Monday, December 07, 2009

Somebody better build a sexy Android phone for Europe soon

I was reading an IDC statement the other day about Android in Europe:
Android OS continued to grow its market share from 4.2% in 2Q09 to 5.4% in 3Q09. Several operators listed Android devices in 3Q09 for the first time, which helped Android shipments to grow, though consumers steer clear of Google's OS and sell-out is below everyone's expectations. Consumers recognize the Google brand, but still do not understand what Android is.
Once again, I do not think anyone in Europe buys a phone for what is inside. The fact there is Android in a phone does not matter. Not that much inside the phone matters.

What matters is the outside. It is the look.

Yes, you can claim that with Android you can now take a picture of a book and have the book name show up in a search. And you can do the same with business cards and touristic spots. Or search by voice. Or show your friends augmented reality. That is super cool.

If you are a geek.

Sorry, if you are not a geek looking for a geeky companion, you are not going to score showing off your Android phone. Actually, you better keep it in your pocket.

I am not saying this is true only in Europe. But we Europeans do look at what you wear and at what you carry. You get judged based on the color of your socks (if you are Italian, you know what I am talking about...). Your image is important to you and it is reflected on what you wear and carry (purse or phone, same thing). We Americans (cool to be able to talk about both without taking sides ;-) are not looking at people that way. Not in Silicon Valley, not around the part of the country I have been to. What you do matters a lot more. And if you can find a product by its barcode and save a buck or two, you might even be considered cool. Actually, geek is kinda cool, at least in the Valley (now you know why I moved here 10 years ago :-)

For Android to sell hard in Europe, we need a sexy device. Something that sends out the right message to the people around you (your message). Something that matches your purse, shoes or belt.

I haven't seen one in the market yet. Until there is one, I fear Android will not take off in Europe. However, I guess it is just a matter of time. There are so many device manufacturers on it that we'll probably see one or two in 2010.