As a single device, the Nexus One does not kill the iPhone. It is just a remarkable phone in a world of also-rans, and maybe even one ran badly at the start. As a branded Google device spearheading a charge of Android phones, like Verizon's Droids, Sprint's Evo, and HTC's Desire, just to name a few, it has become a formable force of features and choice being delivered to consumers from a variety of carriers and manufacturers.
Android has given Apple its only worthy competitor.
Google has provided the support for an open source operating system capable of delivering a competitive alternative accessible to anyone who wishes to produce a mobile device. The Nexus One is simply Google's own version of a system capable of change on a massive scale. It is the bare bones version of Android and it has been handing it out like candy to both developers and corporate partners alike. Its initial web only sales model might be seen as failure, but it reached those independent, tech savvy, consumers willing to take part in this new ecosystem.
Marking the Nexus One, or any Android phone, by itself, as an iPhone killer misses the point. Google does not need any single phone to be the ultimate winner to provide innovative services, like voice search and navigation, to increase its strength in advertising. The cost of research and development is not Google's to bare alone, neither is the manufacturing of devices.
Anyone can make it better and this is what is competing with the iPhone.
Still, Google has changed tactics and is begun looking for more traditional partnerships for selling the Nexus One. The Nexus One has advantages over other Android phones. Specifically updates are tied directly to improvements made to the operating system without having to go through additional layers found in user interfaces like Motorola's Blur or HTC's Desire. It is the bare bones Android cutting edge and this does appeal to a great many consumers who want their updates without having to wait. As Google puts this device in hands of potential consumers, sales will increase.
That lack of an extra layer means the Nexus One will be one of the few Android phones ready for Adobe's Flash coming with the next update in June. It gives Google one more selling point while Apple and Adobe talk trash over a mobile devices ability to host Flash in the first place. However, Apple has some very diehard fans. June is also the likely time in which Apple releases the new iPhone HD and it would be silly to believe those fans will not generate a crazy amount of initial sales.
Device for device, I am sure Apple will have the numbers. This year anyways. As a collection, and as the strategy towards openness leads to greater consumer choice, Google is definitely winning.
Originally posted on Helium