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Google ‘lacking mass market strategy’ for Android

Our man on the scene today at the Google Developer Day isn’t entirely impressed with Google’s strategy — or, more accurately, lack thereof.

Perhaps since the Developer Day was held in the geographical equivalent of the provinces (i.e. the UK), we shouldn’t take too much notice.

Here’s what he had to say:

It was an interesting day – I do like what I’ve seen of Android, but I’m not sure that Google have a strategy to take it mass market. Mike Jennings said a couple of times that the marketing of the device would come down to the carriers, but he didn’t have much of an answer when I asked him what argument Google where putting to the networks to incentivise them.

The HTC Dream hardware looked kinda big. Hopefully Samsung or one of the other partners will come up with something a bit sleek and sexy.

I’m going to let this roll around my brain for a day or to, then I’ll try and blog some thoughts.

Incentivising the carriers is absolutely key. Absolutely 100% key. They’re the ones who, if you get too close to them, will continually tell you that they own the billing relationship. It’s repeated like a mantra at network operators the world over, especially to ward off evil thoughts about declining voice revenues.

It’s all too easy to wonder why anyone could ever doubt the success of a Google handset. Or series of handsets.

The reality is cash and style. It’s all about cash, and style. We saw that with the first generation iPhone. Lots of people admired the device but were quite happy to sign-up to another 18-month contract and get a new boring Sony Ericsson candybar. Because it was ‘free’ whilst the iPhone was, comparatively, very, very expensive.

Anyway, we’ll bring our man’s thoughts soon.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

9 replies on “Google ‘lacking mass market strategy’ for Android”

It's easy to get access to the billing relationship. You just have to figure out how to get access to “Me”. We showed your partner Patrick how to do that awhile ago. Once Google have access to three critical pieces of information it's all over. The pieces are (real time) who I am, what I am (device characteristics) and where I am. Then the carriers become pipes. This problem has already been solved and Patrick has seen it demoed.

Cheers,

Peter
http://www.5o9inc.com

“We saw that with the first generation iPhone. Lots of people admired the device but were quite happy to sign-up to another 18-month contract and get a new boring Sony Ericsson candybar. Because it was ‘free’ whilst the iPhone was, comparatively, very, very expensive.”

Absolutely true, but iPhone vs Andriod incentives isn't an apples to apples comparison. The iPhone is complete device, soup-to-nuts, with Apple as the device manufacturer. Google/Andriod is merely a SW platform from which a manufacturer will created a finished product. It'll primarily be up to HTC, etc to incentivize carriers on their phones, as with any other of their models.

Agreed, but whatever way you look at it, there's an expectation —
particularly from the General Public that a 'Google Phone' should work or at
least be similar to the iPhone.

2008/9/17 Disqus <>

It'll be interesting to see just how 'Google' the Google phone turns out to be. Meaning, after the first few Android models are released, how much will the mass market care about the phone's Andriod OS vs the Manufacturer/Model/Carrier it's running on. For the most part, normobs don't care much what their underlying OS is. Andriod may not change that as much as we think (or hope).

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