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Earlier this year I wrote my thoughts on the current mobile scene and what troubles certain players more than others.  I made the assertion that Android will face the same troubles that Windows Mobile is challenged with.  That being that Google/Android are providing a platform and not a physical device.  I think it would be hard to argue that owning the complete platform and hardware is not a good idea.  Apple’s complete control of every aspect of the channel provides them with the ability to deliver in a somewhat more reliable fashion (except for the fact that Contacts suck and their implementation of ‘enterprise’ features is questionable).

So why another post on the failure of Android?  Take a look:

(source: CrunchGear)

What you can’t really see in the photograph is the proposed angle of the button controls (they angle upward in other design drawings/renderings), making it look like a more old-school handset more than a revolutionary device.

And therein lies the struggle for Android: they aren’t making the device.  I’ve seen the demos of Android and have already said they are impressive.  The fact that all of that is made available via open source is great and exciting.  But for consumers, useless unless some great packaging comes with it.  Remember the old adage of lipstick on a pig?  When I look at the above T-Mobile picture device running Android, that’s what I think about.  There isn’t anything innovative in the design and regardless of innovation it doesn’t even match some of the sleekness of current designs.  In the consumer market, design matters over features. 

I will say that the “HTC Dream” has other shots/drawings around that look a lot different than the above picture, so I could be eating my words.  But right now it looks like a Nintendo Wii accessory.  And in some angles it looks like an iPod sized thing with an FM transmitter adapter on the bottom…just not polished.

I foresee a bunch of Silicon Valley types walking around with this device, but my wife won’t be carrying it because it looks too Star Trek-ish.

Better view of the weird angle bottom in this video ("is that Android in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"):

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