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Editorial: is Engadget really that stupid? Or just corrupt? Or trolling us all?

Here is another "race to the bottom is bad" article, this time in the form of an "editorial" from Engadget. It's even more idiotic than usual.

The whole "race to the bottom" concept is odd to me: people complaining about how technology gets less outrageously expensive, and more available to everybody, and more commoditized.  Like that would be a bad thing? So the whole argument is fundamentally flawed to begin with - any time I see some pundit or CEO complaining about how the competition is making things cheaper, I go "Uhhuh, crybaby".

But when it comes to cellphones, it's not just a flawed argument, it's doubly stupid. Because in that market, particularly in the US, the alternative is the whole broken carrier subsidy model, with all that entails. None of which is good, and all of which is much worse than any (hypothetical) "race to the bottom" arguments.

And at no point did that deeply flawed editorial even mention carrier lock-in issues. What crock.

I have many reasons to like the google nexus phones: I just think that the plain android experience is generally cleaner than most of the skinned ones, and even when there is superior hardware (Samsung Galaxy SIII) I tend to prefer the Nexus model (honesty in advertizing: I've gotten free phones from both google and Samsung, but I actually bought my own Nexus One and Galaxy Nexus on google play store. And I installed CyanogenMod on the SIII Samsung gave me, because I wanted the JellyBean experience).

So I like the Nexus phones just because I think they have a nicer interface.

But I like the Nexus phones even more because they are clearly pushing the whole "no carrier lock-in" model. And price is absolutely part of it. 
David Bird's profile photoРоман Александрович Лукьяненко's profile photoAndrew Craucamp's profile photoJulian Labuschagne's profile photo
Billy Harvey
They get more irritating every day.
+Linus Torvalds I agree +Nexus all the way and electronics getting cheaper and cheaper not in quality or capability but in price is a phenomenal process.
+Linus Torvalds Don't worry, even in 10 years there will still be gold platted diamond-incrusted iPhones for those who like to spend money on technology.
Wow.  I'm very shocked that this came out of +Engadget .  They aren't usually this stupid.
The race for the bottom is happening faster than they think.

You can get a perfectly functional Android tablet for $60 from Matrix One. Sure, it's only 800x480, but that's still 5x the resolution of my old iPaq, and that was a killer handheld only 10 years ago. If you really want bargain basement prices, the bargain basement hardware that goes along with it is not bad at all.
engadget: Things should be overpriced or else innovation will cease.
Carrier lock in is evil in my opinion, just as are data caps of 300 MB in todays world on data driven services like youtube and facebook.
totally agree with everything said as usual :)
Shihan Qu
+Chris Johnson , What? How is passing benefit to consumer in the form of freedom and better prices, not a good thing?
US carrier subsidies work only because devices are not network agnostic and networks are not device agnostic.

We need to be able to use any device on any network before we can successfully ditch the carrier lock-ins.

I don't see that happening for quite some time.
+Linus Torvalds Amen brother. Google pitches a good deal. And you know they have principals. Tell me whats not to like.
+Chris Johnson when producers compete, consumers win. The inefficient and slow-moving parts of the industry may suffer, but we all end up better off in the long run.
couldn't agree more. especially about major phone companies whining about competition... 
Jan Mercl
The honest version title: "Amazon and Google are undermining mobile pricing, and that may hurt Apple and Microsoft".
Jag tar det här på svenska till dig.vilket os kör du själv på dina pc?
I totally agree to you. The Nexus experience is the only Android experience. 
But what drugs did the author consume? They are definitly to strong. ;)
+Chris Johnson It's better than the carrier subsidy situation, in which they lock you in for a few years, make you pay outrageous fees every month and hence generate long-term profits.

And, if you want to avoid contracts, the only way to get phones is to pay the $600+ unsubsidised phone fees. Do you really think phones are that expensive? No, the actual thing only costs around $300-$400 and the rest goes to the carrier.
I don't see how the Nexus phones are pushing a "no carrier lock in" model when you see them as options on carriers like Sprint, Verizon, as any other device.  For that matter,  Apple went that route with the iPhone long before Nexus was even a gleam in the Google of eyes, and STILL offers that as an option.  It's not that popular an option as most buyers don't want to pay the larger price up front, and are willing to pay the higher subsidized price over time.
You're gouging on your prices if
You charge more than the rest.
But it's unfair competition
If you think you can charge less.
A second point that we would make
To help avoid confusion:
Don't try to charge the same amount:
That would be collusion!
How will Samsung pay its engineers charged to create bugs and break the Android experience if they have to lower their price?
The no carrier lock-in comes with the direct sales from their site, the carrier unlocked-as-standard (so you can buy it from one and use on another) and the very affordable price for upfront purchase. 

I haven't seen that combination with the iPhone (but then, I don't care enough to look).
I really like Nexus as well, not just for user experience but because I can choose who my service provider is(which is one reason I refuse to use a cdma network like verizon or sprint).
Ive always wondered how we got to this point where carriers control our phones so much. My laptops and desktops aren't controlled by my service provider why should my phones be? I'll gladly purchase my phone to not have them control my devices.
+Charlie Lund It's because CDMA was the first cellular technology developed, and for a long time it was the mainstream technology in cell networks.  CDMA is still the predominant technology in the United States as there is still a sizable chunk of the US which have no other networks operational.  (2 states in fact were not able to buy iPhones until Apple put out their first Verizon model because no GSM carriers were present there.)
That author needs to learn economics...
It's only a mistake if it does not sell.  If it sells and does not wind up in dresser drawers  the first two weeks after purchase the way many of the cheap Android tablets do, it's a win.  You seem to forget that there has been a growing demand for a small form factor iPad.  The self-styled techno-elite are a usually poor gauge to judge the success of a consumer oriented appliance.
Why's that +Ken Grafmiller? Is choice not a spice of life? ;)
I'm sure it suits some. Especially those who wanted an iPad, but "concentrated" as they say.. 
Some folks are always looking for something to complain about 
I may be misunderstanding your argument, but it seems like the Engadget article is protesting against lock-in, just not carrier lock-in (the argument, as I read it, is that the reason e.g. the Kindle fire is so cheap is because it's locked-in to Amazon's content).

And, the content lock-in that comes with super cheap tablets is even more insidious than carrier lock-in: at least all carriers offer the same basic service, but if you have to choose, when buying a tablet, between itunes content, amazon content, or google play content, then you're committing to a lot more with a content-subsidized tablet purchase than you are with a carrier-subsidized phone purchase.
If these guys saw the prices of some fairly nice, but not that nice, tablets available in China they'd die of a heart attack. I'm talking about tablets that could at least hang with a Nexus 7 (get beat but still be in the same crowd) for sub-150 if not sub-100USD.

Do they come from a manufacture anyone outside of China has heard of? Probably not. Are they still relatively nice pieces of tech for the price? Yep. I'd absolutely buy one if I was looking for a pure home tablet. Something for home automation or a fancy XBMC remote. Tasks that even a Nexus 7 would be too expensive to dedicate to.
Everyone already work in business know magazines/news are most of time paid. Nothing news. Linus is just showing sometimes it is so obvious that sucks.
Where i come from  all phones are unlocked. Just get in a phone shop, buy your phone and if you like Get a Sim from all the carriers and keep switching btwn them in a day as much as you want. 
+Wayne Young they'd probably bitch about them being 'KIRFY' and not having minimalist lines or an IPS display
+jody Read 'KIRFY'? And you're probably right. Of course, that falls out the window when the price point is a mere 60USD or so for something that is 80% of a Nexus 7 (on paper).
The Nexuses are damn good machines — but "dumping" at or below cost, especially when it's done by a company as wholly and unabashedly evil as Amazon or Walmart, cannot be a good thing long term. And the fact that Google is doing it does not say great things about their plans for the future.

Whenever you see someone dumping hardware at or below cost, you always have to ask yourself what happens once they control the market. like Walmart driving away other retailers and then jacking up prices, which is documented behavior.
Also, that article almost reads like a veiled apology for why the iPad Mini is over priced.
+Linus Torvalds You know, some of us CM people are in town this weekend. xD Maybe we can do a CM meetup for breakfast. (Or a beer)
+Wayne Young I'm just speculating what iEngadget would say - not my personal opinion.
Like I commented  elsewhere (on a slightly related topic), the whole business model boils down to this: Whenever two companies (cell phone manufacturer and the carrier provider) fashion a deal between them, money usually involved, one way or the other. Now then, who gets to pay for these deals in the end? Hmm? Regardless if it's "we pay you to spread our phone to your subscribers" or "omg we will pay you gazillion creditonias if you grant us your phones, exclusively!", it's always the end-customer who pays.

Not to bash anyone, but I've always kind of wondered how the citizens / customers "allowed" such a business model to become the dominant one (in the States) in the first place?

Most of the civilized world - Finland included - is free of such trickery, and the "free to choose the phone & subscription & provider I like, any time, and when I change I get to keep my number too!" -deal we have certainly hasn't hurt anyone.
Except capitalistic profits. ;-P
Big Bosses = "Everyone", huh?
Sounds like another Apple fanboy running scared. He found out that a lot of people do not want high prices and walled gardens after all. 
My friends and I were discusing this biased opinion in almost every tech news site we usually read. When you go to Android Police you know what you are looking at but some sites are suposed to be unbiased and... it is difficult to find only one.
So right
I am sick of all these stupid reviews and articles
It is all good for them as long as Apple is stealing their F***ing money 
I think the main problem was only given a cursory mention even by Linus. Carrier lock in is the devil. 
Shep Shapard
I think Engadget is raising a point worth consideration, though in the end it may not be valid.  The question they raise is: is it a good thing that company A who sells hardware and content is able to sell their hardware for cheaper while making up the loss in revenue by selling content via the device, while company B only has the option of selling hardware and must turn a profit on hardware alone?  That is a valid question worth exploration to some degree.

However, if company A and B both have the same funds to invest, and Company A invests in hardware and content, and Company B solely invests in hardware, you'd expect that consumers might be left with a choice between pricey superior hardware (company B) and cheaper inferior hardware, bound to some content.  Totally fair because in the end a product is more than just a piece of software or hardware, but rather part of an ecosystem (closed or open).

One area where Google deserves tons and tons of praise is that while it may be selling hardware for cheap and planning to recoup costs via content, at least they are doing so in an open ecosystem.  The fire locks you into Amazon content only, and iOS locks you into various classes of Apple only content.  At least there is one company who continues to compete in open markets fairly... and wins simply because it makes the best products.

Furthermore, if hardware innovation does suffer due to content-hardware coupling, its only at the hands of another kind of innovation: business model innovation, and while one could claim that Amazon is fooling consumers into buying cheap hardware to get them locked into a content ecosystem, its up to competitors to innovate (perhaps by marketing the fact that that's what Amazon is doing) to compete.

I really admire your style Linus. You say what most of us think and you aren't even scared about media consequences! Respect, man!
Yeah, Nexus phones and tabs are great. But iPad's specs are better than Nexus 10. And iPhone 5 specs are better than Nexus 4.
That article is incredibly stupid and overly simplified. Different customers buy different products for different reasons. Which is the whole reason Apple still even exists as a company at all. It's customers buy into the brand a whole lot more than the average PC user.

Amazon can sell it's tablet at break even prices because it doesn't care about making a profit from technology. Amazon are taking a page from Google's book and creating a platform for their products and services that they can "control". Their device, not unlike other very cheap tablets, has a specific market niche in mind. The product is not the tablet. It's the service.

In contrast, the likes of Apple and Samsung produce more general purpose devices. They must be capable of handling a wider variety of applications consistently. So they cost more. And when we factor in the economies of scale, smaller competitors will clearly struggle. And it's that struggle to compete that is supposed to fuel innovation.

Having looked at the prices of some Windows tablets, I can't help but think this article is Microsoft orientated. Windows tablets are nearly always way more expensive than Android tablets when the specs are equally matched. Asus have pushed back the release date of their Windows 8 tablets because of Microsoft's Surface tablet. Basically in the Windows world, OEMs are redundant in their present capacity. It's time for them to innovate. Maybe drop Windows altogether and put Microsoft back in their place?
I don't even go to engadget anymore lol. That site will say anything in a review just to get page clicks lol 
Lol linus got mad with engadget XD

But I agree the Editorial is really stupid!!!!!!

Google is doing wrong by offering good products at lower prices? jajajajaj

I love nexus devices ♥ and Iove the philosophy of unlocked products. They are the best thing that could happed to android!!!!
Full ack Linus! Also, props for using CM.
What do you like better stock Android or CM?
Quadrupled. Dumb.... I remember they did a 60secs review. Claiming iPhone 5 is the best phone
+Matthew Steffen That is only true with Amazon or Apple. Google allows access and use of third party services like Amazon.

I think this is just further proof that Engadget is a blog site pretending to be news. Every article is bias and sometimes even factually wrong. I stopped looking at that site when I and others, pointed out to the writer that he misinterpreted and misquoted an actual news article from the Apple v Samsung case. The site is just a bunch of guys who write to get free gear; not worth reading when you can get better service from
Google is effectively preventing this industry from becoming the next disastrous bubble. That's what i see behind their move.
Are they serious? Apple is the one overcharging for overpriced proprietary, can't do much with it, must use their software blah blah cell phone.
Poor Apple, they're just helpless before the onslaught of Amazon and Google. If only Apple had some sort of business model around selling music, movies or apps, then maybe they could compete in this savage, cutthroat market!
Commoditization is bad for companies but it is difficult to come up with an argument that it is bad for consumers. 
a post of that kind should appear on The Economist by a person who knows economy. not from a tech fanboy who see only the superficial numbers. Jon go write for a travel blog :D
It takes some serious balls to write an article like that. Especially when you're suspected of being biased towards some companies that I will not name. At least we have The Verge.
The danger, as alluded to in the article, is that the stranglehold of telcos will only be replaced by the Big Data. Ordinary hardware manufacturers may find themselves unable to compete with Amazon and Google, because they need to make profit on the devices as such. Do you know that Boeing used to have its own airline? It's now known as United. Why do you think it was split away?
Engadget may or may not be stupid. I'm not sure. But I think they're definitely corrupt.

Most of their posts are essentially advertorials promoting consumer electronics in general. Mostly they celebrate what they write about, with only minor critical comments. What's more, in order to generate traffic for the site, they constantly give away free devices given to them by the very businesses they write about. The conflict of interest there is huge and that alone disqualifies Engadget from considering anything they do journalism. Their posts are also often clearly designed to generate as many comments as possible, which is another marketing/tracking strategy.

I also agree that it is absurd to ignore the carrier lock in problem in the U.S. Engadget acts like paying $300-$350 for an unlocked Nexus 4 is ridiculously cheap. But the reality is most American consumers are used to paying $100-$200 for carrier subsidized phones and even $300 seems like more not less money (since most consumers don't understand the economics of why the subsidy is actually a ripoff). Indeed, the very same Nexus 4 on T-Mobile will cost $199 subsidized. No one is going to view $350 (for the equivalent 16GB phone) as cheaper, in that context.

So it is the carrier subsidies that have actually created unrealistic expectations about what a phone should (and does) cost. If Google can break the system out of the carrier lock-in problem, it might actually create an opportunity in the long run for other manufacturers to enter the market and get a decent price for their devices (although I'm not holding my breath for this to happen).
Yea the antidote to the supposed "race to the bottom" is is the variety of features, which people will surely pay extra for if the phone meets their needs.
Here's the email address to tell all this to the author himself. I bet he'd be at least curious to know what you think Linus:
+T Alexander Exactly. Companies that want to avoid the race to the bottom learn to differentiate themselves. Apple is a great example of this. Like 'em or hate 'em, they know how to stay apart from the rest of the pack.
Maybe the first one. They are that stupid, at least Jon Fingas. 
I think any debate over hardware at this point is completely irrelevant. The entire point of the hardware is to enable us to access information and services.

Regardless of the manufacturer they pretty much do the same thing.

The end point now is that the hardware is cheap and the knowledge and expertise to develop and design new ones isn't exactly rocket science any more. Have a look at all the cool stuff that is coming out of the Arduino community, how long before those guys start developing the capacity to build their own tablets and smart phones with the features they want? Once that happens then the whole idea of a technology company being able to make money from markups on the scale they do now on what is now the most basic of devices is just laughable. 
The editor is just pissed because the rabble can now afford the latest shiny phone too.
+Linus Torvalds - I'm glad to see that Google is bend on breaking the carrier-lock-in model.  It needs to die, and Google is just the company to kill it.

I now only buy Nexus, because of:
1) The development community
2) fastboot oem unlock

Question: you run CM on your SGS3.  Do you run stock on your Nexus devices, or CM on those too?  I really like Google's stock ROMs, and the only reason I leave them is to get faster updates on my Verizon G-Nex :(
Yes, even on the Nexus 4, I'd be happy to pay more for a model with at least 32GB. Apple has certainly proven that people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars more, for more storage on an otherwise identical device.
+George Getson , you forget they have a shiny apple logo. That automatically mandates a 25% markup
The way i see it only the strongest companies will survive.
Engadget, Wired, and a variety of other 'tech' sites are effectively 'fanboy' sites.  Many journalists were using Apple products long they became popular, and they are defending 'their' product, still bitter from the underdog days. It's not just journalists either; screenwriters, news sites, etc, are all a little too enamoured with a company that behaves as badly as Apple, and who seem to have the end of open computing as one of their goals.
+Linus Torvalds - I agree about the plain-Android experience -- I'd far rather a phone without the Samsung OEM crap -- but I also want a phone with open and modern hardware.  My Samsung Note lets me add a 32GB microSD card, and supports LTE, so that I get ~30 mbps.  Google has excuses for why the Nexus 4 still won't support LTE, but I'm not really buying them.

Then again, whichever Android phone you pick is running an OS named after you, so you can't really lose, can you?
Because clearly when products are competing on brand instead of price, there's much higher diversity, and consumers win...
Yes, Galaxy Nexus avails me all the Google services. And it's a useful production tool which allows installing Ubuntu or other distros by both chrooting or custom boot image.
Times are changing, Google is rewriting the playing field, Apple and its followers are stamping and screaming like a moody five year old!
Endgadget is always biased on support for Apple. This includes the ideology of an exclusive technology culture. I'm not surprised at this.
I think this is a rage article because he just bought a SIII for a ridiculous price.
There are many many more evil things in the world... but many of them have had a hand in this... ;-)
The new Nexus devices have no LTE. A HUGE mistake on Google's part.

And Linus, your OS hasn't been relevant for a long time. Your opinion almost as long.
+Jesse Freeman LTE is nothing but the mobile companies' attempts to undermine, control and monetize Wi-Fi - which as it stands, is way out of their reach. Notice how "Wi-Fi" is smeared black in mainstream media - while 60% of the consumer bandwidth of the world in fact flows through it...
They should've written at the bottom of the article "This message has been brought to you by your friendly soul-sucking leech of a carrier."
Like all Silicon Valley Tech media, they are forever knocking non Apple products, though pure 'instinct' maybe,  but for whatever the reason may be they seem to always find ways to make non Apple company's strengths look like negatives, and Apple weaknesses to look like 'innovations' (Apple comes out with a mini iPad that is less powerful, lower resolution, and not even as 'mini' as the competition, and it's hailed as 'brilliant' ... they can't knock the competition because of performance, features, resolution, market share, so they come up with 'the price is too low'.)

Apple suing over frivolous patents is 'just doing business'. They never stopped to considered that this kind of anti-competitive action would hurt innovation and consumers in the long run ... but let some other company than Apple use actual 'competition', and all of a sudden we're suppose to believe 'competitiveness' is 'anti-competitiveness'?

Hell, until we learned the real price of the iPad mini there was some though in the Silicon Valley media that it may come in at a price around the same or only slightly higher than the Nexus 7 .. I didn't see any Engadget articles decrying how if Apple were to come in with a price that low that this would hurt the industry ... to the contrary, the Silicon Valley tech 'experts' were drooling all over themselves imagining how this would drive the evil competition out of Apple's rightful market.

Bahh ... the only thing less objective than the whipped main street political media is the bought and paid for Apple tech media.

I'm really not sure what makes these idiots qualified to be writing tech articles anyway .. most of them have no real tech experience to speak of.
Love my Galaxy Nexus, Hate what Verizon did to it :-/
This editorial actually made me so mad that I'm seriously considering leaving Engadget and going with The Verge. This was not the first time I have been disappointed by Engadget.
They're either: 1. really retarded
2. Looking for Hate Clicks to drive their revenue
3. Can't bear seeing the ipad Mini and iphones be seen under a bad light because of their outrageous price
4. All of the above.
Linus, you are spot on. My comments about this got deleted several times on engadget. Its just ridiculous how freedom and decent pricing can be bad...
For the near future I'm only going to buy Nexus devices.  +Google appears to be reliably supporting their devices with Android updates much quicker than other OEM.  Hopefully, +Google will continue to support their devices for at least a couple of years, unlike most other Android phone and tablet OEMs.

As for this article, who cares about tradition?  If the +Google business model works and provides better value for customers, then other manufacturers may have to revise their business models.  They could start with providing better support for their devices rather than churning out bulk loads of new devices every month.  I have a few non-Nexus Android devices that belong in a museum already, and they are not even 2 years old yet.

iPad mini, what a letdown.
It's rare that you have been this right...
The more affordable mobile technology becomes, the easier the access to information for all. This is equality, and it's this that makes siloed business shit themselves.
+david megginson I sure do. iOS is a better mobile OS based off of Free/NetBSD. Windows Server is a better Linux alternative for servers.

+Coenraad loubser LTE isn't wifi. Do you understand the difference between cellular data and wifi?

+James Mason iOS and Windows. Maybe Mac OSX.
So, charging a reasonable price for a device undermines the profits of theie unspoken favorite brand?  This is just saying the same old "their actions put the lie to our business plan, make them stop!"  Never considering that the business plan is flawed if it can't deal with reality.
If phones and tablets are becoming commodities and smaller/weaker companies cannot compete, then the answer is not to make the commodity products more expensive, the solution is for other companies to come up with innovative products for which they can charge a premium price ... for example 'Google Glass' when it comes out will probably be one of those products, and while it will essentially be based on smart phone technology, there is little doubt that Google will be able to charge more than it does for the Nexus 7; probably they will be able to charge more than an Apple iPad, maybe even more than a Macbook Air ... what will Engadget complain about then? That making computers too easy to use is unfair?
The author has no idea about what "efficient production" means nowadays and how it relates to lowering wages while raising marginals/profits
There is no free lunch. Google is an advertisement company which makes money selling your information to the industry. N4 is not going to be a significant player until it comes out on Verizon and ATT with 4G support. So no harm done, but if Google continues heavily subsidize the Android and even the hardware the barriers to entry will be very high and competition will suffer (see Web OS, BB and maybe W8). If Google starts selling hardware at cost Nokia, HTC and other non-diversified makes will disappear or go the way of Motorola Mobility. I think no single player should be allowed to control more then 50% of the market.  
Engadget writes articles for tech company shareholders and not consumers.
I'm going with corrupt ever since I came across this article that states Apple has paid developers 6 or 8 billion dollars for developing apps since the appstore opened.
Well who knows if it was secretly sponsored by the rotten fruit company...
The article argues that bringing down prices is not sustainable in the long run because it could yield less profits. An editor of Engadget would have hard time seeing that many people who do want tablets didn't buy one because they couldn't afford it or have not yet considered it because the prices didn't justify getting a new device for something they are doing with their phones and/or laptops.

By bringing down prices, Google is not trying to lower their profits, in fact they are trying to do the exact opposite... by selling more of them.
You heard it here folks. Linus uses cyanogenmod :-) 
+J.J. Santos Wow. Who knew?

Personally, I wish a carrier would ship CM on their phone instead of TouchWiz/Sense/whatever the heck Motorola curses their phones with. I would consider that a major feature.
I disconnected from the carrier subsidy/contract model when I got my first Android phone, the HTC Magic.  The Nexus program feels like a get out of jail free card.
I really hope that this finally shines a spotlight on the difference between those who support Apple for their products versus those who support them for their stock price.
My problem with the article is that he's addressing "gadget junkies" and not "tech fans" which many of us Linux using people are.  Gadget junkies drive me nuts.  They constantly buy the latest and greatest but haven't a clue why they bought the devices in the first place.  They don't push boundaries.  They don't void warranties.  They don't try to get more out of the system than what any other gadget junkie would.

My other problem is his notion that subsidized phones are a good thing.  I think the way it works is a crock.  I was in the market to buy my first smartphone in April 2011.  I wanted something based on Android and was looking at the Droid 2 from Verizon.  I added up the subsidized cost of the phone plus the two years worth of service I'd have to pay to have a contract and it was nearly $2000.

I then checked to see what it would cost to buy an unlocked Nexus S (middle aged phone by that point) outright and get service from a pre-paid provider.  The total for the same two years was $1400.  That was about $600 less and I actually paid for the phone up front.  I know... I get it.  The reason subsidized phones work for many people is the same reason credit cards work for many people.  It's easier to pay the monthly bills than it is to pay up front all at once.  But is it really worth it?  Not for me.  NOTE: I don't have a credit card either.  By choice.
Here's to the stupid ones.
The fools. The hipsters.
The ones that pay too much for their smartphone plan.
Because their phone was subsidized on a 2 year contract.
They're not fond of  prepaid plans.
And have no respect for them.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is actually call them.
Because they avoid change.
They push the human race backward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones,
US Carriers see cash cows.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world - can't because they're locked into a contract.
I was saying to a friend that at £280, I will probably never buy another phone on contract again. When my phone dies or get lost or stolen, I'll simply pay cash. 
+Jesse Freeman Windows Server a better alternative server OS to Linux?? lol your MS allegiance showing through (this your real account of course - +Jesse Freeman )
+Jesse Freeman Looks like the Microsoft shills have arrived Just in case you didn't know, but Linux based OS's basically power the Internet and there's this other Linux based smartphone OS that dominates smartphones. But, don't let facts get in the way of your myopic view of Linux. 
+Jesse Freeman wrote (to +Linus Torvalds) "And Linus, your OS hasn't been relevant for a long time. Your opinion almost as long."

Then later wrote " iOS is a better mobile OS based off of Free/NetBSD. Windows Server is a better Linux alternative for servers."

Your first point is factually wrong.  Linux is the most-popular server OS, and, with over 400 million Android installations, the second-most popular consumer computer OS (after Windows).  It's hard to think of any definition of "relevant" that wouldn't apply here.

Your second point is impossible to prove or disprove.  I do believe you are telling the truth that you prefer iOS to Android and Windows server to Linux, and it would be ridiculous to get in a debate about your personal preference: "better" is a fuzzy word that anyone can define any way he/she wants.

Still, even accepting that you prefer iOS and Windows Server, that does nothing to support your initial claim against Linus that his OS  "hasn't been relevant for a long time."  Even if Linux were a horrible OS, it would still be relevant, with so many users.

Was it just a troll to try to get people to pay attention to you, or did you have something else to say about it?
Next Engadget will be telling us that unlimited bandwidth models are unsustainable, and in fact we should be paying double the current prices for half the bandwidth.  For the children.
+Linus Torvalds +Petro Kuosmanen +David Landry  Hi Linus and company,

First: the implication that there's corruption involved is sincerely offensive and untrue.  Editorial and advertising are strictly separate with us, and no editorials go out without at least some scrutiny to make sure someone at least has a reasoned argument, whether or not it's going with or against the grain.

My point was not to say that commoditization by itself is bad.  Like I mentioned at the start, the Nexus and Kindle Fire lines have helped democratize technology.  Of course, parts will get cheaper over time and costs will go down.  One of the problems with Apple has been its tendency to choose a price and stick to it seemingly forever, even if the average price of technology declines over time.

The problem is how you go about commoditization.  Amazon and Google are taking advantage of wildly profitable existing businesses in other categories (search ads, media stores) to sell what are now comprehensive device lineups at prices that wouldn't otherwise be achievable.  Is it good for the end user on some level?  Definitely.  But you can't tell a hardware OEM "just establish the world's largest search engine or e-commerce portal, and you'll be fine."  Few companies can do that; if the Kindle Fire and Nexus lines become mainstream, others will either have to steer clear of the low end (which is viable, just unenviable) or consider exiting.  That's not good for choice and competition in the long run, especially when there are content lock-in concerns -- mostly on Amazon's side.

I entirely understand carrier lock-in issues.  Both of my phones (Galaxy Nexus, iPhone) are unlocked!  As I said in the article, there are people who want pure software or truly can't justify paying higher prices.  That wasn't the focus; the focus was on those who look at a device like a Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 and interpret this artificially discounted price as The Way It Always Should Be without understanding that no, this isn't normal, and you shouldn't necessarily throw a fit about another company's prices if it genuinely can't go that low.  Go shopping for what you need or truly want first, and factor price into it if you like; my concern is that there's a growing group that only sees the price tag and savages anything that may cost more, without acknowledging that the subsidy is at work or that you might get more value by paying more (this includes Android, iOS, Windows and anything else).  A Nexus 4 is an awesome phone for someone who wants to go unlocked or stock; I'm just worried that we'll suddenly expect Samsung, HTC and their kind to sell smartphones at prices they can't offer yet.
The race to the bottom is a bad thing if it kills off high-end devices: if better but more expensive hardware becomes unavailable because everyone's competing to be the cheapest, not the best or even the best value. That's what that article's author seems to be worried about: that we'll lose choice in favor of flooding the market with cheap crap.

I'm not too worried. I think there's plenty of a market for better but more expensive. Besides, I haven't gotten to play with any myself, but from what I've heard the Nexus devices aren't exactly cheap crap.
+Jon Fingas Keep trying to justify how the iPad mini is not overpriced. lol You just got owned by Mr. Linux. 
+Jon fingas it's called diversification, people don't expect samsung & the others to sell cheaper models, or else the 800€ iphone 5 wouldn't have sold that much (people would have bought the much cheaper sgs3).
they point at different market segments.
honestly i see Google or amazon products gaining against those company making cheap (and crappy) products as for the same price people would buy a nexus/kindle product (and this is good).
i don't think samsung/lg would have accepted to build the nexus phone/tablet if what you say would have been true.
What if Google is a carrier itself one day ?
I notice a bunch of this type of nonsense on "tech" sites lately.
Now who could have motivation to sponsor this drivel I wonder?
Engadget IS that Stupid.
remove disqus, write shitty articles...
What a fail article.... You until now I actually liked endgadget. By then again they are owned by AOL so that should explain
Absolutely, would love to see prices continue to fall and products continue to improve. Some say that the business model isn't sustainable but I don't agree. All it can do is further competition among manufacturers and at worst weed out week companies that can't or don't want to compete. How many billions of dollars did Samsung make this year alone? 
Innovate a way out of our climate problem, that doesnt entail the need for something done on a global scale, but rather just one single smart machine (because doing stuff globally and fast enough will never happen = big fail (Easter Island all over again)) and i'll listen to this particular argument. Things sold need to be priced with the thought of what it cost to clean up the pollution that comes from manufacturing "things". If not were just leechingon our unborns possibillity for normal lives.
Were not one ounce smarter or wiser than the inhabitants of Easter Island, some 400+(?) years ago.
looks like someone lost a lot of money on AAPL that goes from $705 to $575 and they hope they can rally AAPL stock with that piece of crap articles. Give me a break
I stopped reading engadget because I was tired of their Apple fanboy-like articles.  I don't mind a bias, but to constantly attack Apple's competitors with nonsense is just mind-numbing.
When I think about Android, what makes it revolutionary is it has made things inexpensive for the masses.  In terms of how fast it grew and how accessible it is to everyone. Even someone in third world country can get ahold of it and hack into it.  If that's not mind blowing, I don't what is.
It doesn't matter if Engadget is stupid or even trolling. They're just playing a role in which effect of diversity in opinions and promotion of discussions (like this one) are the goals. Insights should be searched for within, not from journalists whose only interest is more eyeballs.
N. King
So much for fact-checking Engadet. Makes as much sense as 2012 being the Mayan Doomsday, or the old Y2K scare. I guess they will let anyone write an article these days.
There's a contest at Engadget to see who can go full retard the quickest. Looks like this idiot won.
+Roberto V +Marco Sparagna I'm not saying the iPad mini is necessarily priced where it should be.  But I don't think that's $199, either.  Google can get to $199 by... well, first scrapping any rear camera, but also heavy, heavy subsidizing that even Apple can't match.

Companies that don't make great products shouldn't be rewarded for it.  But if they do make a good product and just don't have a way to subsidize the cost, don't lash out at them for it.  LG, Samsung and the like join the Nexus program both for prestige and to get access to code early; they don't see it as a cornerstone of their business.  I'm worried that these companies may come back to customers who suddenly refuse to pay the cost of devices that can't be subsidized.
I've been prepaid for the last couple years. I'll never go back to a contract.
Yes the race to the bottom is a bad thing just look at the meat webhosting and pc industries. Basically it still comes down to you get what you pay for. 
+Jon Fingas You are missing the whole point of technology altogether ... I don't want to buy a cheap tablet, I want cheaper services and information ...  back when phones were those thing on the wall with a rotary dial, I didn't buy a phone because I wanted something hanging on my wall, I bought it because I wanted to talk and communicate with people.

I couldn't care less (and neither should smart phone manufactures) whether II get t these services through a conventional smart phone, a fancy pair of glasses, or through the filling in my teeth ... if a bunch of smart phone manufactures are forced out of the smart phone market because they can't compete on commodity pricing, then they let them come up with those magic fillings ... I'll pay more than I pay for the best smart phone on the market if they can sell me fillings that provide the same services and information .. and if that means that in two years from now "HTC smart fillings" put Apple, Google, Samsung, and Amazon out of business, then that's called 'progress'.

If at any time any single company gets too big a market share that impeds competition, then that's what 'combines/monopoly' laws are for, and I fully support using them (for which Google may be close to crossing the line, and if necessary they should be made to open up access to their search infrastructure.)

As for 'throwing fits' when one company can't lower their prices to match Google/Amazon, forgive me for being skeptical but it's tech media people like yourselves who are the ones who "throw the fits' ... where was this concern when Acer, HTC, et al were being pilloried for their price/performance failure? Why is it that you seem to notice this 'problem' only when when Apple runs into this issue?

Why aren't you just craping on Apple's inability to meet the price/performance mark like you would all the other mobile device makers? No, rather than just treating Apple like the rest of the 'slackers' and looking objectively at which product has superior price/performance ratings, instead it becomes a problem with the high performing manufactures for coming up with a better business model ... you are basically saying that Apple, with it's $100 Billion in the bank is doing us all a big favour by selling us the same damn product, over and over again, year after year, at a 40-60% profit margin.

P.l.e.a.s.e ... go sell your snake oil somewhere else .. I'm sure the Cult of Mac forums will eat this 'malarkey' up without question. Try over there.

I'm so tired of the technically challenged being the ones that get to spew nonsense to the technically illiterate ... the guy that changes my tires at the local 'big box' auto service center probably has more REAL qualifications to write about automobiles than the average tech 'journalist/blogger' on main stream tech media sites like Engadget, Tech Crunch, et al has writing about technology.
+Jesse Freeman you should get your facts straight on where the Linux kernel is being used. Also the difference between a kernel and a whole os.
It's a good sign, clearly the Apple bandwagon is feeling the heat..ha..ha

When Apple overcharges then it is ethical and sustainable and Engadget has nothing to say against it , but when Amazon and Google brings down the price, it is unethical and unsustainable!
Downward pressure on prices is a natural part of a healthy and competitive market. Engadget is talking out of its ass. We are fortunate that, compared to many other industries, tech has been relatively free from the cronyism, regulations, and subsidization that lead to increasing prices.
My complaint about cell phone has always been that phone call seem to take a backseat to all the gadgets . I can surf the internet, listen to music, Play games, take a picture. But if I want to clear phone call from almost anywhere That's technologically infeasible.
Trolls or otherwise, it would be nice to post respectfully in public, +Linus Torvalds  or otherwise.

About the subject of the article, I agree Engadget misses the point, may be looking for some sensational effect.
The only way they could have come up with that opinion is if they were massive Apple fanboys who want the iScam(tm) to remain financially viable. Which it won't.
+Jon Fingas you keep saying in the long run these content based subsidy is bad for the consumers. what do you know about economics. If it takes content based subsidy to make the technology available to a large number of people then so be it. If Apple, LG, Samsung cannot compete then so be it. Let them invest their resources elsewhere. In a free market you either satisfy the customer or die. You cannot whine!
Any time you hear someone whining about this supposed technological "race to the bottom", you're listening to a self-important prick whose entire self-worth is dependent on the kind of technology they use. Or an Apple fanboy. (But I repeat myself.)
+Jon Fingas said: "First: the implication that there's corruption involved is sincerely offensive and untrue.  Editorial and advertising are strictly separate with us, and no editorials go out without at least some scrutiny to make sure someone at least has a reasoned argument, whether or not it's going with or against the grain."

Really? Does that work for Huffington Post as well? (Huff post, Engadget, Tech Crunch, etc, are all now AOL properties.)

Why is it that the HuffPo tech section refuses to even use the name "Samsung", "Google", or "Android" in the title of its articles ... they'll have stupid article titles like "Apple competition releases new smart phone", or "iOS alternative" when referring to Android? Once in a while, when the article is a negative article about the "Apple competitor", then they'll consider not relating it to Apple somehow anc actually using the companies name in the title.

The whole organization has sold out to Apple ... if that's not a fact, then the AOL group of companies sure go far far far out of their way to make it seem that way .. and the content and timing of your article sure doesn't dispel that notion in the least.
So Apple have another quarter of massive profits backed by a range of devices carrying some of the biggest profit margins in the field and yet its Google and Amazon who are in the wrong for driving prices down?

It"s an argument, I'll give them that.
I hate that your posts are filled with a bunch of comments that all say the same thing. One person who agrees with you with + 300 is much cleaner than 300 people who agree with + 1. 

But yeah, you hit the nail on the head. It actually kind of surprises me that someone of your intelligence would be reading something like engadget and getting mad. We all know Engadget is garbage, welcome to the club.
"Talented people are capable of understanding us."
TL;DR - at least after they had the gall to mention Blackberry's shiteous offering in the same breath with real tablets. BB failed miserably and deserved to get spanked out of the market. Anybody with half a brain cell could see that when it was first released.
I remember paying $96 for a 4GB USB stick ... way back.  But $100 per 16GB additional flash memory in tablets is a joke.  It shouldn't cost anywhere near that much.  Oh and in AU, we have to pay plus $70 per unit and that's on top of the better than parity pricing of our dollar that should make it cheaper.
+David Landry I can't definitively speak for HuffPo or TechCrunch, but I don't believe there's any editorial compromise there, either.  Unfair representation, maybe, but not corruption.

It's easy to make accusations of payoffs from a distance, because that means not having to challenge the actual article, just preconceived notions of what the article represents.  The timing of the editorial wasn't the best, but I can tell you with certainty that there was zero corporate influence involved.

I don't like some of the things Apple does, and I don't think the iPad mini should have been $329; I also don't think it's healthy to have a market where the only way to succeed outside of the high end is to subsidize the price through a major services business most companies can't have.
+Jon Fingas "interpret this artificially discounted price" - but mobile are already artificially inflated due to subsidy in USA correct. I see there are 99 cents mobiles for sale !!!.
You should check the prices in India. Then you may understand why the prices are so inflated. iPhone 5 costs $900 here!
+Jon Fingas You said: "But you can't tell a hardware OEM "just establish the world's largest search engine or e-commerce portal, and you'll be fine.""

Nor can you tell every small assembled PC seller "just establish another Apple". Apple didn't start developing iPads with the money they made from the iPads themselves. They have back their initial investment with money they made from something else.

Also, you're suggesting that Google must be selling the devices at a loss and they plan to make profits from the usage later. This itself is perfectly fine model. In fact, Apple has been doing it for several years. How much does iPhone 4 cost? $0.99. They're giving it for that price but they will eventually make money when the customer pays for the contract. And again you can't tell every phone manufacturer "just get a business deal with AT&T and you'll be fine".

But I think Google is not at any loss in the device itself in the first place, specially because lowering prices (while keeping it above profit margins) also means more sales and hence (potentially) more profits. So we don't even have to get there. I'm sure Google will make money even if all their customers buy the devices and just burn them.

Your argument screams multiple levels of Apple bias. If you don't believe me, get rid of your AAPL stock and re-evaluate your position on this issue.
I have a SGS III and a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, and I'm selling the SGS III… I agree that carrier lock-in & bloatware only benefits the carriers. The new $299 Nexus 4 is a great start to user freedom.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who had an issue with that article.  It came up in my Flipboard today and I couldn't bring myself to finish reading such garbage.
+Jon Fingas I admit, I LOLed. What on Earth makes you think Google subsidizes the Nexus devices?
So many butthurt Fandroid users. The tablet offerings by Google SUCK. WHy would they release a phone in this day and age without LTE? Why would they release a tablet without at least the option of LTE? The Nexus 4, 7 and 10 score lower than their iOS counterparts in benchmarks and you all just eat it up and ask for more. I'm go glad I don't own a single Android device. 

As a sidenote, hows that Nexus Q idea going for you guys? 
+Jon Fingas What do you think the alternative is then? Should manufacturers collude together and fix their prices to make sure that everyone can play? Should we pass a law that makes it so that companies are required to turn a profit on printer sales? Should we pay more for razor handles too?
Capitalism can be cruel. If you can't compete on price, compete on features. If you can't compete on features, then get to innovating!
The race to the bottom is a super exciting one. Typically, it is great for the consumer. If you would care to cite some historical examples that prove contrary, I'd love to hear them.
+Pravin Dahal We're actually not allowed to own stock in any of the companies we cover (and I've never owned stock).

Carrier subsidies are different, because the OEMs only have so much control over those, and it's the 'thing you do' when you offer a carrier-locked device.  There's a much more convincing argument against Apple when you talk unlocked prices, although $299-350 is clearly a barebones price for a Nexus 4.
I suppose the real question is whether or not other OEMs can sell their products at equal prices? I'm sure they can, BUT they aren't able to recoup profits through eco-system by in either like Apple and Google. Competition drives improvement. If the competition is snuffed up because they can't compete at that price point, we all DO loose.

The carrier setup in America is ridicules however, and so on that hand I am very happy about Google's drive to circumvent that. But don't delude yourself into believing Google's sole ambition is to get people free of contracts... their sole ambition is to slow down Windows 8, and continue to undercut Apple. And from this angle, I would say, Well played Google, well played.
+Dan Morrill With the Nexus line, it's not subsidies so much as Google knowing it will get a profit disconnected from the hardware sale.  Tablet user X will make Y dollars in profit every quarter from ad views.  The manufacturer just has to accept that it will make little profit from at least some Nexus models.
+Jesse Freeman : Use whatever you like, that is none of other's business, and let others use what they prefer, that is none of your business, so why do you bother about it at all!
to each his own...i use a nokia 808 and an n8 and i am quite pleased as well.
+Jesse Freeman its good that we have established that Google tablets suck because you happen to think so, I'm sure everyone reading [this post and comments] will just drop everything they are doing and buy apple stuff...

"WHy would they release a phone in this day and age without LTE?" - Because LTE relies on CDMA networks, which is a "vendor-lock-in" technology, which goes against the Nexus programs' goal of converting the cell phone market into a commodity.
"Nexus 4, 7 and 10 score lower than their iOS counterparts in benchmarks and you all just eat it up and ask for more." This means you don't fully understand what a benchmark is designed to do or what it measures... the fact that iOS is inherently more resource-intensive means you would need a higher score to achieve the same real-world performance.

In the end though, the fact that you would post a reply to flame everyone instead of making a contribution to the discussion means that you base at least part (if not most) of your self-identity on your choice in electronics... which is kinda sad :(
If carrier subsidy is so bad (which I agree), how can content subsidy be good? They both destroy ecosystem the same way. Race to the bottom and destruction of independent competition are the biggest problems with carrier subsidy, and now I have to believe same problems caused by content subsidy are good?
I don't know but video game consoles are thriving when consoles are sold at a loss.
I wamted a +Nexus phone and tablet, but as a cloud avaoider I really needed that swappable storage via SDXC cards in my +Samsung Galaxy S III and the Note 10.1 I plan to upgrade my Xoom to in January.

Google Nexus devices are superior in all ways save one, but that's my biggest requirement. Add a hardware QWERTY and it'd be perfect.
+Linus is right. It's barely believable that somebody with a working intelligence could write such a stupid article. Either that (stupid) our handsomely paid for. Heh, it seems honest competition is good only when it makes some of us more equal than the rest...
Honest visualization of current mobile galaxy. No doubt, early days Apple had advantage for UI & UX, never could agree more Android with Nexus series has taken that lead now forever.
Simple reasons
1) Affordable price (comparing with iPhone 5 - Rs 45900 or iPad2 - Rs 24000. Check the popularity of Tab2 here in India. You getting ideal hardware and software for Rs 19500)
2) No carrier lock ins (in India too, you need to have iPhone specific plans starting from Rs 300-500, normal data plans start here 100 Rs for entire month. Many of my friends using Android and Nokia phones using are more than happy with it.)
3) Using CyanogenMod, gives any tech geek the power of elimination. (Does Jailbreaking help that?)

I was iPhone user a year back and waiting to get hands on for Nexus Series. (Yet to be launched Nexus 7. Asus, come on Diwali is coming next week. Launch it and take my money)
+Jon Fingas probably one of the worst editorials i've ever read in my life.
+Jon Fingas You said: "There's a much more convincing argument against Apple when you talk unlocked prices"

I don't care if there is another argument. I don't have any bias for or against Apple. I'm rather after your argument which sounds ridiculously obnoxious at so many levels.

You said: "Carrier subsidies are different"

While I can't see any difference in the underlying principle, I will offer you a much straight forward example. Think about Gmail. Is Gmail in itself a "free" service? Think back when Yahoo offered you 25MB of email storage @29.99 per year, Gmail came in and offered multiple GBs of free email storage. It was announced at the end of March and people even thought that this was an April fool prank by Google... that is how expensive email storage and service was considered back then to just give away for free... and it still is when you think about how much money goes into maintaining those servers. Similarly, there should be no problem at all if they decide to give away free wifi (which I think they are already planning)... and it is not far fetched to imagine that they may decide to give away some form of free devices (at least with limited fair use policy...) in the distant future, entirely based around the ad revenue. Microsoft and Yahoo! and some others will probably still be able to compete, like they did with email, because they have the same resources (more or less) that Google has. Apple may not be able to make it though... which is the only concern you seem to have.

I believe you that you that you may not be allowed to own stock and I was thinking this should have been the case to keep articles fair. Thanks for clearing that up. That is very pleasant to know. However, as I have illustrated above, you do seem to have a bias... maybe you like their devices so much that you want Apple to remain competitive? or maybe you were just flamebaiting? I want to believe that you're an intelligent and reasonable person. That's my bias.
Engadget - hush. The market is figuring this out. Deal with it.
Couldn't agree more. The pure Android interface is very refined and understated. I cannot stand the high saturation, gimmicky Touchwiz or Sense. I find the the design aesthetics of Android far more futuristic than iOS. Specially, if you look at how the Android UX has evolved since the days of Cupcake you begin to see how far Android has come and how stuck iOS is in its faux polished-metal bubble.
+Jon Fingas  The manufacturers aren't subsidizing Nexus products, Google is. Google is also paying the manufacturers to build them. Furthermore, Google has chosen multiple manufacturers to perform the manufacturing, preventing any one manufacturer from collecting all of the money. As far as innovation is concerned, each new Nexus device shows some degree of innovation that others do not.

+Jesse Freeman Look at the major LTE carriers in the United States and then pay attention to how they treat Nexus devices. Google made an LTE Galaxy Nexus which Verizon in turn corrupted. The VZW Galaxy Nexus is the worst Nexus device to date.

As far as all the things you think are better is concerned, enjoy your opinion, but do not speak it as if it is fact.

Lastly, Linux is extremely relevant. Google runs Linux. Most of the servers in the world run Linux. Android devices run Linux. NASA ran Linux before they were dismantled. Various countries' governments run Linux. The OLPC project uses Linux.
A large number of Point-Of-Sale systems are built on Linux. The PlayStation 2 originally had the ability to run Linux officially supported. 75% of stock exchanges run Linux. Facebook runs on Linux. This is just what I know. There are probably many more successful aspects of the technology world that depend on Linux. The world has moved beyond the offline PC, and outside of that one sector in technology, Linux is extremely relevant.
I agree, they should spend more time, doing something more productive.
Wtf did i just read. Sure, apple has problems lowering their prices because people could afford theor stuff. Oh noes
I think the main thrust of the article was that many players will not be able to compete if there are companies selling devices at cost.

There is an element of truth in that, but I think the author fails to take into account the importance of competition to driving innovation. Once you are nolonger able to compete on price you need to start adding value to your devices in other ways, improving on build quality and functionality in order to justify the premium that you want people to pay.

If companies struggle to compete, they need to adapt. That is what brought us Galaxy Notes with stylus support, Asus Transformers with detachable keyboards, the PadFone, Sony allowing other manufactures including HTC to run PlayStation Mobile games, waterproof Xperia phones, and - yes - Apple making a 7" tablet.

The companies need this pressure to drive innovation and to stop relying on sales of generic black slabs with questionable UI choices.
Pretty much agree.  Technology being cheaper is what actually drives innovation because the more people that have access it, the greater the opportunity people have to use it and innovate even more.  Also, it's not like most Android OEM's are actually doing well right now.  They may be scared of the $299 price that the Nexus has, but that's because they are so dependent on carriers as being their customers that they forgot how to actually sell to consumers like me or you to begin with.  

Think about it this way: LG may have spent some initial R&D to make the Optimus G, but even after that they're not done.  In order for them to actually market and make money on the thing, they have to go to each and every carrier around the world to get them to subsidize it, and often that means that they have to spend even more money making a special version of the Optimus G for those specific carriers.  That means extra money spent on fabs for each regional model, on top of paying programmers to make the skin for Android and test/add all the features that local carriers request.  

How much would an Optimus G actually cost if just one version was created and marketed directly towards consumers?  Well, apparently Google has an answer and it's actually $299.  
Bastiat said it best that some people honestly believe in scarcity over abundance. The fewer items at a higher price is good. For the sole seller.
+Jon Fingas I'm curious -- why do you think manufacturers partner with Google to build Nexus devices if there's no value in it?  Why do carriers like TMO sell these devices if there's no value in it?  Have you considered that perhaps there is value for everyone involved here, OEMs, carriers, Google, app developers, and users?

When I look at iPad Mini, I see an incredible premium being charged for a brand and last year's hardware platform migrated to a form factor (~7" tablet) that others have been selling devices in for well over a year now.

Compared to say the N7, is slightly thinner and lighter, but wider (harder to hold), with the addition of a rear camera, but a lower resolution (30% fewer pixels) and density display, half the ram, and no GPS worth $130 more?  Clearly it is to some people, but I expect there are plenty who would disagree.

Why do you think competition (on both pricing and functionality) is bad?  You're going to have trouble convincing most people that this competition is bad for people who buy devices -- more choice? more variety of pricing? the horror!  ^^
Can't believe I just read that. Do we now have trolls as editors?
"A $50 or even $100 premium isn't the end of the world if it's what any normal company would charge to stay in business, particularly when there are more features included at the same time." Does this guy live on this planet. The vast majority of "humans" actually earn less than this per month. Even the amount that google nexus / amazon kindle are charging puts them out of reach for the vast majority of the population of the globe. Most of the tablets probably cost around a $100 to manufacture anyways if not less
beny xu
Engadged is so happy they were quoted by apple's last event. Now they will keep posting article to please apple. 
+Brian Swetland The OEMs, I feel, see the Nexus program as having alternate benefits, like brand recognition and direct interaction with Google.  T-Mo sells the Nexus 4, but it's also charging $200 on contract and $500 off, which gives a clue as to how much is being taken off the top.

I really like competition -- but that also includes a plurality of companies, and discounting/subsidizing prices in a way that makes it technically difficult/impossible for anyone else to compete in your category hurts the market.  Like I said, we currently have less choice, not more, now that companies like HTC and LG aren't even involved in the space anymore (not necessarily due to Amazon/Google, but still).
no argument here. totally agree! let's make the pure android experience affordable for the masses! :D
Author clearly doesn't understand a free market economy, and would rather take the die hard media approach that the sky is falling to make it seem they are the savior! 
Note this guy probably gets one of each for free, REALLY messing up and collapsing the system! The horror. I should sue 
This article was floated by a party and company partial to the MS attack on mobile LInux most likely
Wait, what space are HTC and LG not involved in?  I think I might have missed some part of the argument here.
If everyone can buy gadgets because they are cheap then the whole "cool" factor takes a big hit. I think that Engaget are just snobs.
Using "awesome" and thinking of uninstalling every other stuff I have.
Thought that myself after reading the article, and I actually have no idea of this stuff, just common sense.
Ahahaha someone claims that Windows Server is better than a Linux server. The only possible way someone could believe that is if they haven't used Linux... 
How incredibly stupid people are shocks me sometimes. People constantly locking temselves into contracts not realizing that there is a better model that could be being followed is amazingly stupid to me. Oh well I guess that's just how the modern dumb American thinks. I'll stick with my Nexus devices. So far I have maguro and grouper. More to come. Screw contract plans, screw CDMA, screw LTE even. The real model gives users full choice and a global ability to use their devices. It's just the way it should be and the lack of people realizing that really truly shocks me. It's just simply too bad. 
Absolutely agree wih you Linus. Waiting for the Nexus 4 here in Finland, and it'll be interesting comparing the price of store-bought  ones with google play store pricing. Guess they'll have a field day with a phone like this since their margin of profit just rises because we can't buy hardware through the Play store here..
"If carrier subsidy is so bad (which I agree), how can content subsidy be good? They both destroy ecosystem the same way. Race to the bottom and destruction of independent competition are the biggest problems with carrier subsidy" -- +Michael Entin 

Er.. no.  Carrier subsidies compromise CARRIER competition by locking people into two-year contracts, and by making the carrier choice based on the shiniest phone offered rather than the carrier's actual quality.

This is bad, to be sure, but it's also almost the opposite of "race to the bottom"; it actually INCREASES the phone's price by ensuring that someone (in this case the carrier) will always pay for it.  The manufacturers get their beaks very wet in this regime, and only the consumer suffers from lack of carrier quality.

With the "race to the bottom", on the other hand, the manufacturers are the ones whose profits are hurting, while the consumers are getting the best price.
Have you been taking taking Acid Mr. T?
It's not wrong to hold similar items up to each other and look at pros and cons. When Apple decided to release a small form tablet (and even compared it to the Nexus 7 themselves!) they opened themselves to scrutiny.

When they told everyone the specs, most people had some preconceived notions of what they were willing to pay, even accounting for Apple pricing. When it was essentially two year old tech equivalent to the hardware that will likely be the next unsupported device, people were still on the hook. If the pricing was right, some people would have easily forgiven anything else.

Not being competitively priced was just the straw that broke the camel's back.
The article, rather, was lacking for another reason: it failed to observe that people were simply not buying the tablets back when they were expensive.

If consumers are not willing to buy at a certain price, the only way to go is down (and this is so regardless of how much the author may complain).  The fact that google managed to make a still profitable tablet at that sweet $200-$250 pricepoint is only a good thing. 

[The Nexus 4, much like the Galaxy Nexus, will not make a big difference, as the contract system is too prevalent.  This is unfortunate for us, but also makes it pointless to include in the article.]
The person who wrote the article is not an idiot, and I strongly agree with some of his points, especially his main point: manufacturer's will struggle when these bigger companies undersell their products. However, where I believe the author, +Jon Fingas , fails is in acknowledging the threat of imported cellphones, especially from China, becoming increasingly cheaper, and the manufacturer's failure, in conjnuction with the carriers' greed, to adapt. China is not producing ripoffs alone, anymore, they're producing high-end products along the same price line as the unlocked Nexi.

 I think that's a better argument than +Linus Torvalds ' argument that the author's an idiot because higher prices are obviously not cool.
once again Engadget proves its worth as a tech site for people who don't know any better.

the prices of tech hardware has historically always gotten cheaper. it's always been that way, and whether Google or Amazon decide to sell their tablets as loss-leaders or not doesn't really matter: eventually the prices would've fallen one way or another. despite what Apple thinks, most people don't really want to pay a 300% markup on tablets. when a very functional and usable laptop can be had nowadays for $400, why should a tablet cost that much (or more?) it's not a particularly logical expectation at this point in the game, and tablet manufacturers are starting to wise up to it.

bitching that tablets are becoming less expensive is about as logical as complaining that water is wet.
You sir, definitely get it. The Nexus line now has the most desirable feature of all now with its' latest iteration, low price. I bought one of the new LTE Evos and saddled up with a new contract only to find HTC's skin was worse off than it was on the first Evo. I realized this well after I the 14-day return period however, so I rooted it, slapped CyanogenMod on it and will wait it out the contract. After which I'm going Nexus only. Fool me once OEMs, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
+Frank Lazar I'm pretty sure my first cell was pre-cdma, and I had to replace it when my carrier upgraded to cdma.
With the release of Jelly Bean 4.1 and the Nexus 4/7/10 series, Android devices have finally overtaken iProducts in both quality and affordability. This kind of rant is what I've lately been expecting from the most hardcore Apple fans, not Engadget (even though they have been known to be fanboys for a loooong time...)
Me to. Buying a Nexus phone i the US costs way more, especially when you still have to pay the carrier to subsidize other peoples phones. But, the improved usability of the phone offsets the cost.
I think Engadget has been like that from 2007. I don't get your surprise ;p 
Probably payed by Apple
+Carsten Führmann Cell phones and tablets are not going to be the end of technology. Do we really need 15 major companies competing for tablets and other toys for adults? If companies like HTC and Samsung do start losing business significantly, they may start focusing on something else... like various types of wearable devices, medical devices, or completely new types of devices... or perhaps the shareholders and investors will withdraw their money from electronics technology and invest in food technology and try to solve the world famine.

Besides, if high profits actually ensured innovation, we'd see Apple investing higher percentage of their revenue in R&D... this is not the case. Apple spends the least percertange of revenue for R&D among it's competitors.

Let's put this aside and let's assume that most of us did agree that this is a wrong move. What do we do after that? Make a pledge that we will not buy high quality stuff if they are offered at a low price? If that is not ridiculous enough, how do we define what price is low? Stick to the mantra "What would Apple do?"?
Or maybe force a law against subsidising? Do you know what that means? No free online apps, no free trials, no free samples, no free toilet papers in your hotel rooms. How do you legally differentiate between free napkin in resturant and free online email service... and discount card to buy something when you buy something else and Amazon Kindle? and advertising leaflets and marketing samples and Nexus devices and free coffee at your car dealer? All these may be fully or partially paid for from the (potential) profits you make for the provider by some other means. Do you want to lose them all?
It's Why I'm getting a nexus 4 for the pure android experience. 
I Know it may sound inappropriate here. Now is more than a month I use the SIII, no need for me to use CyanogenMod because there is an official firmware 4.1.1 released for Poland that works just fine (odin). I used for more than a year an iphone (jailbroken), my problem with the SIII is that as you install apps on it, it starts to slow down. Never had that with the iphone. I hate apple mentality and decided not to spend a  cent anymore in their direction, but i have to admit, the ios is more protected and the experience stays the same even if you fill up the phone with apps.
+Pravin Dahal I actually hope you are right. However, I Google seems unusually laudable because they don't aim to lock users in. I didn't want to criticize Google, but the slippery slope this kind of subsidizing might entail. Just imaging this kind of price-dumping were done by a less user-centric company, with the goal of luring users into their eco system and then locking them in. (We all know it's happened before...) As someone remarked earlier in this thread, we might just get another kind of lock instead of the carrier lock. Would you still endorse that?
please don't get me wrong. I am not saying that apple is good (because it is evil). I used as a comparison. I do not understand why a  phone with such hardware (quad core cpu) let me wait. I guess company are struggling to keep up with development. now days everybody is an expert, if you write in your CV that you have heard of android development, they make you an expert ... and this is the result.
For several years now, I've avoided getting my phones from carriers in the UK, due to the issues I had grown up with regarding nokia and their software updates.

However, even when buying a mobile phone off contract I've found that mobile phone suppliers are still being directed by mobile operators.

Case in point appears to be with my very latest phone, the Motorola RAZR, while watching the role out of the ICS update, it seemed to be heavily skewed by Verizon in the US (I'm in the UK), and I've now realised that Motorola appear to have removed the stock SIP support from the android phone.

I think my next phone will almost certainly be a nexus device, simply because I know what I'll be getting, and I have a much better idea of when I'll be getting it.

There are simply too many fingers in the pie else where.
joe hou
i'm just shocked that Linus reads Engadget and cares enough to write about an editorial in it.
No carrier lockin is a bonus, but if there isn't enough of a profit incentive for the hardware makers (Apple included), hardware innovation and platforms can stagnate and choices (Android vs. non-Android) can go away.  My current phone is an iPhone 4.  My next phone will probably be a Nexus 4.  Apple has dropped the ball, and their interface hasn't evolved to keep up with the 10s of apps that you have to organize on the device.  Apps have become platform- independent, and then platform design and cost matters more.
People still read Engadget? I bailed when +The Verge fired up. I wasn't hugely impressed with their review of the N4, but only because of the LTE cryfest. 
After reading that editorial, I have an unexplained urge to buy a Nexus 4 phone... Perhaps it is sponsored by LG?
On a subject of SGS3... check out
That's as close as it gets to Stock with some features additional features. No bloat, not silly themes and widgets. Pure Android. :)
This is fun, as in unadulterated fun. Seems like engadget had bought apple hook, line and the sinker. Apple sells a lifestyle, not a gadget, and the cultgoers can't handle the reality that other devices may give the same thing for a lower price. Also, there is a point, apple is transformed into a gadget manufacturer (considering latest macbook pros are built like a tablet, you cannot change a single thing in it, so I dub them "gadget"). But Samsung et al. are not. They are building tv's, music sets etc etc. If they say "screw it we are getting out of mobile business" it will not end them. Hurt them, maybe but definitely it will not bankrupt Samsung or Lg or... Can we say the same thing with Apple?
Oh no, we'll have inexpensive gadgets! The humanity!
The whole idea that the basic tablet and smart phone needs to be protected from some imagined 'race to the bottom' is ridiculousness even on its face value.

Why should there be any 'margin for innovation' for devices that perform only the basic functionality of today's standard smart phone / tablet? The basic functionality of these devices doesn't need to be 'innovated' ... at best, like the basic desktop and laptop device they need to have a regular upgrade in parts that do the same job cheaper and faster, and continue to iterate this cycle until the 'next big thing' replaces the smart phone / tablet as the computing platform of choice.

If the smart phone / tablet manufacturers want to be in the high margin tablet / smart phone business, then make smart phones and tablets that provide some feature for which people will pay a premium. ... a higher res screen, a stylus enabled interface, a better camera, better upgradability, a better user interface/experience .. whatever. 

Simply automatically allowing manufacturers of basic models of tablets and smart phones an automatic 30% margin is not going to drive 'innovation'. Making basic models a commodity with a small margin in a market where people will pay a premium for similar devices with premium features is how the market should work, and is exactly how the market currently works right now.

I'm heading out this week and buying a new phone for my daughter. I have a choice; get her a standard device like the Nexus 4 that is a nice basic commodity level device for few hundred dollars, or buy her a phone that has features that will serve her better as she continues in her education in marketing design ... I will be getting her the Note 2, for about  twice the cost of a Nexus 4. Now why is it that the Nexus 4 hasn't 'forced' me to buy the cheaper phone? It's because the Nexus 4 and the Note 2 are not competing devices is competing in the commodity market and the other in the premium market. I need a premium market phone, so that's the market I choose from, despite the fact that the margins are higher in the premium market.

I as a consumer could care less about the 'margins', those are the concern of the manufacturer ... they know what market they are in, and are more than capable of building in the proper margins to satisfy the required 'innovation costs' for the market they are selling to (and if not then they will be hurt, or even go out of business, as it should be) ... Nexus 4 and phones like it coming out in the future don't need a lot of 'innovation' behind them, they just need to use the best commodity parts available at the time and sold at a price that provides a basic return ... sure, the margins are smaller but the market size is bigger, so it's worth the smaller margins to be in this larger market ... the Note 2 is in a smaller market where more advanced features are the selling point, and Samsung knows that in order to stay in this market for the long term they need to be innovative, and continue to be so for the long term, which requires money for research and development, which they then build into the margins.

So, the smart phone and tablet market now have a commodity level market ... that's not something to whine or worry about, that's just something that happens to any market that is in any way 'free'.
How dare someone develop a new revenue channel, that's not fair to us because we just rely on marketing to sell our overpriced goods.
I would say that the point is that, these days, there's often something subsidising the device. In the case of Google, it's advertising, Apps revenue and cloud services. Apple have more of a focus on recovering cost through device and App sales. Cheaper manufacturers may 'subsidise' by investing only in slightly older tech and not in innovation. So the point is, these vendors are competing in different ways, and so changes in the consumer environment can really hit one, but not another. So Apple get hyper-defensive about IPR, Google and Microsoft start to invest in hardware. All this is good for the consumer, so long as we don't get any sudden changes - which could kill of either technologies or services rapidly, leaving unlucky consumers stranded. As tech refresh cycles are very short, though, maybe it doesn't matter too much.
Reading Linus's rant I thought to myself "surely, this cannot be 100% true. He must be dramatizing it to some extent". After reading the article: ARE THEY OUT OF THEIR GOD DAMN MINDS?!?!? Does Engadget even understand how competitive pricing is supposed to work?

By far my favorite sentence was " Imagine how Samsung feels when the Nexus 10 it makes is superior to the Galaxy Note 10.1 in some ways, but has to cost $100 less". Imagine how Samsung FEELS?!?! COMPANIES DON'T HAVE FEELINGS! They are not people! But let's step back for a minute and pretend that a company was a person and it did have feelings... for whatever reason. When you accept to undergo a business proposition say... build tablets for google, you negotiate in such a way that you turn a profit, which is probably what Samsung have done. So if I were to imagine how Samsung "feels" I would say they "feel" pretty damn good at this point.
Every time I go with a carrier subsidized ( carrier cost spread out ) scheme I get Burnt. Either with sim locks, functionality restrictions or both. I don't get carrier phones any longer. 
+Frank Lazar the difference is that the unlocked Nexus 4 is comparably priced to a subsidized S3 or iPhone 5. Google search move subverts carrier lock-in in ways that goes far beyond simply selling an unlocked phone. If the iPhone was unlocked at $300, no sensible person would sign a two-year contract. 
+Jasper Janssen I haven't seen evidence of Google dumping. That's a destructive practice of selling well below cost. Instead these guys are doing what printer manufacturers do: sell the printer at cost, then sell a ton of ink and watch the profits soar. 
I disagree. Google and Amazon are selling tablets for no profit, letting them make more on books and ads, which hurts other companies who only mint coin from hardware (like Acer).  That makes for a stagnant market with few innovators, and if you push it farther, you have dumping -- an anti-competitive practice which is illegal. 
The problem is that companies like Acer, Asus, and HTC aren't in the ink selling business, they rely on hardware sales.
There is nothing wrong with profit when it comes from solving peoples problems. Making a profit by solving problems makes problem solving possible.

Would I like to pay for my device up front, pay per minute voice, pay per KB data, price model like other countries? Yes. But these markets are consolidating, so market forces are not in full effect. The supply of carrier capacity is fixed, just like electricity generating capacity is fixed. So if the carriers were forced to compete on a pure commodity model, the price of voice/data/text would be like gas, fluctuating hourly based on the capacity of the network to move the most profitable customers. 

Now that fixed price model is not looking so bad, eh? Or you can compete against large blocks of minute buyers who will relegate you to a "coach class" phone experience? What does that mean? It means some big company pays 8 cents a minute for a call and you paid 7 cents and you drive by a overloaded tower and get dropped. Where do you think text lag comes from?

Don't be afraid to negotiate when you buy your phone. Ask for more data, a better phone, whatever. Read the contracts. Know what 4gLTE is and what the other data is (and is not).

Finally, Make a list of stuff that you must have. I don't need to "bump" a playlist or angry birds, or thin. (Oh! I can't carry this phone, it's too thick and it weighs 1/16 of a pound too much)

 I need:
1. Internet/data 
2. Maximum battery life
3. Larger screen because my eyes are old.
3. Pretty good video/photo w/ ff cam
4. Linux like my laptop, desktop, routers, firewall,..... 

So I don't let some marketing people tell me what I need, what color, ect. I make a list of needs and I buy to those needs. The problem with Galaxy was battery life when using 4LTE, And all battery life gets shorter when the phone is cold, which is not a problem if you live in Miami, but it is for me when I'm in the mountains. What good is a better screen if the phone is dead? YMMV.
+Steve Dent Its not exactly dumping. Dumping in its pure form means selling product at a lot with a single purpose to suppress competition. In this case Google using advertising and selling of personal information in a form of direct content based delivery to subsidise and software and hardware. Amazon is doing the same but they are shooting for the market share and trying to recover the costs from selling toilet paper and movies. Still I completely agree with you that this will hurt innovation and we are going to be stuck with Android for good or bad without any hopes for a better soft and hardware (see Nokia). I personally do not want another Windows like stagnation on the mobile like we had on desktop for 20 years. 
Just like Ford model-T or the transistor radio... those were so bad for America... You rock, Linus.
The problem with the so-called "race to the bottom" doesn't come in the form of freedom by in the me-to nature of OEM manufacture. Once something becomes popular, brands like HP and Dell (and no-name brands) can sell OEM hardware at lower prices, thereby choking innovation at the altar of low price. I agree the value of low-cost, open computing is far more valuable than the price tag. The problem comes when resellers point to rebadged OEM garbage and call it the next big thing. Google RARELY if ever does this. Plenty of others do.
i wonder why +Kaniso koaga the great is commenting some 'idiot's' article here, not the other way? :))
+Alexandre Andrianov, I said "*if* you push it further", meaning it's not dumping, but close to it. It's not illegal, but that doesn't mean it's not anti-competitive.
My Galaxy Nexus seems to get better every day (unlike a lot of phones that get worse over time).
+Gabriel Romero Following on your Ford T analogy. Imagine now that Standard Oil made a automobile and sold it at cost with the hopes to make money charging you for the gasoline. How long would Ford last? If this was the case we would probably still drive something like Model T 
Well, Engadget is owned by Aol.... That should at least say something about them.
Somehow I think most of the people here don't even know the meaning of "race to the bottom" and why it's bad. Most of the people who did post here have no idea about economics and the consequences of such a race to the bottom.

First and foremost it eliminates competition and can lead to monopoly of a certain company.

Second, more important: In order to keep "lower prices" than the competitors, the companies will have to reduce production costs, which mostly means:
a) pay less to the employees
b) less social services
c) more (unpaid) work

in order to meet the goals. On a short scale, this is good (from consumer point of view), on the long term it's bad. Such a race usually ends with people earning less money, when they earn less money, they spend less. So the devices need to get cheaper so they can afford it.

To get cheaper, they need their employees to work even more and pay even less. This in turn again results in people having less and less money, forcing the prices to drop further etc.

It's a vicious circle. It happened before with discounters. People working for the discounter (directly or indirectly for the subcontractors) are the ones who are treated as slaves and get paid low wages and they are the future customers who won't be able to pay quality stuff and will even more be stuck forcing to look for cheap food/goods and turning each cent twice before spending it, which even further accelerates this process.
I'm going to buy the Samsung / google nexus 10" pad :-)
That has some badass value for money.
Is Endgaget following HIS Purpose, money?! 
Best Endgadget is who pay more...
Engadget has been an Apple knob-gobbling freak show for quite some time now.
Most Americans do not understand how this model is ripping us off. They don't get it until they travel outside the US and see how it is done right.
Thanks for being sane Linus. Keep up the good work.
What this Engadget guy is trying to do is just to air his rage or his unhappiness with the latest events of Apple/Amazon/Microsoft/Goolge. He realized that has spent thousands and thousands of dollars (or other currency) on an Apple brand that today is not worth anything anymore. The status of "top of the line" or "innovator" or "world changing" is lost. It is not only lost it is also backed by expensive pieces of hardware that forces their customers to spend even more: go and buy new lightining connector, go and buy new accessories, go and buy new maps app, go and buy a new phone with one more row of icons. The editor clearly lost touch with the ground. The editor suggests that civics and corollas should be priced a little less than a BMW. If the editor does not understand that here is another example: he suggests TV's of 32" should be prices a little less than 55". Maybe the editor does not understand that either. Here is another example: he suggests that when you go to a appliances store all the washing machines should be priced about the same price regardless of features or innovation. I hope the editor(s) educate themselves a LOT MORE and make better articles. I also hope they fire the writer (just like Forestall) and write an apology with 14 font size :)
The link you've posted leads to the correct page, but it seems like they've change the link info? I see iPad mini.. haha

Anyway, I feel the same. I've purchased both of my last two phones at full cost to avoid the carrier obligations in Canada. Now that I can get the next Nexus device for half of what I originally paid for my Galaxy Nexus and I still won't have to re-sign with my carrier I feel like we've entered the sweet-spot with Android.
Sorry, I have to disagree, Linus.
I thought Engadget was gutsy, brave to say the inevitable, knowing fully what the tsunami of complains like this is bond to come.
$500, $600 price tag for Android or iPhone is NOT outrageously expensive.
I saw a delivery boy on NYC street wearing an iPhone 4 on his bike.
The ownership of a smartphone has been restricted by income level. Just look around you.
And I saw hw vendors in China to push down price to $100 with lesser Android phones. Even them need a stable pricing in developed markets to enable them to innovate and push the price envelop for emerging markets.

Btw, the herd effect here, is scary. So homogeneous, so self righteous, I wonder who should be more worthy of the st***d word.

This isn't a difficult concept to grasp, really: consumers shouldn't assume that every company can afford to sell loss-leaders. Google, Amazon and Apple can make up for selling hardware at a lost because of their ecosystems. A company that only sells hardware, but can't drive any additional sales on the device itself simply can't do that. No amount of "competitive pricing" can change that. 

That isn't to say that under-cost pricing is all bad, but it shouldn't be expected as the norm. That is an unrealistic expectation. 
+Sean Buckley : None of the Nexus sellers are "loss leaders", and Amazon sells near about cost price, possible at a few bucks of profit. So what are you talking about?
+Sean Buckley, excuse me while I find the world's smallest violin. Maybe it's unreasonable to expect that every company can sell loss-leaders. It's not unreasonable to expect every company that can't sell loss-leaders to go out of business. I'm okay with that.
I just wish Google let me put a microSDHC card in their phones, that's one of the reasons why I went with Samsung phones, and yes they're better with cyanogenmod or AOKP
I read this in your voice, Linus haha

I've been waiting for the new Nexus, and was desperately avoiding the One X (gorgeous phone) and the GSIII (microSD + removable battery? YES! Touchwiz? NO!!!), but even then I knew I would put CM10 on that hardware

This post reaffirmed my decision to wait and grab the next Nexus... can't say I like the double-glass and no LTE (what is this.. an iPhone 4???) but after more than 2 years with my HTC EVO 4G and then buying a Nexus 7, I've realized that the software really is the top priority for me
Sure, the prices of the Nexus devices and the Kindle Fires might be cheap for tablets and phones but they still aren't affordable enough that most of the population could buy one without thinking about it. You can buy much cheaper tablets and phones, admittedly they may not be as good, but this article is a good example of ignorance. 
I think what's impressive about the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Kindle Fire HD 7 is these are affordable devices, not cheap devices -- they're not compromising on the core system (display resolution, density, and quality), cpu, gpu, memory, storage, peripherals, build quality, etc, the way a lot of extremely low-end $100-200 devices had been previously.

You get a nice chunk of portable computing with minimal compromise and without paying a huge premium.  Pretty nice.

As +Jack Fifield points out there are still a lot of devices that are even less expensive out there, usually a bit less featureful or solid, but still providing something useful to folks who might find $200-300 still a lot to ask for a portable computing device.

Apple is pretty solid proof that there's room to differentiate on brand and premium materials (people really like those aluminium enclosures!).  There's also room to compete on peripherals, storage options, software bells and whistles (for everyone who hates customization and wants "pure android" there's someone who thinks HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz is the best thing since sliced bread).  It's a big market, and growing.  I think all the doomsaying may be a bit premature.
Free market, printers, bottled water, etc etc.
The concern on subsidized pricing is a serious issue, look at the damage caused by M$ using OS revenues to pay for failed versions of word-processing software until they finally did not totally s**k, and the competition fumbled. Then they bundled and forced out most players. Destroyed innovation and set the desktop market back for years with their lousy products. Fortunately their lack of skill, their lack of a need to compete, and their arrogance has caused them to ship the last three versions that are so bad everyone including business types realize they don't need them. Also their past failures in the mobile space have caused their demise to appear to be see able. This is exactly why letting companies grow too big and use their dominance in one market to allow them to compete at subsidized prices is so damaging. Undercutting competition with stuff below its UMC can seriously damage free markets. Just like letting monopolies grow into new markets is so damaging to the market place.

Unfortunately none of these prices should be below UMC unless someone got lazy. I have been working with open source and low margin manufactures in China and other developing countries where hungry, smart, motivated engineers and business men are developing interesting products at much lower prices. I am not talking about Foxconn or state subsidized conglomerates, just some bright individuals trying to get ahead. The iCrap and other premium stuff has to pay for huge marketing staff an several layer of executive excess. Prices that allow a motivate small group grow and expand do not cost that much.

So the article's argument just doesn't work. I don't want communication monopolies, and the backend data networks need to be device and service agnostic. I am not completely opposed to having google or others underwrite the cost of service, but it is dangerously close to allowing anticompetitive behavior. I also do not want the regulated monopolies of the past that choke at the thought of innovation. I like my LTE service, and I am sorry the GSM service which must have a cell site every few km will never work in many area of the USA where to provide GSM coverage there would need to be more cell sites than people. GSM is fine for urban areas, but so is WIFI. The low data rates on GSM phones is not acceptable to me, but some other competitive standard is okay with me. The point that the network service providers should not control the content, services, or platforms that use them is an extremely important one. (Yet another reason I can not support either candidate in the current race is the incredibly stupid changes in the FCC that have stopped it from doing its job, and allowed the current travesties we have to day to continue to disable innovation, and exercise monopolistic control of the airwaves, cable, and phone networks.). Google can be applauded for trying to fight the status quo, but they are dangerously large. They may try to appear not to be evil, but that is because it is good business policy. I like to believe that the founders had good intentions, but their size and control over much of the markets is dangerous and they should be under an ever increasing amount if regulation encouraging them to spin out more and more of their new products. If not they will become the next evil empire, unless they already have. Small companies should be under less regulation so that the can innovate and grow. Large dominate companies should be regulated to both prevent abuses, and to encourage them to spin out new products or services so they can grow without the smothering business plan of the parent.

Let's not repeat the mistakes of the past, and clean up the obvious ones that are still around.
Carrier locks are ridiculous. in addition to their data plan which seems to decrease as the speed of their network increases. They are milking this data plans as much as they first milked the 'minutes and 'text.

Nexus all the way.
I would like to see an option to disable Blur/Sense/Touch Wiz on stock phones with or without rooting.

Not as important to me as an SD slot and a hardware keyboard with arrow keys as I can fiddle the skins away, and Touch Wiz is actually fairly decent now, plus Nova Prime is a great replacement, and light enough that it runs great on phones that out-spec my last computer.
Yes, I am so glad I subscribed to you! Google getting negative reviews for giving the monopoly of carriers the middle finger. I'm 100% for it and LTE be damned (right along with Verizon).
+Linus Torvalds plus 10000 internets to you. I agreed with every word you said. That editorial was so full of stupid, including the update, that I think I lost IQ points. Some comments TS agreed with it and I was left with my mouth hitting the floor at the stupidity. Though I'm typing this from my N7. I wouldn't have a tablet if it was this adorable. 
+Linus Torvalds I was using galaxy nexus. Then I earn Galaxy S3 from a hackathon. I have used it couple of days and installed CM10. That was a very good relief after touchwiz crap. 
I completely agree. Engadget = paid by Apple? How about competition? Remember, an iPhone 5 costs $ 160 to make it and here in Europe it is sold for € 800. No wonder Android has 75% of the market over here. Over here the iPhone 5 is a gadget while almost everybody uses an Android phone now.
It is impossible to get quality devices in a capitalism, or indeed any money-based society. This is because in such a society, focus is always on profit. This means - resource waste is not only fine, but desirable in such a world. Low-low quality is also desirable, because if devices break often, they have to be re-purchased. And if that fails, you train the consumers that they need to upgrade at eye-watering speed, many bits of consumer tech now have lifespans measured in months or weeks.  And a fun fact about recycling? 80-85% of all electronics end up in landfills...

There is literally no way to get full quality resource-frugal (ie, the maximum humanity could build) devices in today's world, which means the race to the bottom quality-wise is inevitable. And we're pretty much there, there's not a lot of quality left to remove in most consumer devices (or indeed any devices that aren't partly made exempt from this phenomenon due to a real need that things work - such as military stuff.) 

The insane focus on money is just that, insane and suicidal for the entire species. I can't really work up a ton of energy to worry about corporate bottom lines when the system has already put us right on the cusp of an inevitable ride towards species extinction or at least a massive die-off and social disaster.
I am typing this from my Nexus with carrier lock-in, I don't mind. At least I had multiple options, and this was the one I picked.

Thank Google and others for this.
Excellent! If people like you call out when they try to pass on flawed opinions in the name of editorial, they will think twice next time they want to hit publish.
+Madhukar Reddy Gurram I think you misunderstand the purpose of publishing on the internet.  The more people draw attention to them, the more people click.  More clicks, more ad revenue.
In technology, I agree the race to the bottom notion is mostly silly. But in other areas like pens, for example, I think people and the world would be better off if they made one quality purchase then cherished, used, and maintained it for years. I don't have a problem with technology becoming cheap or ubiquitous, but if it becomes as nasty to use as, say, a bic pen, I'll be sad.
Just Engadget being Engadget.
Gizmodo and Engadget are going down the proverbial toilet.
Wonderfully worded and you are the man. 
Spot on! There is no launcher ("skin") that can even compare with the aosp one in jelly bean. i love my nexus devices and can't see myself going for something else anytime soon
Before Engadget there was Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and of course Byte Magazine (among others).  The allure of shilling to a commercial audience often trumps focusing on a smaller more technologically savvy readership.
I love my nexus too. For the same reasons. And jb is getting quicker by the day as the apps update.
Engadget's gotten worse and worse since they were taken over by AOL, but could still be called a professional tech journalism site until all their best writers left to join The Verge.

All that counts now is clickbait, and Linus Torvalds just sent them a ton of clicks...
I really dont understand what this article is saying. The whole capitalist consumer system is built on competition. Therefore if someone can produce a product of equal or better quality for a cheaper price its up to the competitors to innovate, improve their efficiency, reduce their costs or improve their product and compete. Only the healthiest survives and this benefits the consumer. This article is quite stupid.
Linus's rants are the main reason I'm on G+. I love you, Linus.
"a) pay less to the employees
b) less social services
c) more (unpaid) work

in order to meet the goals. On a short scale, this is good (from consumer point of view), on the long term it's bad. Such a race usually ends with people earning less money, when they earn less money, they spend less. So the devices need to get cheaper so they can afford it." -- +Tseng Lee 

There's no reason to believe that a race to the bottom within a particular industry will affect incomes in general.  

There's also no reason to believe that any company would pay its employees more than they have to, regardless of how much profit they're making.
I'm still confused how a 32" LCD TV costs less than a 4.5" LCD cell phone.
I don't usually post on G+, but, I couldn't agree with you more.
I recall seeing a  while ago a group in facebook called "Engadget is Apple's bitch", it seems there are precedents to their pro-Apple behaviour.
It reads as though the guy is sore that Apple hasn't followed the same model, by discounting the iPad to drive sales on the app store and itunes.
I can not agree more with you. That article is a prime example of trolling.
So many words wasted on Apple. This isn't even about Apple. Who the hell goes to a Lexus dealer looking for an affordable car or value for money? 

It's people with a very different definition of affordable and value for money, I suspect.

Cheaper phones and tablets have been everywhere, and yet Apple still makes money hand-over-fist selling their hardware at out-of-this-world margins. People are willing to give them more money for a product they perceive as better. If Apple falls, it'll be when those people stop perceiving Apple products as better.

It's not about Apple at all. It's about how at-cost or near-cost devices from Google and Amazon might affect everyone else. Obviously it's good when hardware gets cheaper and becomes available to more people, and even better when hardware is affordable without a carrier subsidy.

It's not so obviously good if all other Android manufacturers are driven out of the market and we're left with only Google and Amazon. That hasn't happened, at least not yet. However, last I looked, Samsung and Apple are the only manufacturers really making money off of smartphones now, with HTC taking the leftover scraps and everyone else losing money.

The fear, which does seem premature, is that everyone else will fold and we'll end up with our only real options being Google and Apple for phones, and Google, Amazon and Apple for tablets. If that does happen, we'd better hope Google and Amazon stay benevolent.

An alternative "doomsday" scenario: everyone shifts to out-compete Google and Amazon on price alone, the market is flooded with garbage built to a budget allowing for a decent profit margin, and the high-end market is more or less conceded to Apple, who I seriously doubt will play the "race to the bottom" game if they can help it. I'm not betting either way, but I certainly hope this doesn't happen either.

But I just can't see Engadget as trolling here. Wrong? Maybe. Missing part of the bigger picture? Maybe. But people are wrong all the time. Doesn't necessarily make them stupid or trolls.
Oh, Linus.  Your rants are more entertaining that Stallman's.
I don't think Google and Amazon are the problem. I don't think they're actually selling "at cost", and you won't either after you browse sites like Pandawill for a while.
+Jon Fingas I can't believe someone who owns a Galaxy Nexus could write such a fantastically stupid article. 
Tri Do
It's not Amazon or Google, but Apple who has undermined mobile pricing itself by its desire to control both hardware and contents. This forces Amazon and Google, whose bread and butter are contents, to fight back with subsidized hardware to protect their turf.
+Carsten Führmann Would I endorse an anti-competitive company following anti-competitive practices? Nope. But Google is anything but anti-competitive and lowering prices is not anti-competitive at all. In fact, keeping the price high is considered anti-competitive... in that if two competitors are found to have an agreement to not lower prices under a certain level, they are legally penalized (see "Price fixing" Just because they have been doing so without any agreement doesn't make it right (well it does make it legally right... but not ethically). It's a well exploited bug of the free market system, not a feature.
I agree +Linus Torvalds.  The worst vendor today has got to be Verizon.  Not only do I have to buy a Nexus phone through them or an "authorized reseller," I have to pay a ridiculous premium for the privilege of using CDMA instead of GSM.  Several hundred dollars in fact.  Must be why I bought my Verizon (stupid contract) Nexus on EBay and saved about 50% of the $700+ unit cost.  All so I can switch carriers when I wish.
This is yet another example of how our two dominant political parties are overdue for replacement.  From Net Neutrality to cellular contracts, no one is looking out for the citizen.
+Robert Knight: A race to the bottom is going to be a win for open-source hardware, and when that finally happens, the entire world will be better off. I'm an american, and I grew up on farm, watching the race to the bottom in commodity crop prices. At that point, I was told that growing corn production and american farmers would 'feed the world'. You're right that the race to the bottom is killing americans, but that is because they are still insisting on going into the store, and buying products (most notably food) based on what's cheaper, or has shiny marketed packaging. 

I go to a local foods co-op, and I try to buy food from someone identified as a farmer. As soon as I can buy electronics that I can identify the engineers who contributed to the software, firmware, and hardware, I'll do that too. But for that to happen, the big companies are going to have to finish racing each other to the bottom, and start figuring out open-source hardware reduces costs, and results in an overall better user (not consumer) experience.

My experience is that those who complain loudest about 'race to the bottom' are somehow afraid that they won't have some sort of monopoly or vendor lock in to retain an income stream without actually providing a benefit to the people that are forced to pay them.

If you are really that stressed out about living in a city, I'll be happy to give you a nice break with room & board provided, so long as you pull the weeds in the soybeans, and when I finally get to the point of fabricating silicon on the farm, maybe you'll want to work on computer hardware again.
+Linus Torvalds Yes the price. I think this and the increased freedom will even be the killer criteria if it comes to decide for Nexus. Prerequisite: It must function smoothly not only OS but hardware.
Tried/worked w. iPhone for the last year. It did function. But  this device is to expensive and to limited in my eyes. Will change back to Droid and trying Nx4 in short.
I agree for the most part with your comments. I don't think you can argue that the new model won't stifle innovation and diversity though. The question is how much will it affect it and how bad will it be for us.

The console gaming industry has a similar problem. They make most of their money selling games, so they are willing to lose money on the console. Smart phones and tablets have become content delivery devices and that's led them to the same model. It's a great model for Apple and Google, but HTC, Asus, etc. all lose out unless they become bedfellows with the people delivering the content.

The problem with articles like this is that even though the economics are right, it will be hard to quantify in a meaningful way to society. If HTC goes out of business, it's difficult for us to say how our market would have been different if they hadn't left and we don't have a way to see alternate timelines. :)
+Joke ON+
Nexus runs android...
Yep, android is clearly better and it's open source.
Have you heard about android ?
Let me explain it: Linux is the core of the android system.
Have you heard about Linux ?

Oo Wait...You're the founder of Linux ...
I am so confused...
+Joke OFF+

More seriously now
Engadget did something that is not usualy how you know them ?
not suprising: it's a buzz [marketing].
agreed 100%. after owning an ipod touch for the last 4 years (and tried an iphone for a few months), android is a much better and more open experience. iTunes locks you in real bad. you can't even sync your device with two computers.

The ONLY thing my 1st gen ipod touch excels in is hardware quality, especially its metal casing, which withstood about 4 years of keeping it in my jeans back pocket. That casing makes most phones look like cheap plastic soapboxes (which most of them indeed are).
What happens when build quality suffers?  I feel like the drop in price has also been a drop in quality.  It's the same thing I felt when all modems changed into WinModems.  Great, I have a 56k breadboard and all I need to do is write the software.  I saved $40 though!  What we need is price to reflect quality and freedom.  If the product will only last a year, I should pay less for it.  If the product locks me into a single store, I should pay less for it.  I need more people giving product manufactures the finger and more gadget review sites helping me make balanced decisions on my criteria.
I don't know.  I really like inexpensive, yet...  Once the price starts dropping and competition ramps up, quality tends to go away.  Pay more for something that works well, or pay less (much more frequently) and have to deal with replacing garbage products on a regular basis?  A conundrum.
the "race for the bottom" seems to be in such blog articles
Oh, come on. This is just stupid. Google and amazon are not selling below price. Besides, google is even providing a totally open handset. No vendor or carrier lock-in. You can flash CM and Amazon market only without google market. Google is cutting profit margins thin and this is a good thing. Also, it's not like anybody's holding a gun to Samsung or Asus head, the companies are manufacturing these devices voluntarely. Which in the world on competetive capitalism means they are actually making a profit. If they can't make their own devices competitive on these turns - screw them. Then they should stick to providing bare hardware for google. World would be a better place without these god-awfull firmwares with locked and cut-out features (tethering and such) just to please carriers.
Apple is simply getting back to their traditional practices and charging a premium. $180 in parts, $130 in profit. You have a lot of room to cut the price and still make a decent profit. They charge a premium price to reinforce the impression of a "premium" product.
+David Hill They don't charge more simply to make it "feel" like a premium product. It is actually because of a demand supply curve. Apple products that are in high demand are going to cost a lot because they must keep the supply flowing without running into a shortage. 
Looks like he figured it would be a good idea to apologize for his ill conceived Apple apologizing, biased article., there's an update in his article. The article is still nonsense, but maybe his next article will not play to the Apple PR line so closely.

Maybe his next article will discuss how Apple, demanding the lowest costs from their suppliers and assemblers, is stifling innovation in those industries? Or how Apple ranks near the bottom of large tech companies in R&D spending in both percentage of profits and real dollars?

I mean, if there's anything at all to this claim that making someone offer their products at the lowest possible prices stifles innovation, then who puts more pressure on others for lower prices than Apple? Apple fans actually brag about this as one of the big selling points of Apple (for stock holders at least.)
If the retail world has changed, then the non-Google / non-Amazon world will have to adapt or die.  It has ever been thus.
I agree with you +Troy Benjegerdes, the current problem with the "race to the bottom" is a construction of fear that people have when they realize that relinquishing power back to the people to help them be self sustaining, as apposed to providing a service that they greatly inflate to the point of un-affordability, and then "bring the prices down" to make it seem affordable, while cutting the cost by eliminating even more pay and benefits to the "low end" (being it's employees) it is no wonder people are stressing out.

In America, there are a lot of benefits for finding your own self reliance, and from a farmer's market point of view, something I partake in on a regular basis, I help support those who are working, and motivate them to build their own business. Additionally, I can build a relationship, and to a point, know where my food comes from. As long as we give power to monopolizing companies, the less power we give ourselves, and the more we become reliant on that monopoly, and the more we become a slave of their market.

Open source, Open Hardware, all of it teaches us that we have the power we need to become self reliant, and the power to choose what we want to do the things we need to do, and hopefully, provide an opportunity for the community to decide what they need, as apposed to what the "people at the top" choose for us to need.

Race to the bottom all you want, but for right now, we are empowering ourselves with choice. And I can tell you, if the price is "cheaper" at the bottom, it is probably because the companies higher up, like the likes of Apple, are making a LOT of money on something we could arguably do ourselves.

Open Source and Open Hardware is empowering, Linux, DroidOS, Raspberry Pi and the likes of this kind of mentality are only scratching the surface. When giving power back to the people, we are able to provide the true market of competition.
What drugs they took??
+James Manes Their supply chain is the most effective in the world. They also have tons of cash in the bank. They don't need to charge double profits over their competitors to keep the supply flowing. They do it because they can ... because their customers will buy it regardless of price.
Consumers decide how much is too much, and guess what?  We like lower prices.
I'm going with "corrupt".

Apple chooses a business model of high mark-ups on hardware, the "walled garden" and prohibitively high barriers of entry into their content market. Amazon and Google choose a business model of affordable hardware, consumer choice and relatively open content markets.

And somehow, he concludes that Amazon and Google are the bad guys in this situation.  Seems like a fairly obvious case of Apple shillery if ever I saw one.
Oh wait, Engadget is still around? I guess the article you mention shows who their target audience is. It makes me glad I removed them from my RSS feeds a couple of years back. It was with wry amusement that I noticed what sort of ads they have too.
Don't see a "race to a bottom" here at all. It is just economy of scale which for some of the reason doesn't apply for Apple products.
I thought the exact same thing when I read that article. I was like "are you serious??".

And about the carrier lock-in, I think you guys in the US have to get rid of that.

I live in France and we have contracts that you can dump whenever you want and you're not forced to buy a phone.

Example: with 20 Euros you get unlimited calls to mobile in France (+ USA, Canada, Alaska, Hawaï), unlimited calls to fixed phones in France (+40 other countries), unlimited SMS/MMS, internet with 3GB full band (after that it's reduced).

So now if I want the Nexus 4, I'll get it unlocked at 300 Euros and I'm golden. I can even sell it in a month if I don't like it, and get another one.
And also, I don't think that the Nexus 4 takes more than 300$ to produce/advertise, etc.

Let's get serious, they're not losing money. It's just that they're not directly winning money from the hardware sales.
On top of this it's even more stupid that LG is going be selling the same phone at double the price in markets where there is no Google Play Store... Even with the retailers involved the costs can't go that high.. 
Our initial perception of the word "bottom" is what's flawed.  Personally, I like bottoms, I think they're great!
BK Lee
hate product of apple / MS ,so expensive 
You will find more sense in a sewer than the average big name tech blog. Go read +Gizmodo 's review on OSX Mountain Lion, which is apparently the worst operating system ever because the writer didn't like the dark linen texture and thought the transparent(OPTIONAL) title bar has been a crime against humanity since Snow Leopard. The problem is that these people need to get REAL jobs.
+Frank Lazar CDMA is a newer standard than GSM; it is not the first type of cell phone network (by almost half a century).  It's supposedly got some advantages over GSM in terms of hardware need, and I assume the present market failure in the US is a result of lack of regulation and the carriers being perfectly happy with not having customers able to move to other carriers easily.
Matt R
engadget isn't a news site. It's as good as gawker sites which = poor editorials if not poor everything. I always told +Nick Ruedig  about that too :P 
Engadget needs just little understanding of economics; here is the lesson they missed in one easy quote from Schumpeter:

"The first thing to go is the traditional conception of the modus operandi of competition. Economists are at long last emerging from the stage in which price competition was all they saw. As soon as quality competition and sales effort are admitted into the sacred precincts of theory, the price variable is ousted from its dominant position. However, it is still competition within a rigid pattern of invariant conditions, methods of production and forms of industrial organization in particular, that practically monopolizes attention. But in capitalist reality as distinguished from its textbook picture, it is not that kind of competition which counts but the competition from the new commodity, the new technology, the new source of supply, the new type of organization (the largest-scale unit of control for instance) - competition which commands a decisive cost or quality advantage and which strikes not at the margins of the profits and the outputs of the existing firms but at their foundations and their very lives. This kind of competition is as much more effective than the other as a bombardment is in comparison with forcing a door, and so much more important that it becomes a matter of comparative indifference whether competition in the ordinary sense functions more or less promptly; the powerful lever that in the long run expands output and brings down prices is in any case made of other stuff."

** (Joseph A. Schumpeter; Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
Chapter VII: The Process of Creative Destruction page 83-84, Harper Torchbooks, New York, 1962)
Hello +Linus Torvalds, nice to know that you are using Android phones and like Nexus. 
By the way - do you think that "Android is Linux" , or it is not Linux ?
People who call commoditization a "race to the bottom" don't understand the concept of "race to the bottom". They are simply misusing the phrase. It has nothing to do with the tendency of competition between vendors to drive down prices. It's about competition between jurisdictions tending to lower regulatory standards.
That's Engadget going into full on Self Destruct Mode. Just by allowing Jon Fingas write such trash!  .....afraid that's all part of AOL continuing their Journey on the road to AOL HELL they began in the late 90's!!! ;-P
It is, I'm afraid, at least since Josh, Nilay and Paul left...
Yes Linus their view is a bit nonsensical. Engadget - it's called "competition", which is an all round good thing.
Wtf was Engadget's Editor smoking? 
+Linus Torvalds has to be my favourite person on Google+ or in the public eye in general. Doesn't talk shit, says it as it is. Gotta respect that. Loved the comment on nvidia when you were giving that talk, its sad that other influential people don't speak out the way you do.
@Tom Meaney What I like about Linus, is that he's never ever been one to brag about his accomplishments. He's just an extremely intelligent really nice guy. Who has always been about sharing Openly and Freely his life's work. That takes great character and humility...... that he obviously continues to demonstrate daily in his life! :D   .......and if he does think it's right to criticize anything like Engadget  here, you know he's doing it for good reason. They deserve... it!!!
Linus, you're right that it's not a race to the bottom. Actually it's a race to the bank. What's the result of Google letting Samsung take all the money? How long before Samsung sees Google's ownership of Android as a big risk to its corporate ambitions? I just hope Apple buys Google before Samsung does.
+Stephan Nagel Are you lost? Linus is railing against Jon Fingus's so called editorial. Saying how Google and Amazon are ruining the Mobile Cell Phone and Tablet market. Which is totally absurd to begin with. If anything they are ruining Apple's and Carrier's Exclusive Lock-in's with Carriers subsidizing them in making Apple successful in the first place!!!

Samsung doesn't lose money selling devices either on Amazon or Google's Devices, Ads w/ Android content strategy. Which is how Google is subsidizing manufacturers to gain market share over their main competitor Apple. Samsung and Google are on the same team. Fighting against the same asinine Carrier Lock-In and Garden Walled Networking, that made AOL Hell so famous. Like in particular exclusive carriers (like Compuserve and AOL Carrier ISP's in the past) having been subsidised by Verizon and AT&T. Like in how they were using Qualcomm's BREW OS and App Store to control the carrier (ISP) market! 

Now they're at it again mainly subsidizing Apple's (and both Microsoft & Qualcomm's new forms of Proprietary Garden Walled BREW Networks) with Apple's Garden Walled Prison Farm iOS!  .....the last thing consumers need is Apple and carrier partners becoming another AOL HELL Against Consumer's Freedom of Choice with a Google Buy Out by Apple. As if that was even possible in the first place.

Last time I checked, Linus Torvald is a Champion of OPEN FREEDOM of CHOICE..... meaning Android w/o extra butter jammed with fermented jelly beans!!! ...only clean Jelly Beans get consumed by Linus. While he's also Anti-Proprietary Lock-In, by both Apple and the Major Carriers are using to crush all competing carriers and manufacturers...... except Apple. Although now Microsoft again to a lesser extent w/ WP8 is back on the Evil Side.

Samsung if anything (although primarily having been proprietary), are going the other way and are now more Pro Open Choice in supporting both Google Android and partnering with the Open Source Community at large to a greater degree everyday. Like with Intel on Tizen and they just donated an ultra modern New File System F2FS to the Open Source Linux Community. If anything Samsung has never been about killing it's competitors in our Mobile World at least. Because they supply parts to most of them in the first place. Basically Samsung has been forced to compete the old fashioned way....... By offering better products. 

Now back to your ludicrous supposition that either Samsung or  Apple could ever buy Google in the first place. Even if it was ever actually up for sale that is. At least theoretically, only Samsung could do such a thing, using the power of their entire Samsung Global Chaibol (like Saudi Royal Family). Only they, between the two, could buy Google if... only if... it was actually up for sale. Because if all you're going by is Apple's lame serenDIP... idous Market Cap Value, you're as lost as those on fickle fated Wall Street on the Down Side. Where it's now predicted Apple will end up back down well under $450. Taking them well out of favor with the Bulls on Wall Street back 10 months ago. Losing favor with Samsung by attempting to extort $30 per Android phone and $45 for every Samsung Tablet was a bad idea. Especially since is was proposed by the King of iDIOTS..... Steve Jobs after he'd lost his mind and fight to Cancer. That obviously affected thinking even being close to rational.  

Now the World is beginning to see the light.... of what's really going on here. This is a WAR.... between Light (Good) and Darkness (Evil Proprietary) in our Technology and Computing World today. The Good are on the Open Source Freedom of Choice Side and the Evil Closed Proprietary Side are losing ground right under their noses Android (Linux). Due to companies like Amazon, you say Samsung might buy Google? That must be a joke, because they're both on the same team.  .....but could Samsung buy Google? They absolutely have the means to do so. But that's not the way they operate. Unlike Apple, who has always been known to turn on their partners (from IBM to Adobe), Samsung knows they can't be successful unless they support their competitors. Most of who are their customers and partners as well. 

This is why....... at least here in America, Carriers are only lukewarm supporters of Samsung. Because they have to be. In spite of them not being Apple, Nokia or Microsoft from the DARK SIDE of Proprietary Closed Garden Walled Prison Farm Evil in the World!!!
I feel your Samsung love. Samsung as the champion of the downtrodden and open minded. Imagine that. Yay Korea! Samsung will buy Google ... once it's wrung every dollar out of the free and open Android. Then you can bow down to your brave new Samsung "openlord." Gee I really hope it was Samsung that said it would do no evil. I know somebody said it ...
+Stephan Nagel  I feel your proprietary Apple love. The Champion of anti-competitiveness and suing the competition out of business since 1983. When they sued Franklin Computers out of business as their first victim!
Do you actually read what you write? Never mind. 
Kyle, you need to remember that you are a guest on Torvalds's site and act like it.
+Linus Torvalds I agree wholeheartedly.
+Bilal Akhtar I rarely read Engadget article though the wrote a (relatively) unbiased piece in Distro about the Nexus 4.
Amen men brotha... Much easier to use than the skinned versions... 
The ignorance of people amazes me. Personally i believe gnu/linux is one of the most relevent things to happen to software period. I view the gnu folks like monks with a bit more zeal.

These big companies could not move at breakneck speed without reusing and leveraging open source. Apple iOS/free bsd, google android/linux. The companies that rolled their own were late to market thus did not gain market share.

They also incur more expense in rolling their own creating an inferior product. But for desktop personally OS X rocks but i am finding ubuntu as of late really nice and prefered to windows by far. So now, the only reason i use windows is to edit a word resume. I think microsoft has some big problems ahead.
With my galaxy note & galaxy tab 2 I believe I'll be fine. Well made despite Endgadget's Apple endorsed viewpoints & not necessarily that cheap but certainly a better product all round. I'll never buy an Apple product nor Microsoft for that matter...
It's not the race to the bottom I worry about; it's the race to the top, of the landfills. With over 4,000 know and distinct android models out in the wild plus the gray market devices, just imagine the WALL-E piles of junk they create worldwide. Let's just hope Google doesn't steal and hand out car designs. OTOH, I can sell even my broken iPhone to Gazelle.
Amazing. Apple has managed to bribe almost all of the news sites. Can't we have one neutral site? One site that doesn't stick apple with must buy? One site that isn't on somebody's payroll? Is that too much to ask? 
Late seeing this, but I wholeheartedly agree. I've had pure Google AOSP phones since the Nexus One. I despise carrier contracts and subsidies; it seems to be a nice way for companies to charge half of the actual cost of the phone, "waive" their 5 million percent markup, and still charge you through any available orifice for their service plan with a "subsidized" phone. And you can't switch to a cheaper carrier because of the contract without donating your dominant hand and first born child to their non-existent "research and development" division.
+Jasper Janssen Glad to see someone finally pointed this out.  People here seem to forget how Microsoft bundled IE with Windows for free to kill the competition from Netscape, which crippled innovation on the whole World Wide Web for years to come. Selling at a price well below production costs IS a bad sign. These prices are possibly too low to be accounted just for the superior organizational efficiency. Google and Amazon possibly sustain their production by burning up some of their profits from other parts of their businesses. A smaller and only mobile-focused tech company will not have the same leverage to compete with them for too long in such a scheme, and will be driven out of business. THAT IS the problem.
Love my Nexus 4 and with all the money I saved on a prepaid plan I'll be able to upgrade every year at $300 for the phone and still come out ahead from my old plan. Long live Nexus and the T-mobile pre-paid $30 data plan.
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