Out of nowhere Google has shown off the Pixel 6 to journalists however they could only show mockups in the videos being uploaded to YouTube. The focus was more a ‘top level’ macro overview rather than specifics (link) however pretty much all the tick boxes were filled when it came to confirming the rumours that have been making their round in the technology enthusiast space since the launch of the Samsung S21 and Google working with Samsung. The big focus appears to be the integration between the software and hardware which makes for an interesting situation when one considers that Apple has their own SoC, Samsung with their own SoC, Google with now their own SoC and Microsoft very much working with Qualcomm (maybe Microsoft will move beyond the Duo when it comes to Android phones).
I say tha tit is interesting because for many years the analysts on wall street convinced themselves that the future was all horizontal business models, that vertical business models like what Apple does is ‘stodgy’ and ‘old fashioned’ but it appears that once again the ‘experts on wall street’ demonstrate that they’re largely clueless about running a business. While Apple is making big investments into their services as people are keeping their phones for longer (thus slowing down growth) we’re seeing Google doing the same by not only developing their hardware division but offering more paid for services – I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up seeing more paid for services with the eventual goal to become less dependent on their advertisement business as it has become a lightning rod in recent years as concerns about consumer privacy come to the forefront.
One thing is interesting is how things are calming down in the area of messaging platforms, that after years of floating between different solutions it appears that Google has finally standardised on a platform (RCS) along with providing a framework so that third parties can build their messaging applications on while utilising the Google Jibe RCS network. Things are gradually evolving where recently end to end encrypt was enabled using the signal protocol for individual conversations but there are rumours that Google is working on enabling it for group conversations. Truth be known I only use SMS when chatting with friends and family, I got rid of my WhatsApp a few months ago so I could rid myself of any connection with Facebook.
One application I do like is Google Chat – it works a whole long nice than hangouts, it’ll be interesting to see whether long term we’ll see Meet replace duo or if they do keep it whether they call it something different- something that is a lot more descriptive given that Duo doesn’t exactly tell the end user much regarding it is supposed to do. It appears that across the board all the big players such as Google, Apple and Microsoft are rationalising their product portfolio and with the current political climate in the US regarding big tech giants I wouldn’t be surprised if we see further moves by Google to offer paid for versions – their recent move has been to provide a cheaper entry level version of YouTube Premium, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing more paid for ad free versions – a paid for product has a whole lot less political sensitivity associated with it when compared to an ad support service which bring scrutiny to the ad platform regarding end user privacy.