Google just added another experience hand to their hardware division. The Information is reporting that the Search giant, that does business under the name of Alphabet since last year, lured an Amazon executive to work for them.
David Foster would work in the hardware division as Vice President of product engineering. He is to oversee the the development of Google’s new range of smartphones that would be launched later today.
This is another sign that Google is taking the business of designing and making their own phones very seriously. I won’t be surprised if they are positioning themselves to be the third biggest smartphone manufacturers after Apple and Samsung.
Though speaking personally, I am not too excited about a Google smartphone that would be priced way beyond my ability to purchase and use them. And make no mistake about it, the Google smartphones, which credible rumours say would be named Pixel and Pixel XL, would be high-end phones with top specs to justify the price Google is going to charge for them.
I guess if you want to compete with the Galaxy range and iPhones, your price and specs have to match those two.
David Foster is no spring chicken as far as working in the industry is concerned. According to his LinkedIn profile, which has not being updated to reflect his new job at the time of writing this piece, he worked at Apple for six years between 1998 and 2004, as senior executive.
After leaving Apple, he did a stint for one year as the Chief Technical Officer of Gibson Guitar before he decided to go back into the world of high tech and softwares with Microsoft. At Microsoft, he held the post of the head honcho in charge of hardwares.
He joined Amazon in 2011. At Amazon he was placed in charge of the division responsible for the development of Kindle and Kindle Fire. The division, known as Lab 126, was also responsible for the development of other hardwares such as Amazon Echo and the Fire TV.
With that sort of resume, Google have pried away a man who has serious pedigree in the development of all sorts of hardwares. The message Google is sending out to the world is that they are starting at the top with the best crew to handle the hardware division.
Google showed their intent about their seriousness in going into hardwares when they reorganized the division and brought in Rick Osterloh to head it. Osterloh too had some impressive working history in the tech world behind him.
He worked at Motorola under different ownership of the company running up to the period it was owned by Lenovo. In all these assignments, Osterloh was known as one of the leading men when it comes to development and marketing of hardwares.
However, I would always remember Osterloh as the man who presided over the killing of Project Ara. The modular smartphone that was intended to give people complete ownership of their smartphone. In the sense that, you can decide how awesome you want your smartphone to be just by changing a few modules.
The idea of the modular smartphone would not have favoured a Google range of smartphones must have being the logic in Google. Though I don’t see how that could happen. The market is big enough to accommodate cheap phones and top of the range smartphones. See how the Apple and Samsung are making billions in profits from sale of their flagship devices in spite of the presence of cheap smartphones with very good specs from China.
It is this man that David Foster would be reporting to. Given both their histories in the hardware business, I am sure they are both going to understand each other very well.
image credit: www.theinformation.com; thenextweb.com; www.bidnessetc.com; tech.firstpost.com