BY: Katherine Lawson (kathi17)
When I first saw these headlines, my mind went through a whole range of feelings about this.
Since I really don’t like Motorola phones, I started out feeling the same way as I did when I saw that the iphone, (which I also don’t really like), wasn’t getting flash, and the way I felt when I saw that AT&T was replacing Google with Yahoo on their Android Devices. I happen to be an HTC, Google and T-Mobile fangirl. (Although I can’t make myself like Chrome, so I still use Firefox).
Now, as I think about this more, I am starting to think that competition is good, and so is an open system which allows the competition in. Competition makes these companies improve, and choice makes things better for us. Just look at how the iphone is trying to play catch up to Android after stagnating. Would Apple have bothered to add cut and paste and so many other features if it hadn’t been for Android? With Garmin, Skyhook, and all of the other systems being put on phones, will we soon be able to use Google Navigation without a cellphone signal? I absolutely love Google Navigation, but I also live in Maine where cellphone signals are terrible. We like to go up into the woods and follow the logging roads to pristine uninhabited lakes. If you’ve ever been up on those logging roads, then you will know how wonderful it would be to be able to follow them with GPS and satellite view. Maybe with more competition, Google will figure out a way of at least caching maps so this will be possible.
Then there is the part of me who hated playing with my son’s Cliq over Christmas. I was so glad I had my G1 instead of his Cliq! If HTC keeps the Google experience and keeps making it easy for us to root our phones, and Moto uses services which are less popular and keeps locking down their systems, then I think HTC will keep getting stronger and more popular with even greater devices, and we will maybe get some of the really great HTC phones on T-Mo instead of the junk they offered us this year. I want to see T-Mo and HTC grow and expand and give me more of what I love. That little sadistic side of me loved seeing AT&T cripple their Android phones, Steve Jobs get more and more empirical, and Motorola dump some of the Google products and lock down their phones, because it made my HTC phones and T-Mobile look so much better in my eyes. I love that T-Mobile even gives it’s customers a forum for modding their phones. What other company would do that? I’m not a big fan of Verizon, and Sprint is non-existent here, so I am really jealous that they got the Evo and the Incredible, and I have a choice between the My Touch Slide, the Cliq XT, and the Garmin phone for Android devices. That Evo looks incredible! Then there is the lowly USCC getting the Desire. Who would have believed that my beloved T-Mo would be the one to offer such a bad selection when they were the first to adopt Android? They got one really great phone, the HD2, and they ruined it by putting WM 6.5 on it.
There is another part of me which is getting a little bit nervous about Google’s ambitions. As much as I like Google, they are, after all, a company who needs to make money, and most of their money comes from our information. That doesn’t exactly make me feel completely warm and cozy about them. This year, they came out with Google Buzz, and it intruded on our privacy in the same way that Facebook is doing, and they also started talking about other ambitions as well. For many reasons, I wasn’t crazy about the way that Google marketed the Nexus One either. Maybe a few companies and carriers using some of the competition on Android phones isn’t a bad thing. As much as I like Google, they do need to be kept in check, and hopefully competition will make Android keep getting better and better, and will help to keep Google from becoming a company which makes me nervous.
Right after I submitted this I saw the news about Samsung ditching Google services for Yahoo. Since I will probably never buy another Samsung device, I guess I feel the same way
about that news, as I did about the Motorola/Skyhook news. Maybe it will be good for HTC, and competition isn’t bad. The market will sort all of this out, and we, the users will be the ones who choose what we want.
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