My Thoughts: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
While many in the technology world may claim that the Nexus One, the original Google phone, was a sales flop, I would say it did rather well considering the market it went to. The trouble is that the average man in the street who's looking for a smartphone is most likely going to put the iPhone at the top of his proverbial tree, then place Blackberry beneath it, then Android. I'm surprised that a lot of people whom I talk with still don't hold Android in high regard, given its enormous success recently.
The Nexus One is a perfect microcosm for Android; the only people who bought it were the geeks, the people who had followed the rise of Android, and probably wanted to root their device and install one of the thousands of custom Android ROMs that are being cooked. As a result of this, the Nexus One didn't put much of a dent into the iPhone's sales, which is what Google's advertising would lead you to expect.
Recently, the Samsung-branded Nexus One sucessor, dubbed the Nexus S, has been revealed on many blurry photos. You can see it's running what appears to be a vanilla (stock) version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with claimed UI enhancements. This brings me to my main point, which is that stock Android-only seems to appeal to the geeks. In order for an Android device to be truly competitive, it takes a company such as HTC to enhance the basic Android experience into something that your average person will enjoy using. The iPhone's UI is plain, and I'd argue it's boring, but what I think is dull has captivated millions of people around the world. What Android is lacking is that little bit of finesse and slickness that Apple has brought to the table, and I don't believe that stock Gingerbread will be enough of a UI enhancement.
It's entirely possible that I'm completely wrong, so we'll have to wait until the official 2.3 launch. Expect another post from me after the launch with my first impressions and a hands-on experience.