Nexus Experience for Everyone

I really wish that the carriers in the US would give up their whole attempt to be content providers and work on providing the best wireless service at the best price. I don't care about Sprint TV, or Verizon's Apps, or ATT's apps. I just want an amazing phone on a network that works.

That's why I'm disappointed that Google has partnered with Verizon for the official launch of the Galaxy Nexus in the US. The phone doesn't even have the Google branding on it anymore like the international GSM version. So you may say, why not just get the GSM version then? Well for starters I'm a Sprint customer and also, the point is I want to get the phone subsidized by my carrier, not have to pay $700 for the phone I want on the network I want.

Now I have no doubt that eventually the Galaxy Nexus will be available on at least all three major networks in the US,and probably even T-mobile looking at Google's history with T-mobile in the US. But for a phone that is supposed to be Google's answer to the iPhone, the Galaxy Nexus has stumbled out of the gate. First there was no clear communication on when it was coming in the US, second there has been no word if other carriers are getting the device, and third, Google is letting Verizon taint the device with their apps out of the box. This clearly shows me that even though Android has the most market-share, its due to sheer volume and no manufacturer, nor even Google itself has the kind of power to bend the carriers to their will like Apple does. The iPhone is the iPhone if you get it from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. No different. Same hardware, same software, same apps and most importantly, the same experience.

I recently tried to go back to the iPhone and found I couldn't do it. I like Android better. I prefer the amazing Google integration, the great apps and the developer community. But the last one isn't something I should have to love. The last one is something I've grown to love so I can experience Android how Google wants, not how Samsung, HTC, Sprint, or anyone else wants. Quite frankly, I think Google got it right. I don't need HTC or Samsung's interpretation of Android, I think Android all by itself it amazing. Why should I have to hack up my phone and risk voiding my warranty just so I can use Android as Google wants?

So you'll tell me to just buy Nexus devices from now on, and you know what, I will. But that brings us back to the other problem, the carriers. I want my next Android to be a Nexus device. I've got 2 years to wait for that, so maybe things will be better then, but if I wanted to go Nexus right now on my current carrier, I'd have to buy last year's model, running last year's software. The Nexus S has seen an Android 4.0 upgrade for the GSM version, but the CDMA model for Sprint is missing the upgrade. Yet if I had an iPhone 4 on either AT&T or Verizon, the day iOS 5 was out, I could update my iPhone if I wanted, it didn't matter if I had the CDMA or GSM version of the phone. And that should be true for Android too, if nothing else, on the Nexus line of phones.

I hope Google realizes that customers expect the Nexus to be the iPhone of the Android world. The first to update, the one Google supports at least 2 years, the one Google wants people walking around with being Android ambassadors to the world. I want to be that ambassador, I want to show the power of Android off to people, but I'm stuck running Samsung's interpretation of Android from last year. Serves me right. I'll buy Nexus next time, but I hope the next Nexus has the reputation of the iPhone and like the iPhone, I can get it for any carrier I want.

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