Google still isn’t a hardware company, and it’s not even personification on a same margin as Apple

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Google hardware arch Rick OsterlohGoogle

Google reason a splashy press event in San Francisco on Tuesday to betray a garland of new hardware, including a designed-from-scratch phone called a Pixel, a fabric-covered practical existence headset called Daydream View, an Amazon Echo aspirant called Google Home, and a home WiFi complement famous as Google WiFi.

Unlike Google’s past dalliances in hardware, this time all a products are underneath one division, led by former Motorola trainer Rick Osterloh, and they seemed some-more coherently tied together than ever before. 

For instance, Google’s intelligent agent, a Google Assistant, shows adult in both a WiFI connected “Home” orator and in a new Pixel phone, nonetheless we activate it somewhat differently — with Home, we have to contend “Okay Google” each time, while a Pixel simply lets we press and reason a home program button. The Pixels are a initial (and so distant only) phones to work with a Daydream headset. You can get a Daydream View and a bottom for a Home in a same creamy tone called “Snow.”

The products themselves also seemed solid when we attempted them in Google’s demo area, nonetheless we haven’t had a possibility to examination them independently.

The Home intelligent orator unequivocally does know if we ask it to “play that Smashmouth strain from Shrek,” or tell it to spin down your Nest thermostat — we was quite tender during how good it picked adult a voice commands in a swarming and loud space. The Pixel looks as good as any other high-end smartphone. The Daydream View may make we demeanour like a dork (like all VR viewers), but it’s got some intelligent pattern touches, like a small cubby where we tuck a remote control, and it comes in some cold colors and is lonesome with a pleasing soothing fabric.

The Daydream View and remote.Google

All that aside, we still think Google’s heart is elsewhere. Why?

  • Following, not leading. All a new products are like something else that already exists. The Pixel is like a iPhone. The Home is like a Echo. The Daydream View is a inexpensive VR starter kit, distant reduction worldly (and distant cheaper) than Facebook’s Oculus or Sony’s PlayStation VR. The WiFi is like Eero or any series of other startups — and in fact, companies have been earnest to facilitate WiFi for some-more than a decade. (I have a five-year-old Cisco Valet that betrothed easier home WiFi, and it still isn’t unequivocally good, and we remember Microsoft’s brief-lived home WiFi routers in 2004 or so, that betrothed a same thing.
  • Google isn’t production a phone. Google designed it, it’s got some custom Google silicon in it, though a tangible production is being rubbed by HTC — a phone maker. 
  • We’ve seen this film before. If Google were unequivocally critical about removing into a hardware business in a large way, because did it spend over $12 billion to buy a vital phone maker, Motorola, in 2011 usually to sale that business to Lenovo reduction than 3 years later? As Larry Page pronounced when he sole Motorola, “it helps to be all-in when it comes to creation mobile devices.” Do we consider Page has altered his mind? 
  • No sell play. Where are people going to be means to exam and buy these things? When Microsoft got into hardware, it non-stop a large set of sell stores. Amazon skeleton to set adult as many 100 sell pop-up kiosks in malls, as Business Insider formerly reported. Google’s sell strategy? Online and partners — you’ll buy these things during Walmart and Best Buy, alongside dozens of other products from each consumer wiring association in a sun. As distant as support goes, online discuss will try to take a place of a Apple Genius Bar. 
  • Financials. Google doesn’t mangle out a hardware sales on a financials. If it starts, that would be a pointer that it’s critical about this business.

Perhaps many telling, when Google CEO Sundar Pichai was articulate today, he didn’t show the kind of fad and energy he shows during Google I/O, a company’s annual eventuality for developers. Pichai is a program developer; those are his people. He was many charcterised during a prolonged diversion about about Google’s appurtenance training bravery in translating English to Chinese — a tough problem, though a program engineering problem, not a hardware problem. 

Sundar Pichai during a Google hardware event.Matt Rosoff/Business Insider

Google hardware trainer Osterloh took heedfulness to encourage a world on Tuesday that a association was critical about hardware this time and is in it for a prolonged haul.

But in fact, a best partial of these Google hardware products isn’t a hardware. It’s a program and services that underpin them — a smarts behind a Google Assistant, a total print storage for a Pixel supposing by Google’s cloud, a Daydream practical existence height that third parties will be means to use to create 3D content.

So this is not Google branch into Apple. It’s some-more same to Google following Microsoft when it started doing hardware in 2010 to assistance uncover what Windows 8 was able of on hold shade devices. Microsoft does take hardware seriously. It has some glorious designers. It’s creation some unequivocally strong products and forcing Apple to respond.

But it’s hardware in use of Microsoft’s other products and a broader devise of capability everywhere, not hardware for a possess sake.

That’s a template Google is following. Google’s broader devise is providing entrance to all a world’s information, and offered advertisements opposite a courtesy consumers compensate to get that information. Consumers or investors who consider differently risk difficulty and disappointment.

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