Opinion Articles

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Everyone’s selling Android phones… but who’s selling Android?

Mark Bridge writes:

Samsung. Huawei. Acer. HTC. Motorola. LG. Toshiba. Sony Ericsson. INQ. Dell. They’re all after a slice of the Android cake. (The Android cake is an éclair at the moment. Not particularly good for slicing. But I digress).

And my, what advertisements we’ve seen. Most recently Motorola has been knocking the iPhone while HTC has been playing with marker pens.

But those ad campaigns are mainly about manufacturers and phones. As you’d expect, really. Not about Android.

Compare and contrast with Apple, which sells its mobile operating system and its mobile phone together. You could even argue, given the recent TV commercials, it’s barely selling the phone at all. It’s all about the apps. Everyone who’s anyone has an iPhone that’s pregnant with applications… and they want you to know about each and every one of them.

Is that a problem?  Yes, for Android.

Android for saleIt seems that interest in Android is starting to fade – because no-one’s really selling the benefits. Recently, mobile game business Gameloft has said it’s cutting back its Android game development. “Google has not been very good to entice customers to actually buy products”, said Gameloft’s finance director Alexandre de Rochefort.

It’s a similar story from Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza, who says the Android platform is lacking a decent central marketing strategy.

So – what’s going to happen?

Are Google or the Open Handset Alliance going to start advertising Android?  I think not. Google’s rather too busy with its Chrome OS and the OHA’s members have way too many diverse interests.

Of course, we could see Google pushing Android with the much-rumoured ‘Google phone’ that’s expected next year.

Or – perhaps – we’ve already seen the beginning of the next stage. It is, surely, no coincidence that the Motorola Droid’s name contains the second syllable of Android. No coincidence that the Droid's iPhone-knocking ad campaign talked about operating system capabilities. And no coincidence that the Motorola Droid got version 2.0 of Android before the code was barely dry. If it really is no coincidence but is part of an agreement between Motorola and Google, who knows what could be next from this partnership?  Android-lovers just need to hope it happens soon enough to maintain the momentum.

Author: The Fonecast
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