Well, this post is an interesting one for me, I have been doing a lot of research into the history of Google Consumer Hardware, ever since I got my Google Pixel XL I have been thinking about why it is that Google has only just brought out a piece of consumer grade hardware. Then I realized, they haven’t! In fact, a number of common industry names are owned by google and many of them are names that are not really known outside of the US.
Put it this way, did you know that Motorola is owned by Google? This is one of the big ones, but then you also have things like the Nexus phones. These are not owned by Google but are Google Partnered phones, they are made by companies who partner with Google for the exclusive rights to hardware or software.
Of course, there are the bigger things like Chrome Cast & Chrome Cast Audio, The Google Pixel Chrome Book & Pixel C, Googles own Mobile, Laptop & Phone. It becomes apparent, Google actually makes or is involved in making a large number of devices!
I do, however, have an issue with Google making devices, I have had a Google Pixel since launch BUT I am not entirely happy with my experience so far. I have had problems with my power adapter, and the USB C to C wire which came with the phone & have instead had to switch to using the Google Supplied A-C wire with an alternative plug because the phone will not recognize the original C-C wire. Not only that but after only 2 months of owning the phone the entire USB C port on the phone itself has become very look and the cable now easily drops out of the phone without warning.
So far, it does feel like Google sucks at hardware however, there are a number of successful devices within their remit, The Google Home is an excellent example of where Google really does excel! Given that they key to a great AI is to feed it with information and data & Google’s entire purpose is to give you epic search results for free in exchange for knowledge of what you search for, where you are, how old you are & various other demographic data. Google’s entire purpose, after all, is to essentially document the cumulative knowledge of the human race.
So the short answer at the moment seems to be, well, no. It doesn’t suck at making consumer tech, it just seems to be focusing its energy on many different facets of technology without really thinking through which ones it can dedicate resources and time sufficient to make the project a true success (Google Glass anyone?).