It has been in the last month or two that Android has truely popped up on my radar. Last year I read many articles and market reports on the rise of what as been dubbed “the killer open source platform”, which to be fair is the case in the US. But in Australia it has been relatively quiet.
It is very hard to predict the future of mobile devices, so I tend to use 3 key indicators to identify early shifts:
- Listening to our client preferences for new applications
- Paying attention to our extended networks, and their opinions as hardware vendors, developers and users who determine what will come next
- The daily commute – watching people on public transport and on the street, and observing their interactions with their phone. This in conjunction with a basic count (6 iPhone 3Gs, 7 iPhone 4, 1 BBerry, 3 Andoird enabled, 0 Windows 7)
The basic count method is flawed as Nokia (and other) users dont have great access to engaging content, and use their phones when they ring. Ill cover this in another post.
I think the third indicator is the most interesting. Something Apple taught us was that technical excellence does not make a killer product. It needs to be ‘cool’, it needs to look good and absorb its user any time they choose. Today we use our phone and its customisations (apps) to make a social statement and to be entertained.
Back to Android, it is now ticking the “customisation” box, there are an increasing number of apps available and at last count it was 90,000. This alone will increase the number of users as buying a Samsung Galaxy with the Android Marketplace means you are part of a club.
So according to the indicators, clients are asking for Android apps, our networks of vendors and programmers are pushing Android and there are more people on my daily commute absorbed in Android handsets. But are Android handsets ‘cool’?