HTC create the most advanced mobile devices in the world I would say. And i'm not the only one who would say this either thankfully. They've made Windows Mobile actually attractive and affordable enough. So if you replaced Windows Mobile with almost anything else and you will get one hell of a Geek phone. So great, a phone which the geeks and developers always wanted, but what's going to be the unique selling point for non-geeks? This is the question I pose to the Google's Mike Jennings at Google Developer Day last week.
His answer “Software” was less that satisfactory. I mean you got two phones which look exactly like, they do the same stuff, are priced about the same only one has windows on it and the other google. As a non-geek user which one which you pick? Seriously, which one? Google are going about this all too geek like. Yes developers and geeks will buy the Gphones but unless they put a bundle of goodies on the phone which you can't get anywhere else, there going to lose out. I mean simply putting Google maps, Gmail and Google Search on the device isn't going to cut it. My Windows mobile currently has all that plus thanks to the OpenGL drivers written by the community (no thanks to HTC for that) equalivent OpenGL support. Maybe a few years back when Windows Mobile weren't so open you could make the point that the Gphone software arguement would hold up. But recently I've seen everything including the dialer, mail client and gui replaced if required. For example PointUI's Home. It replaces most of windows mobile user interface with a custom one. I did show Mike Jennings the interface and he was very suprised how customised my windows mobile phone was. So I expect most of the apps which get built on the Gphone will be build on Windows Mobile too and vice-versa.
So what is the unique selling point going to be? I'm starting to think Google are happy with it just being a project thats on going – just an alternative. Never really going to be number one, but then again won't cost much to keep going. A bit like Chrome?