Ex Google Mobile Product Manager Criticizes Android G1

I don’t think Ulf Washbusch, until recently a Product Marketing Manager for Google Mobile, should be expecting to get his old job back after yesterday’s comments on the new Android phone.

In a blog post he says the phone’s physical design hasn’t changed in 2.5 years, and calls it ugly and old fashioned. He also criticizes the color choices:

It’s funny – but the first time I heard about Android was about 2.5 years ago, when Eric Schmidt told me about the device at Stanford after I got a job offer from Google (yet before I accepted it!). Since then I have seen many iterations of the software. The software. Not the device itself, because sadly it hasn’t changed in many years. The reason many people see the phone as ugly and old-fashioned is simply… because it IS! It’s a design unchanged for at least two years, without iterations on it besides color schemas (it’s now available in Zune-brown along with white and black) and the silly ‘with Google’ description on the back. Don’t ask me what ‘with Google’ means. I didn’t understand it back then and still don’t understand it today.

Ulf adds more thoughts on his Facebook profile: “Ulf is disappointed but not surprised about the ‘G1’. Where’s the cheap data plan? Where do I plug in my headphones? No video player? How do I get contacts in it?”

He’s now working at MySpace, where he says he runs their mobile product operations. My guess is MySpace won’t be thrilled with the blog post, given how cozy they’ve been with Google since joining the Open Social coalition a year ago.

I’d also be surprised if Ulf is correct that the phone itself hasn’t changed in 2.5 years, which predates the first launch of the iPhone. Did it really have a touchscreen then? And a compass, accelerometer and GPS?