Invasion of the Android!
Anywhere, anytime, there is always some Apple stuff to remind you who’s running the show.. iPhones, iPods, iPads, whatever. You may really believe there is just ONE company able to put some tech device in the hands and pockets of the global consumers..
But reality is slightly different. Yesterday evening I went to a superb BBQ, with some friends (old and new) and discussion moved wavily from “the Cloud” to “Mobility” and apps, and quite normally these days, most of the devices around where Apple (with a small albeit significant presence of Samsung Omnia II and my old Innov8..). We did actually agree that most of the apps that today a “normal” advanced user may need are well covered by the AppStore, but also via Ovi, and the Android Market, this making the World again a pretty interesting place and not a one-man-band show (boring, boring..).
Now, today this is the confirmation! An article (courtesy of GigaOM) did point out at the stunning performance of Android in supporting HTC sales: +67% in June 2010 vs June last year.
The discussion now is whether the device is driving the customer choice of the underlying application environment (including the OS, which ultimately is a mere butler..), or is the OS holistic environment (speed, capability, multimedia performances, third party applications portfolio et alia) to concentrate customer attention and thus underpin superior hardware sales performances.
What is rather clear to me is the irrelevance of any “match race” business strategy (since players here are most diverse in structure, value ecosystem and tactical ability), whilst seems rather fundamental the ability to search and exploit any end user market “weakness” (meaning anything that would lower the barrier of “do not want to buy that” anyone has got somewhere in the brain..): for someone is design and sense of belonging, for other the “me too” attitude, for another customer tribe (NOTE: tribe, not group…) it may be the willingness to be different, or to highly customise his/her own experience.. since, please do not forget, mobile is personal, ultimately the most personal high tech environment of it all, and someone may be ready and willing to pay for this.
Not too have the same handset as all the other users (almost..) was one of the driver for success for the DoCoMo mobile growth in Japan, and history is always a good teacher, and “globalisation” does not imply “conformity” as a rule. And the market absorbs 160.000 Android-based phones daily. And..
It is nice to be different!