We're live at the All Things D event at CES 2010. We're slated to see conversations with Jon Rubinstein, Reed Hastings, and Andy Rubin, so stay tuned -- we start at 3:30PM PT!
5:49PM And we're done!
5:48PM Q: Josh! "You call this a superphone, 3.7-inch capacitive display, but no keyboard and no multi-touch. Yet it has multitouch outside the US. Why not America? Andy: "It's not an america vs. outside america kind of thing. It's a decision that has a result of the OEM model. I personally don't like two-handed operations." Josh: "but it benefits the keyboad." Andy: "It will recognize two simultaneous key presses at once." Andy argues that that's just a minor detail. "There's no conspiracy." Okay, Google just doesn't want to put multitouch on their "with Google" devices then?
5:43PM 5:39PM Walt: "Are we setting unrealistic expectations with these devices that the networks can't handle." Andy: "Absolutely not." Subject switched rapidly to revenue sharing, Walt: "How much do you get?" Andy: "Developers get 70%, I get enough to cover my cost, the carriers get the rest." Q&A Time.
5:38PM Be right back folks, going to ask a question!
5:37PM Andy: "We have to get better at customer service."
5:37PM Walt: "I have two questions; the first is there are lots of stories about people who are really unhappy with customer service on this phone. People are being told they'll have to wait two days for service... how is this a good experience for consumers." Andy: "This is a complicated device, it's getting more complex every day..." Walt: "Every day since the three days it's been out?" Ha!
5:35PM Andy: "As software has gotten more complicated, OEMs became software partners, it's hard to compete with the internet. So flipping the dynamic, it's a model that let's you get into the business and you don't have to worry about plumbing. Moto is a great example..."
5:34PM "Aren't you and Apple putting yourselves in the middle?"
5:33PM Walt: "You're now saying; we'll sell the phone, we'll tell you what plan to get... you're replacing the operator." Andy: "That's not true..." Walt: "Come on, how many operator services are on this phone? How many AT&T apps are on the iPhone? One is like, 'tell us how sucky the network is'." "Really, the thing that you announced, I buy I phone, I click to the other page... there's a plan, if I choose a CDMA phone... that puts Google at the center of my universe. That makes Google the center of my universe... by the way, people who buy Apple products think of themselves as Apple customers."
5:30PM Walt: "So Apple and Palm and RIM are over here, and Microsoft is over here... you're not where Apple and Palm are, but you're closer to them." Andy: "Well you should ask Eric Schmidt." Walt: "But you have to sign in with a Google account on this device?" Andy: "Not on every device."
5:28PM Andy: "I don't know how many phones are out there. But walking around CES, I see a lot things running Android." Walt: "So there's a lot of them... so you should have a lot of apps."
5:28PM Walt: "So how important to the future is this app ecosystem?" Andy: "The app thing is a reflection of how many phones you've sold. That's what devs invest in. There was a time when I had as many apps as Palm has." Walt: "So on what date will you have 125,000 apps?" Andy: "Well I'm sure someone could map that out..."
5:26PM Walt: "You said this is a revolutionary thing. The iPhone was probably the game changer. The scale of it... were you surprised by it?" Andy: "It doesn't surprise me. That's what happens when you remove all obstacles from devs."
5:25PM Walt: "Ralph De La Vega insisted that devs should be attached to the carrier. That he would create a set of APIs. No one would develop for Android, or the iPhone -- they'd develop for everything that AT&T sells." Andy: "I'm not really talking about control. There were a lot of barriers in the old model, now, you write your application, you upload to the market, and it's available to every person who has a phone." Walt: "It's not quite that easy with Apple. Does it surprise you that they have so many apps?"
5:23PM Andy: "We're in the app revolution, and up pops an app store. Now we're seeing app stores be aligned with a platform."
5:22PM Andy: "It's a new world. People recognized that cellphones are computing devices."
5:21PM Andy: "You notice that only successful products have accessories. It's the exact same thing for apps." Walt: "Then how do you explain the BlackBerry? They have 4000 apps. Where's the disconnect there?"
5:20PM Walt: "But how do you reconcile that?" Andy: "This is the product that best showcases Google. But we're creating businesses for other people with the app distribution model, and this will create bigger opportunity for everybody. It reminds me of the accessory business..."
5:18PM Walt: "The other thing you said was interesting, you sort of said this is a platform for people to carry all day for their Google services. You're thinking of this for people who love their Google services. But you are encouraging people to write apps -- I can get other people's email on here, how do you reconcile that? So, you have the second biggest amount of apps..." Andy: "Yes!" Ha, little arm pump there.
5:16PM Walt: "So based on what you said, two questions pop into my mind; what's an enterprise version of this phone? Doesn't it support Exchange?" Andy: "It does, but an enterprise version might be something with a physical keyboard, it may be a world phone..." Walt: "But then it's a different device..." Andy: "Yeah, it's a different SKU."
5:15PM Andy: "We're trying to give consumers the best experience for our services. We wanted to offer something simple. People get confused. I get confused. We wanted a simple way to do it. Like our homepage has a white background... we can ask our operator, it's very agile. All I have to do is negotiate with T-Mobile. But simplicity is a big part of it."
5:14PM Walt: "You have a lunch partner in T-Mobile, and this going to be available for Verizon and Vodafone. But you got involved in T-Mobile offering a single plan for this device. Tmo people told me that. Google wanted this and that for this monthly price. Why would you get involved in that if you're separating the phone from service?" Ouch.
5:13PM Walt asked why the new process to buy the Nexus One is better, Andy is describing how complex the current model for selling mobile devices is. "What we learned with Android is that the software is good, but we learned there are more efficient ways to connect a customer. The experiment here is to allow consumers to experience the phone with no pressure, no upsell, they get into a product that best suits their needs. There will be other products... this is the superphone version." Well, we guess that won't be stopping anytime soon.
5:10PM Walt: "You have something you call the 'program' -- was that something you always had in mind with this platform?" Andy: "So this is the next phase of Android... it's a new way to buy a phone."
5:09PM Walt: "I know people were mad, who have a Droid, because you introduced this." Andy: "Because we introduced a new product?"
5:09PM Andy: "I think Windows Mobile is a good example. The other guys, RIM, Jon, they control the whole thing, and they have a couple of SKUs..." Walt: "I would say this is closer to that..." Andy: "It's an evolution." Wow -- Rubin is excellent at not really answering this question. The man might be in denial.
5:08PM Andy: "When we do another major release of Android, we're going to pick another device." Walt: "So Jon Rubinstein said he thought the best way to do these was vertical... you aren't as vertical... but this is pretty vertical."
5:07PM Andy: "Android is an open source project, but a good way to focus on that is to use a single thing to take with you day and night. We launched the G1 fourteen months ago -- it was a very same process." Walt: "But since the G1, which was nowhere near as good a phone as the Nexus One... but the G1 was done with a lot of input from you guys, this was done with a lot of input. Not all the other phones were though. In a way, this is the hero or champion phone for the moment for the platform. I know you have to be careful, but this is 'hey look what we can do'."
5:05PM Andy: "We throw out ideas to our partners... some of them like them. HTC liked this one." Walt: "But your involvement in this was heavier than in some Android phones."
5:04PM Walt: "Okay... we'll have more commercial later. I meant, the way this came about. People were calling it the Google Phone. But you were involved in the design of this phone -- it isn't like you threw Android out there. You were involved."
5:03PM Any is listing off the specs now.
5:03PM Walt: "You are in charge of Android. What's different about the Nexus One?" Andy: "It's just like any other device. There's an evolution. We're calling it a superphone." Oh please Andy.
5:03PM Andy is out!
5:02PM Walt: "Andy is the guy in charge of Android. He's also the guy who developed the Sidekick at Danger. He's been in the mobile space for a long time. You all know that Google came out with the Nexus One this week. There's lots to talk about."
5:01PM Looks like it's time for Walt to grill Andy Rubin. Let's do this thing.
5:01PM And Reed is done!
5:00PM Question from the audience: "Will it ever be possible for a service like yours to work on a global scale?" Reed: "In some cases. When most of the market is country by country, things will be piecemeal. Over 30 years, you have to imagine things will be globally distributed and globally produced. We'll be launching in some country this year, but we haven't said where yet."
4:49PM Kafka: "3D is the big buzz here. Do you think people want that?" Reed: "3D is undergoing a revolution. For the internet, the file is a little bigger, about 25 percent. The thing is in the home no one knows how many people will be viewing because of the glasses." Kafka: "What does your gut say?" Reed: "Well, my gut doesn't say much... I can't see myself doing it. But I'm not 20 years old."
4:46PM So check that out, Wii owners. You may actually get some Netflix love.
4:46PM Kafka: "What about getting on Nintendo? What are your chances?" Reed: "Our chances are excellent."
4:45PM Reed is lighting up the stage. Just kidding.
4:40PM Reed doesn't want to give up any numbers. Kafka is pressing hard. This is a stalemate.
4:36PM Peter: "When do you think you'll get to a point where you're not shipping DVDs?" Reed: "About 2030." Ha! Little does he know we aren't going to make it past 2012 anyway!
4:33PM Peter was needling Reed on number of streaming titles, what he'll gain from this Warner deal. Reed: "Look, there are more streaming movies then any of us will be able to watch." Uh, that's not a really good answer. It's not about our capability to watch, it's about our choices.
4:30PM Look, Peter and Reed are talking some pretty snoozeworthy deal numbers between Warner and Netflix. We're not going to write it up, because we're a gadget site. Also, it's boring.
4:29PM "The new deal is that we wait 28 days... but then we have enough copies for everybody. Our costs are down... that lets us put more money into streaming."
4:27PM Reed and Peter are discussing the company's news this week, their deal with Warner Brothers. Reed: "Warner wanted a 28 day waiting period before we could rent them."
4:25PM Peter Kafka is about to talk to Reed Hastings from Netflix.
4:25PM And Jon is off!
4:24PM Kara: "What the next big trend?" Jon: "We see the integration of these devices into the cloud as a fundamental direction things are going..." Kara: "No, I mean something really cool." "Are you going to do a tablet?" Jon: "We're a small company and we have to stay focused. Right now we're focused on phones, but we were careful in making webOS so it could scale." Kara: "So would you let other people make your products?" What? Where did that come from? "You like the fascist approach... so do I."
4:22PM Well folks, there's a very good chance we won't see much news from these sessions.
4:20PM Kara asked Jon about Google's plan to sell unsubsidized phones. Jon: "We were selling unlocked Treos years ago. But people are addicted to subsidies."
4:16PM Jon: "I didn't come to the company to sell it. That was never part of the plan."
4:16PM Kara: "Is acquisition a possibility?" Jon: "Our goal is to be a great company, and that's possible in the marketplace."
4:15PM Kara: "And AT&T? They mentioned it." Jon: "We have nothing to announce about AT&T." Kara: "Would you like to be on AT&T?" Jon: "Well of course it's nice to be on a lot of carriers..." Kara mentioned how bad their network was, and one person in the audience clapped really, really loud.
4:14PM Kara: "The key thing is to sell a lot of phones. So you sign to Verizon." Jon: "We launch on January 25th..." Kara: "How do you think that will do in this country? What are your estimates? How much growth will you get out of that? How much will you spend on marketing?" Jon: "Well they're going to spend a lot. Verizon spends a lot of money every quarter. They're going to be investing in a lot of advertising."
4:12PM Kara: "It could be a very lovely platform, but it's not very big." Jon: "We're democratizing development... anyone could be a developer. We have a very large developer pool -- we can have lots of devs..." Kara: "Do you need 100,000 apps?" Jon: "The problem is there's low discoverability on the long tail." Kara: "What do you think of Intel doing apps?" Jon: "It seems strange." Ha!
4:11PM Kara: "I get that you're making it easier..." Jon: "No, but it allows developers to promote their apps."
4:10PM Jon is discussing Project Ares, and the new app selling and promotion tools.
4:09PM Kara: "Are you disadvantaged when it comes to apps?" Jon: "I don't think so, we have a lot of good tools for developers."
4:09PM Kara: "Do you need to be better in the app area? Is that a problem?" Jon: "We had some goals, we wanted to be the easiest to develop for, yesterday we announced our PDK -- it allows you to plug C and C++ coding into our environment. With that we brought OpenGL into the platform."
4:07PM "We want to have a variety of ways to sync." Kara: "Have you called Apple? Have you thought of having some kind of truce? Did you try to call them?" Jon: "No I didn't think there was much point."
4:06PM Jon: "We wanted to give people a way to access their media... we gave them three ways. Drag and drop, APIs, and we provided iTunes syncing. So where we are today is Apple turns it off and we turn it back on. We think that's not good for their customers. So right now it works with 9.0.1 in iTunes, so if you don't upgrade you'll be fine. But there are lots of applications and more coming... like DoubleTwist. That's free and you can sync."
4:05PM Kara: "At D we talked about iTunes, and you said 'oh Apple won't care'." Jon: "I guess they cared." Kara: "Where are you with that?"
4:03PM Kara: "But people usually start with a BlackBerry." Jon: "Well they should start with the Pixi." Now he's showing off the Pre Plus.
4:02PM "This doesn't have the big 3.7 inch screen, but it's got tremendous capabilities. This is a perfect starter phone." He's talking about the Pixi.
4:02PM Kara is asking Jon to explain the differences between the Plus and regular Pre and Pixi.
4:01PM Kara: "Talk about Google and what they're doing?" Jon: "I think they're doing really good work. I think we have different target markets. I think we're much more consumer oriented, they're much more geek oriented. We're trying to build products for the general consumer."
4:00PM Kara: "You shot your old product in the head..." Jon: "Palm OS had been around for a long time."
3:59PM "The iPhone is a great product, Apple is a great company. I love Apple. But we're focused on what we're doing. We have our view. Our view is very cloud centric."
3:58PM Jon: "I've never used an iPhone."
3:58PM "We have a roadmap for webOS." Kara: "So you don't think about the iPhone?" Jon: "Not that much."
3:58PM Kara: "So let's talk about competitors... you have massive competitors. Let's talk about Apple -- how do you judge what they're doing?" Jon: "We expected this to be competitive, it's a growing market. This will sound strange, but I don't pay that much attention to the competition."
3:56PM Jon: "Well we have gestures... people love flicking that card away."
3:56PM Kara asked to talk about the platform and what's exciting to Jon. He's listing off all of the features of webOS -- all of the innovations. "We have fewer buttons... now we have no buttons..." Kara: "Well there's only one button on the iPhone."
3:54PM Kara: "The lady is gone right?" Jon: "The lady is gone."
3:54PM Kara: "What was up with the creepy lady in the commercials?" Jon: "The Borg queen a lot of people called her... at the end of the day I would have preferred people liked her."
3:53PM Kara: "But you had a tough year financially. How do you look at that?" Jon: "I don't think we had a bad year. I look at the last two and half years as being a transformational time. Now we're in a growth phase."
3:51PM Jon is listing off the accomplishments over the year. A lot of what we heard yesterday at Palm's event.
3:50PM Kara: "Let's talk about... let's go back. Last year you were the buzz. How has this year been since the launch?"
3:49PM Jon Rubinstein is out!
3:49PM Walt: "What's with the jacket? You didn't get the memo about the dress code?" Peter: "I have a t-shirt backstage."
3:48PM Walt: "We have another interviewer... it's Peter Kafka." Kafka comes out to some rocking jams.
3:47PM Kara: "They would have rushed the stage if we said we had an Apple Tablet in the back." Walt: "We do, we're just not giving it away."
3:47PM Some pretty awesome Walt and Kara banter going on. Walt: "About an hour ago Andy Rubin said he had five Nexus One phones to give away..."
3:46PM Walt: "We're going to have a party after this... and you wanna go, because we're going to give away stuff."
3:46PM Kara: "We wanted to do a more glamorous show..." Walt: "I wanted chorus lines... but budget cuts..." Kara: "But we wanna get to the interviews we're doing -- we're very focused on mobile."
3:44PM "Ladies and gentlemen, you hosts Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher!"
3:44PM Hey! Erick Tseng from Google is here. We just had a chat about some nerdy phone stuff, and our secret party names.
3:39PM "Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats..." Okay, now the music sounds exactly like the soundtrack to Mission: Impossible 2.
3:37PM They have some seriously rockin' music playing here. But not rockin' in the good way. More like... the porno way.