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TheStreet Open House

Android Battery Life, Nexus and Motorola: What's The Problem?

Stocks in this article: GOOGMSFTAAPLRIMM

I recognize that in the grand scheme of things, this isn't the biggest issue in the world, and it is isn't even Google's most pressing issue.

But Google is up against Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Research In Motion (RIMM) and all of their hardware implementations. They are focusing on improving battery life. Google says it's a priority, but it's not showing in the flagship Nexus smartphones.

Google's product management of Android in the context of Motorola and Nexus is less clear than it should be, to put it mildly. I can guess what might be going on behind the scenes, but I don't really know. Given Android's enormous market share and importance for Google and the market, I think that this is a subject Google should clarify in a separate stand-alone conference call.

Everyone wants a Nexus product portfolio that has battery life on par with the Droid Razr Maxx or even better. However, nobody wants to be forced to buy this from Verizon, and nobody wants to be forced to buy non-Nexus software OS.

They want to buy a piece of hardware directly from Google, insert any SIM card acquired from any retailer in the world, such as Wal-Mart (WMT), which offers great plans for $30 or so per month, and not have to sign any contract. They want to be able to switch to another SIM card from any carrier in the world without any fuss. This is what GSM was always meant to be, and has been for most people in the world for 20 years.

Larry Page apparently wants that, too. So why can't he get his various Android groups -- from the Nexus people to the Motorola people -- to talk and deliver?

Last June, Google bragged that it got ASUS to deliver the Nexus 7 tablet in only four months from beginning of the project, to shipping the product to consumers. Now Google says it takes Motorola 18 months to deliver new products. Why is it acceptable for Motorola to take 18 months when Google itself brags that ASUS has already done it in four months?

Google, and Android, are doing well. But clearly, they're not doing as well as they could be. I'd like to know what they are doing to change this.

At the time of publication, Wahlman was long GOOG and AAPL, and short MSFT.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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