If You Build It, Google Following Apple into the Hardware Market

“People, who are really serious about software, should make their own hardware.”

–          Alan Kay

Kay’s advice is cited quite widely within the technology circles quite widely, and more often than not it’s ignored. Amongst all of the big players, Apple is the only one of them that’s consistently done a top to bottom design of all of their devices. It’s for that reason that Apple dominates the digital entertainment market and their consumers get the most seamless experience in the business. Apple is the most profitable technology company and companies that got huge off of services and software, like Google, instead of any physical products are starting to look toward hardware with new found interest.

It’s really tricky for Google to enter the hardware market without ticking off the hardware companies they’re currently in partnerships with. For instance, Google has stated adamantly that they won’t give Motorola Mobility any special treatment. Google had acquired Motorola Mobility for the sum of $12.5 billion. Rather than give preferential treatment to Motorola Mobility, Google is instead going to keep working in a collaborative fashion with the other handset manufacturers as they have been based on their Android OS.

Two prime examples of continued Google collaboration are the new:

  1. Nexus 7 Tablet (Asus Built)
  2. Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Google announced in June that they’d begin sales of the $299 Nexus Q, a media streaming device which doesn’t complete with anything that’s manufactured by any of their partners. The Q is the first device to be designed to feature Google’s hardware. Furthermore, the device is even made in a facility that’s near the Google headquarters in Silicon Valley.

The Q resembles a ‘Magic 8 Ball’ and has no switches or buttons. Speakers and HDTV can be connected through the cable hookups and stream videos and music via Wi-Fi through the cloud. Sociability is one of the biggest selling points of the Nexus Q as any guest with a tablet or smartphone can reorder or add to the playlist of the host.

Imaginative and stylish, the Q is a colorful tool with a band that pulsates in concert with the music being played and demand is currently being outstripped by interest. An early review had slammed the software as arcane, and comes with far more limitations than the far cheaper Apple TV box. Google then announced at the end of July that they’re delaying the Q in order to add additional features to it.

Makers will have to prove that Kay was wrong, however, I wouldn’t bet against him.

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