I’ve been pondering the “with Google” (WG) branding found on the back of the G1. Â Was this in initial marketing move by Google to get awareness out there for Android,Â letting people know who sponsored Android or is this a user interface issue wherewith your device without Google would be different than the one that is.
Looking back over Android’s Year One, I think it’s safe to say that all of the Android devices have at least GMail, Calendar, Contacts, and GTalk out of the box and other Google apps can be downloaded out of Market like Finance, Listen, and Voice. Â So why the WG mark then? Â I suspect it is because of hardware design.Â Google insisted on the unique slide mechanism design, trackball, and a full QWERTY.
This looks to be more like the “Intel Inside” sticker that you see on PCs and now can be viewed in hind sight as a hardware design effort in collaboration with Google and HTC. Â The G1, Magic, and Hero hardware designs all carry the WG mark but are also the least appealing visually, even though Sense is the overriding UI on the Hero. Â The WG branding may have even stifled the flow and design of handsets for Google to establish a brand for hardware and software user interface alike.
So what does this mean for us?Â Only goodness is that the OHA manufacturers look to be gearing up after cautiously watching from the sidelines as the G1 battled it out with iPhones, BlackBerrys, and all the rest.Â And let’s be honest, if Android not only survived but thrived on the G1, then this is just another reason why 2010 may be the year of the Robot.