Coffee Talk #152: Is Google Mobilizing a Fanboy Army?

At Google I/O 2010, I was fascinated by a number of comments delivered by vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra during the show’s keynote sessions. His not-subtle-at-all jabs against Apple were entertaining and a little curious. Here are two of my favorites.

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At Google I/O 2010, I was fascinated by a number of comments delivered by vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra during the show’s keynote sessions. His not-subtle-at-all jabs against Apple were entertaining and a little curious. Here are two of my favorites.

On why Google started Android:

If we did not act, we faced a draconian future where one man, one company, one carrier was the future.

On why Android OS will support Flash in contrast to iPhone OS shunning it:

It turns out, on the Internet…people use Flash!

Although Google I/O is a developers conference, the keynotes were being covered by the press and recorded so that millions of people could watch them on YouTube. Enticing developers to create for Google platforms is certainly the primary goal, but in this day and age, keynotes have a performance element to them as well. I was wondering what Gundotra was trying to achieve.

Over the weekend I read this great article by TechCrunch’s excellent MG Siegler about Android fanboys arriving. In the tech world, you won’t find a more passionate bunch of nerds than Apple fanboys. They will rip your heart out (you know, the Internet equivalent of ripping your heart out) if you tell them that the iPhone isn’t a form of sorcery or that Steve Jobs isn’t God’s other son. No group of fanboys comes close to matching their zeal, but they certainly need competition.

With Android 2.0 and the release of the Motorola Droid (late 2009 for both), the iPhone finally had a worthy competitor. Things have just been getting better and better for the platform with the release of the Nexus One, Android 2.1, and Droid Incredible. Soon the Evo 4G and Android 2.2 will be here to add fuel to the fire. Apple and Google are competing on so many fronts these days — advertising, web browsers, mobile operating systems, television, etc. Perhaps Gundotra’s comments were made to bring fanboys into the Google fold. If so, it’s a wise move.

In the end, Google will not be able to get its fanboys to be as passionate or numerous as Apple’s. In the end, it doesn’t matter. It just needs enough numbers to be a strong #2 or #3. As I told RPadholic smartguy recently, Google’s core competency is advertising and it doesn’t need to be #1 as long as it has millions of customers to serve ads to.

Author: RPadTV

37 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #152: Is Google Mobilizing a Fanboy Army?”

  1. I agree. I know a lot of people with Android phones and have no idea that it's a google OS.

    *sighs* I'm a fan of what google offers especially the customization part of it but i don't like any of the phones they have out right now. I am interested in the EVO i don't really like Sprint.


    i forgot to watch RAW. I was distracted by the Blackhawks winning game 2!

    @Lakers vs. Celtics

    I really don't care who wins. I just want the free agent frenzy to begin because the sooner that gets here the sooner NFL training camps begin.


    Why would you load the bases so ARod can come up to the plate. The Indians were only losing by one at that point. I know you want to force the double play in that situation but you also don't want to give ARod a chance to be a hero.

  2. I like Google well enough, I'm just still not completely on board with Android…yet. I like more of their products that I can use on my laptop.

    Interestingly enough, I would agree that people on the internet do use flash.

  3. I think most of the eventual Google cult will be on par with the Linux crowd and think that everything digital should be free. You know the type.

    I have to disagree about the Apple fanboys being the most passionate though….have you met a hardcore Trekkie? Hell, they don't like Star Wars ppl at all lol.

  4. im an android guy, but i not understand phone fanboys?

    i feel confident in saying that whenever a new iphone comes out, that it will automatically be the best phone on the planet..but there is some competition out there now, which is good!

  5. I enjoy major corporations and companies making jabs at each other. I still find it funny the Apple calls out Microsoft in the middle of their rant against Adobe and Flash.


    I think Google will just automatically gain the Linux crowd. Their OS is supposed to be based off it anyway. (I think)

  6. @Sandrock

    It is unix based. So yeah. I don't mind the homebrew community really. They do wonderful things and don't mind helping you find a solution…what I don't like are the ones who think that everything should be free no matter what. Those ppl clamor to google because everything google is free (in a manner of speaking).

  7. @smartguy Google's popularity is already far beyond Linux popularity. In regards to Trekkies, I was speaking more about consumer electronics.

    @thundercracker No iPhone model was ever automatically the best phone on the planet. Every phone has its flaws. The iPhone has always had a few, with the major one being its carrier.

    @All Anyone enjoy Rikishi's sons and Snuka's daughter on Raw last night? The Uso brothers made me feel old. There are a few third-generation wrestlers out there, but I think the Uso brothers are the only ones where I've watched the previous two generations. When I first started watching WWF, the Wild Samoans were still around. Ha!

  8. @ray

    the iphone 3gs has had a long run as the best phone in the world…i think the incredible has taken it down, and the evo will further bury it, but all this is just my opinion….

  9. @thundercracker As a phone it's average at best (and much worse if you live in NYC or SF). It's not the best selling phone in the world. It can't multitask. It's a fantastic device, but I don't see how it was the best phone in the world.

  10. @thundercracker

    The incredible is nice don't get me wrong…but the one I had was one of the worst phones ever as far as voice was concerned. I gave it a solid 3 weeks to make sure it wasn't just me. The ads on the device really hurt my experience as well. That said though, the device is solid otherwise.

    I'm sure Sprint is going to sell a boatload of those EVOs based solely on its competition within the carrier.

  11. @smartguy I wonder how well the Evo will sell. Sprint's marketing is not very good.

    I'm still surprised voice was worse for you on the Incredible than the 3GS. How's Verizon's coverage in your area? Do you think it might have just been a lemon?

    Also, aside from CityID, were than any other notifications that bothered you? CityID is stupid and annoying, but goes away two weeks after you register.

  12. @ray

    im confused then

    whats the best phone in the world. if its not the iphone? Ive never owned an iphone, i suppose im just going on hype?

  13. hmmm, i suppose my criteria would be: hardware + platform

    the htc hd2 is a nice phone, but its windows mobile…so that, to me, isnt in the conversation

    the iphone has its faults, but from what ive seen its a great piece of hardware, and its got the apple app store, so that combination is formidable, i think

    i think ive been watching too many youtube "which phone is better??" videos…

  14. @thundercracker That's still a little vague. Again, on the hardware side it's mediocre as a phone. The platform is locked down and doesn't support Flash, which won't work for some people.

  15. im folding under questioning here

    whats the best overall experience youve had with a phone ray? I havent tested out every phone on the market like you, mr professional…i mean i have friends who had the nexus one who LOVED it, i guess its all a matter of opinion. Id like to hear your opinion though, i mean i have the hero, and i love that… my knowledge of cellular telephony is somewhat limiited

  16. @Ray

    CityID was the biggest culprit but the twitter app on the phone would always pop on, as would a lot of the other packaged in apps.

    Verizon seems to be pretty ok in this area really. I believe in my area of the state I am on the northern most limits in Southeast Louisiana. I always had 1.5-2.1 down and 1 up. If mine was a lemon, then it came off of a lemon tree because the day I bought mine, my girlfriend bought one as well. We both had the same issues with the voice on the device.

    I am using a 3G not a 3GS. I couldn't make myself give them the money for that device. I was hoping for more. Honestly though, ATT probably does have the best voice in our area. Data…eh….1 down…..maybe a few K up.

  17. @Thundercracker

    if you made me pick, I'd have to call it a tie between the 3GS and the Moto Droid actually. The Nexus one would come in third place solely based on the fact that the 3G connectivity was only halfway resolved. Solid device though, just real short on battery.

    I can't really pick a clear cut winner out of the Moto and 3GS though. They both have strong suits and pick up where the other leaves off. High quality video playback is amazing on the Moto Droid as well as it being naked android it gets to take advantage of updates sooner rather than later. The 3GS is built better and has the superior app store and iTunes onboard. Let's not forget that since it is an Apple product…it will work….all the time.

    Some ppl like the Moto because of the qwerty…but I find it hard to use since it is off center and there is a directional pad on the right side of it….the top row of keys butting up against the screen didn't help either.

    Relative I would imagine.

  18. @thundercracker That's a tough one to answer. My preference change depending on what apps I'm using. As far as making phone calls and typing, I still think RIM's phones tops. It's a shame its OS is just garbage compared to Android, iPhone OS, and WebOS.

    As far as platforms go, Android is almost perfect for what I want. As soon as it gets Tweetdeck and Skype (which are both coming), I'll be completely satisfied with it.

  19. @Ray

    Why couldn't it have been on sell at a better time Q_Q


    I blame those free fanboys for ruining Games For Windows Live. Microsoft is just now starting to actually do something with that brand and that is only because they are trying to get into the digital distribution market on the PC. I love the power of my PC, but I won't compromise my internet gaming for sub-par networks and crap controller support. (looks at Valve)

  20. anyone have rdr for the ps3?

    add me if you wanna be in my posse

    psn: scary_german_guy

  21. I just got the tmobile mytouch 3g (using it now btw) and this phone is awesome to me! Coming off the verizon voyager (google it) to an android phone is a god send. Im loving the market place and just about everything else on this phone. Loving the swype texting, browsing, music playing, and the sheer openness of the device. Wow, now I understand why and how people love their phones lol. This device is great for me it wasn't too expensive, it fits my hands nicely without cramping my fingers, light weight but sturdy, way better than my last phone, and I can use my own headphones! I got it on sunday and was turned off by the fact that there was no full qwerty but the texting on it its awesome and im glad i got off the qwerty madness. Im sold on android, I love it!

  22. @Big Blak Congrats on the purchase. If you have a 30-day trial period, you might want to keep your eye out on the MyTouch Slide 3G. It has a better processor and a slide-out keyboard. It's due out shortly.

  23. @ Ray

    I was going to do that but my verizon contract expired on sunday so I had to get a phone. The rep said its fourteen days that I have to return it.

  24. @Big Blak Ah, California gives you 30 days. I'm pretty sure the MyTouch Slide 3G comes out within 14 days, so a switch is still possible. I thought it was a June 2 release, but I could be wrong.

  25. @ Ray

    Seeing as how im new to android and watching drunken master let me ask you a question my kind sir

    How do I update the Os?

  26. @Big Blak It depends on phone. All the Android phones offered by carriers have updates that are controlled by the carrier. A phone like the Nexus One generally gets faster updates since it's not waiting for carriers to add their "special" programs and restrictions to them.

  27. @SG

    I honestly never looked into that but I was sick of the voyager phone and too many people had my number, mainly ex gfs that didn't want to stop calling me. Women, you know the saying.

  28. @BB

    ah, a new number lol. Since you are using android now…one thing that i really liked about it was how I set up my GV number to handle voicemail. I hate checking voicemail so it was nice that GV would send me a text and an email with a transcription of the voicemail. No more dialing and listening and sorting through a menu. Check it out and enjoy!

  29. @SG

    Is that what visual voice mail is? My gf was trying to explain it to me but maybe I (or she) was too high lol. Im going to set that up right now.

  30. @ Ray

    I think I'm going to stick with the one I have now. I'm going to stop by the Tmobile store and play with the Slide on my lunch break to see if I really want to have a qwerty board.

  31. @BB

    No. Visual voicemail, at least to my understanding, is where you go to a screen and choose the messages you want to listen to as opposed to sitting through an a vintage answering machine.

    The transcription is a great way to utilize GV on your android even if you are using it to make calls.

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