by Al Sacco

Android Director Talks Nexus, Apple and Microsoft Price Gouging

Nov 02, 20123 mins
iPhoneMobileSmall and Medium Business

Google's Android business development director spoke to The New York Times about the company's recently unveiled Nexus smartphone and tablets, but he didn't address the new Nexus lineup's Achilles heel: the lack of 4G LTE.

The New York Times this morning published a short Q&A with Google’s Director of Business Development for Android, John Lagerling, on its Bits blog. Lagerling talked about the current Nexus lineup, including the brand new Nexus 4 smartphone from LG, Samsung’s Nexus 10 tablet and the Nexus 7 tablet, which is manufactured by ASUS. And he answered questions about the company’s various Nexus hardware partners, Android tablet apps and the evolution of Android in general.

Google Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 smartphone tablets

The highlights of the interview:

  • Lagerling addressed Google’s pricing strategy with its Nexus line of tablets and smartphone, and explained how it is trying to buck the trend of manufacturers overpricing gadgets so carriers are forced to heavily subsidize. Google’s idea is to get Internet-connected smartphones into more people’s hands, and that means reducing prices.
  • Apple, err, “the Cupertino guys,” and Microsoft, a.k.a., the “the guys up in Seattle” both received some not so subtle slights from Lagerling regarding the high prices of their devices and software.
  • The Android director discussed Motorola Mobility’s role in the Nexus lineup. (Google owns Motorola, and but Motorola has not yet officially announced a Nexus device, though one is rumored to be in the works.)
  • Lagerling acknowledges the current shortage of Android tablet apps in its Google Play Store, but said the success of the Nexus 7 tablet raised developer awareness around the viability of Android tablets and tablet apps.

The interview, conducted by writer Brian X. Chen, is worth a read, but Chen didn’t exactly ask any tough questions of Lagerling. Specifically, I’m a bit surprised Chen didn’t ask about the current lack of LTE support in the Nexus lineup, which is a glaring omission, in my opinion. The LTE question also seems particularly relevant to the conversation, because Google’s decision to leave LTE out of its current Nexus lineup was very likely made, at least in part, in an effort to reduce costs.

Google’s Android chief Andy Rubin told that the decision to omit LTE in the latest Nexus devices was a “tactical issue,” but I don’t really buy that explanation. Google and LG could have offered an LTE version of the Nexus 4 for people who wanted it; the LG Optimus G hardware is very similar to the Nexus 4, and it supports LTE. (I was planning to buy a Nexus 4, but I changed my mind when I learned it would not support LTE.)

Check out The New York Times Bits blog for more details on the Q&A.