TechCrunch’s November 17th post declaring the Google Phone alive launched a thousand more across the web. Word of the Google Phone spread as fast as Wal-Mart and as speculation and predictions ran rampant, the device gained instant notoriety. Not even Google’s potential advertising could compete with the amount of free press beginning back in November.
There’s no way to tell if Google pushed the ‘dog food’ devices onto its staff as a way to gain a bit more media attention. Although the exact number of in-house employees who received the device is unknown, they’d be delusional to think that their latest handset wouldn’t leak. It was only a matter of hours until owners of the rare Nexus One tweeted in amazement of their new devices. Days later, low res photos of the device and video boot up sequences shot their way across news outlets, confirming more of what we’d been hearing. Come the end of December, high quality images (even our own) and full hands-on videos up to ten minutes in length made their way onto YouTube. You want to sit there and tell me that Google didn’t anticipate this? Puh-lease.
Those running Google’s mobile operation aren’t stupid – far from it. They know the impact of slow leaks with vague information, even without evidence stirs up some of the biggest PR available. The world cares about big players like Google that, with one device, can shatter an industry. Either way, companies this large know their information is going to get leaked. Why not benefit from it? These people are marketing geniuses and I don’t think they’re alone.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying this whole Nexus One thing was a PR stunt. But I also don’t think Google’s ignorant to benefits that come with a little transparency, even if the view’s a little foggy. They played their cards right and the Nexus One has certainly set a precedent for Android and 2010. As their online mobile catalog of unlocked Android devices continues to grow, others will conform to compete. They’ve certainly got a plan and it’ll be fascinating to see how soon it plays out. Prepare yourselves.