Roger McNamee's name might sound familiar to some of you who remember back to the days when the Palm Pre and webOS stunned the smartphone world at CES 2009
. Working at Elevation Partners, Mc Namee's company made big investments in Palm, trying to keep the company afloat
until the tremendous sales of the "iPhone-killer," the Palm Pre
, would turn things around. That was the plan, anyway. Of course, as we now know, the Pre never sold well at all and it was the Motorola DROID
that became the challenger to Apple's iconic smartphone.
McNamee, as you might expect, is not enamored
with Android. In a recent interview, the Venture Capitalist says that Google's open source OS "is the equivalent of having a motor scooter at the Indianapolis 500
." He also points out that despite the large lead Android has over iOS in terms of volume, it is Apple that is grabbing the vast majority of profits in the industry. McNamee also says that Google needs to be careful to make sure that Samsung's success with Android doesn't lessen Google's connection with Android, or else in other's minds Samsung will be Android and Android will be Samsung.
"There is nothing wrong with Android as a product except that it does not do much. It is the equivalent of having a motor scooter at the Indianapolis 500."
"I am really frustrated when I look at Microsoft or Yahoo or even Google, remarkably enough, because it feels to me they are not trying to innovate. You hear not just Marissa Mayer, but the last couple generations of management at Yahoo have said that we’re going to buy our growth. At Microsoft, the same thing. They’re still so dedicated to Windows, that even though they own Skype and Xbox, two great platforms for the mobile market which could easily get them growing again, for whatever reason they seemed afraid to abandon the past."
"Apple showed that a large company can not only innovate, it can transform and really rebuild markets."
"...way too early to write off Google. But I watch what they have done with Android and I’m flabbergasted because their market share in units is so high but look at the profit share. Apple’s profit share is 75 or 80% because Android has been managed essentially to make it a profitless prosperity. Right now, if Google is not careful, Android will be Samsung or Samsung will be Android."-Roger McNamee, Elevation Partners
You can check out the whole interview that McNamee gave Bloomberg by clicking on the video below. "Android does not do much," says the investor. Is this just the sour grapes talking?