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When it comes to Google, we’ve come to expect the literally insane for new product launches with skydivers and Google Glass or very low key events for Google+/Chromebooks. Someone tell me then why Google launched the Nexus 5 and their next piece of software with Android 4.4 KitKat with almost no fanfare? It feels as if the KitKat announcement some months back saw more press and activity than the actual launch itself.

Yes, one could argue that Nexus device sales are limited to the geeks and die-hard Android fans. Yes, one could say that KitKat is more of an evolution than a revolution and that Google didn’t need to go all-out yesterday as the ridiculous set of device leaks created all the buzz they needed. Still, this is Google and this is a Nexus and at the very least, Google could have at least done a small event to boost awareness.

There’s a real question about when or if the Android-buying masses will ever care about stock Android, updates, rooting, ROMs and everything in-between. Still, there’s something to be said for the last few days and the amount of attention Google has incurred based on rumors of a potential barge-based Google office building against the actual launch of their newest “flagship” device.

The good news? The device sold out within minutes and while we can’t say what the supply was, the demand is obviously there and that’s at least one checkmark in the positive column. I’d love to see more from Google regarding this news and I’d love to see something that talks more about the new features in KitKat that the general user base won’t discover on their own.

There’s no need to raise conspiracy theories or even go much further down the path of questioning Google’s ideology regarding product launches. I suppose it’s just the geek in me that would have liked to see some fanfare for the Nexus launch since we wait all year for this one day. Or maybe I’m just wrong altogether, and Google can do whatever Google wants whenever Google wants to do it.

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26 Responses to “Why the lack of flair for Google’s Nexus 5 launch?”

  1. I welcome how they approach their releases. I hate the cult-like happenings that other vendors do for their product releases. I mean, just look at Apple. That’s hilarious. Apple seems to be down on the ground. After all, we’re talking about phones. Not Jesus Christ’s awakening.

  2. Alu P says:

    I wonder if Motorola will make the next nexus. And I think Google should just dissolve Motorola into the nexus line.

  3. I have a couple theories:

    1) They didn’t want to upset the major manufacturers by showing them up. HTC and Motorola just launched great devices that are selling really well. Samsung is making moves that seem to say they might fork Android (a la Amazon). (Yes Motorola is owned by Google but it operates independently). Also note that LG is the first manufacturer to make two Nexus devices in a row which might have peeved off some of the others to begin with.

    2) Google sucks at distributing physical goods. Every device launch has had some sort of shipping/fulfillment issue. They wanted to scale up the process slowly.

    3) Behind the scenes things. The device has been, for all intents and purposes, ready to go for a while. We don’t know what kept causing the delays. It might have been only a few days ago that they finally got everything squared away but to schedule a press invent (send out invites at least a week before…) would have pushed the date too close to Thanksgiving and fulfillment for holidays would have been too risky.

  4. Carlos Colon says:

    Good to see you, David!!

  5. Maybe because its not a big deal. They don’t seem to market the N5 to the general public even though a 349 high(er) end device should be extremely popular for the public that is increasingly looking to save money with prepaid and no contract plans. I must admit its pretty sucky that Google will not push the update to Galaxy Nexus. So much for promised updates; I don’t buy the 18 month excuse. Makes me even more likely to switch to iOS.
    The device also is apparently only being sold at Tmobile and Sprint. So the top 2 carriers that represent the majority of customers will not carry it. Apparently it will be compatible with ATT but not officially carried by them.
    Tmobile hasn’t announced any availability but they still are listing the Nexus4 at 479. One would assume they would mark up the 5 for gullible customers too.
    One would think if Google thought KitKat or the Nexus5 were a game changer, they would have a big press event. Most phones will not see 4.4 in a long, long time so this doesnt affect most consumers.
    This makes most sense with Tmobile no contract plans ($70 for unlimited LTE) or something like Straight Talk ($45 – no fees – for 2.5 gb of Tmobile HSPA or ATT LTE). You’ve got to realize the N5 price is only $150 more than the contract high end phones so you can make that back up in a few months. If you try to go on ATT directly, you will be paying those high rates despite not getting a subsidy so it doesnt really make sense. Now that ATT got rid of their individual plans, Id never even consider them. I can get 2.5gb of data on Straight Talk for $45 or pay $95 plus fees for only 2gb. Id be saving $50-60 a month…so even paying full price for an iPhone would be worth it

  6. conservativemotorcyclist says:

    WOO! Welcome Back to the blogospher, David!!

    The biggest reason for this “lack-of-flair” (I think) is because Kit-Kat’s main target is to improve response on low-end devices. this is mainly a “performance-improvement” release.

  7. Google may be planning for a bigger event for Google watch

  8. James Duncan says:

    Flair, surely. It wasn’t on a boat.

  9. Remi Tsao says:

    David! Glad to see you here!
    Google doesn’t need all the glitz and glam to show off what they are doing, through an announcement. I think it best for consumer to have an as is device and all the other stuff to be discovered by the geek/devs. The words of mouth and leaks of the device were what made the flares of the device to sell out.

    • Sellouts occur because there is lack of supply. If this phone is that great and 349 is such a great deal, then why not market this to an audience beyond developers and Android geeks? Thats what I don’t get. This phone should be a huge boon for prepaid and no contract carriers. I guess maybe they save the money on the special events to get to a 349 price point

      • Is it possible that there was some sort of behind the scenes agreement with LG not to for a certain amount of time considering they just released the G2 and may not have wanted the competition? Not sure how feasible this theory would be.

  10. Completely agree. I’m fairly shocked there wasn’t at least a small event, even if just on YouTube. I would have liked to have seen some of the key new features demoed on the device.

  11. I’m glad they didn’t do a big event. After the last few events it seems like a waste of time including Apple’s. Those that are looking for a new device will already know when a device is coming out because they follow the industry. Everyone else will walk into the store and look around or ask around. Plus it helped them not look as bad when meeting sales and they still sold out.

    Good to have you back David.We knew you would be back.

    • David Beren says:

      I’m glad to be back and you’ll be seeing quite a lot of me!

      • Kit Pogi says:

        Hey David, all I hear on TmoNews are crickets…… I’m glad you’re doing great sir!
        Off topic, what you do think of HTC making the next Nexus device? I really want see them get over the hump and making the next Nexus device would definitely help. Don’t you think?

  12. David!!!! Awesome to see you on here. Now time to remove the TMONews bookmark and replace it with this site .

  13. Wonder if they were trying to avoid the Nexus 4 mess?

    Glad to see you, David!!

    • Remi Tsao says:

      I was part of the N4 ordering and shipping debacle. I am glad that this time was a easier transition. Order within 10 minutes of going live and got a shipping email already.

  14. I think Google sees it more of evolution as you said and that doesn’t require such hoopla. It wants to different than apple in that regards. My 2 cents