The bizarre nature of the Google Nexus 7 tablet launch shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has seen an Android launch or two over the last couple of years.
The Nexus 7’s launch confusion did not, in fact, start earlier this week when an Office Depot notice claimed that the device would be out on July 12th only to issue another note saying that launch had been postponed.
No, the Nexus 7’s launch mess actually started last month at the end of June at Google I/O 2012. That event, of course, served as the launching pad for not only Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google’s latest operating system, but for the Nexus 7 tablet as well.
It was there that Google executives took the stage, ranting and raving about the Nexus 7, its features and its competitive price tag. It even put the device up for pre-order that very day.
Well, when it came time to reveal a release date, surprise surprise, Google, like many of its Android manufacturers, failed to announce a specific release date only going as far as to say that the device would be launching in the middle of July.
If you have ever seen an Android launch, you’d know that this is often the case. For example, Samsung hosted a massive Galaxy S III launch event in London, an event that it live streamed and promoted endlessly. But, when the time came, Samsung failed to deliver any kind of specific release date for users in the United States.
And then, when it was time for launch, there was confusion, there were rumored release dates, unclear shipping dates, and little communication. In other words, there was a mess.
At least Samsung had the decency to explain the circumstances surrounding the delay, Google has been less than clear with those who have pre-ordered the Nexus 7 or are looking to snag one in stores.
Nexus 7 pre-orderers had to find out through Google’s help line that the device had begun to ship out. Even now, it’s unclear who is selling it, who isn’t, and when and if it will ever arrive in stores.
Google’s shipping it out but there’s no release date, there’s very little communication and there are a lot of confused consumers out there.
The sad part about the mess is that it’s almost something that we’ve come to expect from an Android device launch.
You’d think that, by now, Android manufacturers and the carriers that carry their devices would know that a solid release date is a crucial ingredient to any major launch. Need an example?
Apple executives take the stage, ranting and raving about a new iPhone or a new iPad but once they are through, they put the device up for pre-order and gasp, they even give it a firm release date to put the minds of potential customers at ease.
Unclear release dates and rumors are fun before the launch of a product, but they are the exact opposite when they take place after the launch.
The sooner Google and its Android buddies learn that lesson the better.