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Google launches Nexus 5, Android 4.4

  • Google's (GOOG +0.7%) much-hyped Nexus 5 phone, developed with LG, has been officially launched. As rumored, the 5 has a 5" 1080p display, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, and an 8MP camera with optical image stabilization.
  • In-line with expectations, the 5 will sell for an unsubsidized $349 - an aggressive price point in light of its high-end specs, and one that could worry high-end Android leader Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY). Unlike the Nexus 4, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile (but not Verizon) plan to broadly carry the 5 in their stores.
  • More importantly, Google has also taken the wraps off Android 4.4 (KitKat). The latest version of Google's mobile OS adds a dialer with integrated search - The Verge declares Google has "essentially built the Yellow Pages into its dialer app" - more pervasive Google Now push notifications, a revamped Hangouts app (previous) that acts as a unified voice/video/text hub, and integrated Web/local app search.
  • KitKat has also been optimized to run well on cheap Android phones with only 512MB of RAM, of which there are plenty in emerging markets. Thanks to Android's low-end/emerging markets boom, Strategy Analytics recently estimated Q3 smartphone shipments rose 45% Y/Y to 251M, and IDC has forecast full-year shipments will hit 1B.
Comments (18)
  • Yesterdays_news
    , contributor
    Comments (1127) | Send Message
     
    8MP camera??? WTF? I thought all the reviews said it would have a super 13 meg camera to compete with the S4 and Nokia.

     

    http://bit.ly/Hx83Ph
    http://bit.ly/Hx83Pj
    31 Oct 2013, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • ekin09
    , contributor
    Comments (99) | Send Message
     
    Uhh so what? I ordered mine within 5 minutes of its release. They are now sold out except the white 32GB , last time I checked.

     

    Also the camera looks good to me

     

    http://bit.ly/Hx98qc
    31 Oct 2013, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • not me
    , contributor
    Comments (44) | Send Message
     
    I think the amount of pixels is overrated. We've got more pixels that we need. There are other features that are more important now like the quality of pictures taken in dark places or image stabilization or optical zoom.
    31 Oct 2013, 03:46 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3122) | Send Message
     
    As long as the lens and OIS is good, 8 MP is fine enough with me. As others have said it's not just about the MP.
    1 Nov 2013, 12:45 AM Reply Like
  • ispank
    , contributor
    Comments (534) | Send Message
     
    How come Google launching its smartphone so quietly?. It didn't hold big conference event like Apple?. Anytime Apple announced its iPhones, AAPL tanked, Apple should be nice and quiet like Google.
    31 Oct 2013, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • not me
    , contributor
    Comments (44) | Send Message
     
    This Nexus 5 has been the most leaked phone ever in the history of smartphones. There is no point in having a big conference event anymore.
    31 Oct 2013, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • ekin09
    , contributor
    Comments (99) | Send Message
     
    Google is known to do releases this way. It creates a lot of hype leading up to the official "release". Plus I don't think they are trying to mass market their nexus line due to the low margins.
    31 Oct 2013, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • Dantes_Will
    , contributor
    Comments (323) | Send Message
     
    Samsung is finally starting to understand that their reliance on Android will be their downfall. Which explains the urgent and panicked emphasis Kwon Hyun expressed on bringing Tizen to market ASAP.

     

    Google is doing their best to make android a commodity product by flooding the market with high spec'd phones selling at no margin. Google and Amazon used this strategy on Android Tablets to wipe out other vendors by pre-emptively undercutting everyone's pricing by reducing margin to 0. Samsung's Android tablets are big money losers as they have to sell at a relative discount to compete with the Nexus and Kindle.

     

    If Samsung wants to hold on to their market share in the Android Phone space, they will be forced to keep cutting their unit prices and squeezing their margins until they become money losers, like their Android tablets.
    31 Oct 2013, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • not me
    , contributor
    Comments (44) | Send Message
     
    Samsung will eventually move to a different operating system, but that day is still far away. So far they are doing great within the Android ecosystem, so there is no rush there. Even if Samsung comes up with Tizen phones, those phones will still be able to run Android apps, so Google's services will still be available, and that's good for Google either way.
    31 Oct 2013, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • Dantes_Will
    , contributor
    Comments (323) | Send Message
     
    Yeah... that's not the case at all.

     

    Tizen will be pre loaded with Baidu and other Chinese search engines that pay Samsung for that right. Not Google search.

     

    "Tizen phones... will still be able to run Android apps"

     

    That's the entire point. With one technicality. Android apps = Tizen apps.

     

    It takes a developer no time to re-label the program as a "Tizen App" for Samsung's App store.

     

    Kwong Hyung's entire goal and motivation (per conference all) is to stop giving so much $$$ to Google and start making that $ for themselves.

     

    You think Samsung spent millions on R&D on an OS and their own App store platform for Google's benefit?

     

    BTW - your definition of "far away" is pretty off. Samsung is targeting this holiday season for the release of their top of the line Galaxy phones in Tizen flavors.
    31 Oct 2013, 07:45 PM Reply Like
  • ekin09
    , contributor
    Comments (99) | Send Message
     
    it will be pre loaded with $NQ software too ;-)
    31 Oct 2013, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3122) | Send Message
     
    Samsung is doing OK in the smartphone business even with android. Unlike other handset manufacturers, Samsung actually makes a pretty good profit and on an overall basis, is even more profitable than AAPL globally for smartphone sales.

     

    Samsung is able to do this with a combination of features built into its touchwiz android "skin" along with a variety of sizes/features for its phones.

     

    Remember, Samsung was assailed by critics (many of whom were AAPL bulls) when it decided to release the Galaxy Note series. And it's gone on to sell tens of millions between all of the successive iterations.
    1 Nov 2013, 12:48 AM Reply Like
  • omnimoeish
    , contributor
    Comments (468) | Send Message
     
    Samsung doesn't pay Google anything to use Android. They are getting a free very aggressively updated OS by none other than Google that is integrated with Google's mammoth and ever expanding and ever integrating internet eco system, has a larger app store than iOS (although roughly the same really). Google gets nothing out of it but the chance to win people into their eco system. Whether Samsung was using Tizen or not, Google would still be offering the Nexus 5 and it would still be very aggressively priced, if not more so and there'd be even less reason to go with Samsung.

     

    As it stands, the Galaxy S4 is still superior hardware in most ways. The main advantage of the GS4 and the reason I'm not going to sell mine and get a Nexus 5 and actually end up with money in my pocket at the end is because I have to have a spare battery and the ability to drop in a 64GB microSD card giving me virtually unlimited space for 1080p movies and thousands of NES, SNES, Genesis, PSOne, PS2 games etc. is too valuable to me. But it might be signaling that Samsung's margins need to come down. Eventually this has to happen, just like with PCs.

     

    Apple might maintain some hefty margins for a while, but even they are pricing their Macs more aggressively now and phone commodization is coming you better believe it. It might be even more commoditized that PCs because there are a dozen chip makers, it used to be only AMD and Intel. There are so many competing OSs not just Apple and Windows, you've got Google giving it's OS away for free, Microsoft, Tizen, Ubuntu, possibly Blackberry, Firefox. There's retailers like Amazon. You've got Google themselves practically giving away ridiculously nice hardware for $350.
    1 Nov 2013, 04:34 AM Reply Like
  • Humble Eagles
    , contributor
    Comments (1296) | Send Message
     
    Google is crazy, imho! Who, in their right mind, would buy an HTC or Samsung, MOTO X, or any other high end Android phone when you can get a subsidized phone from Google for half the price? Fandroids are nuts to buy anything but a Nexus phone directly from Google! This thing has the same specs as the G4 and HTC One, currently the best available Android phones. Google has killed HTC, not Apple. Now they have set their sights on Samsung. If I were an exec of a company making high end Android phones, I would find a new business model besides Android. BTW, they are making the exact same mistake in tablets. Why buy any tablet but the Nexus 7 or 10? It is stupid.
    1 Nov 2013, 05:25 AM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3122) | Send Message
     
    " Fandroids are nuts to buy anything but a Nexus phone directly from Google"

     

    Not if they care about screen size (>5"), microSD storage expansion or a replaceable battery. In some cases. the android skin is nice too. I personally like Samsung's touchwiz interface and things like smart stay screen, and multi-window capability.
    1 Nov 2013, 11:04 AM Reply Like
  • Humble Eagles
    , contributor
    Comments (1296) | Send Message
     
    Chop, worth twice as much?
    1 Nov 2013, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3122) | Send Message
     
    Twice as much? More like 50% as much, realistically. I've seen unlocked Note 2's go for $550.

     

    Quite frankly, I'd pay the extra 50% to get a bigger screen with S-pen/digitizer functionality on the phone, along with (probable) better battery life, a battery that is removable and expandable micro SD storage.

     

    The importance of a big screen cannot be overstated enough, esp in emerging markets. Consumers want one device to replace their smartphone and their tablet in many of those countries and Samsung is answering that call. AAPL sadly has not.
    1 Nov 2013, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • ispank
    , contributor
    Comments (534) | Send Message
     
    "Google and Amazon used this strategy to completely wipe out other vendors by pre-emptively undercutting everyone's pricing by reducing margin to 0". If it was for Apple zero margin, its AAPL would sink with Titanic.
    31 Oct 2013, 03:37 PM Reply Like
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