear

    Having just purchased an Android phone after much deliberation, I'm really enjoying it. I admit part of the joy is a kind of schadenfreude in the face of all the apple fanboys. If apple has built an army, then the free market will likely raise up another army to balance it.

    More importantly, though, my Android phone works great and it isn't on AT&T. As a bonus, it is easier to listen to podcasts through Google Listen than through my nano that only updates through a cable.

  • Steve Elliott

    Four posts of spam (:

    I've just used an Android based phone in the shape of a HTC Tattoo. Loved it to be honest, not seen Google's version but if it is half as good, they are on to a winner.

    --
    http://www.gadgets4nowt.co.uk - The name says it all!

  • Steinar Knutsen

    It's interesting because most Apple fans love Google ... until they started to really compete and forced us to take sides. iPhone users are notoriously protective and defensive when attacked. I know this, because I am one.

    It's going to be a bumpy road for Microsoft in my opinion. Apple and Google just have the cool factor and continue to launch powerful products and applications that put Microsoft to shame.

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    Steinar Knutsen
    http://www.steinarknutsen.com
    http://www.twitter.com/steinar...