April 20, 2014

Tsk Tsk Sunday Times

tsk_tskI came across a piece from The Sunday Times yesterday that I felt compelled to ‘respond’ to.  It’s a misleading article and only appears somewhat researched. This will not be a line-by-line response – I’ll just point out a few things that didn’t sit so well with me.

Let’s start with the title which is “Google fails to squeeze into smartphone market‘.  Ouch.  Seeing this, one would get the sense that Google has already packed it it after failing to get Android off the ground.  Not only are they squeezing into the market, but they’re doing quite well for themselves.  Take a look at AdMob’s latest (worldwide) numbers which show Android ahead of Windows Mobile, on par with BlackBerry and headed right for Apple.

Further into the article, there’s a quote from Harry Wang, an analyst at Parks Associates who says, “After the G1 was introduced I expected more products to arrive featuring Android. The pace is so slow.”  Yes, we’d all love to have had more Android handsets by now, but we’re not surprised.  It takes an average of around 18 months to get phones from concept to finished product.  While Android is supposed to speed the process along, I wouldn’t call the pace so slow.  We’ve just crossed the 18 month threshold and already have 3 HTC phones and a Samung on the streets.

Wang mentions that people love Apple for the customer experience and that so far Android hasn’t offered much in that regard.  You can’t have it both ways Harry.  Do you want an army of ‘me too’ phones or a choice between hard unique customer experiences?  One takes longer than the other.

I’m sure there would be more phones out by now if handset makers wanted to simply load stock Android 1.5 on them.  Fortunately for all of us, many of them are putting their own UI on top of Android to help differentiate them.  Once these companies have systems in place, they’ll be able to pump them out the door.

It’s an uphill battle trying to evangelize Android and get people turned on to the platform.  It’s especially challenging when sites with a reach like The Sunday Times stand in the way.