Every telecom enthusiast has been waiting eagerly for the release of the new Android. However, marketing and branding experts have been watching as well. This new piece of technology may become one of the marketing success stories of our decade.
Between the first and second quarters of 2010, Android’s sales grew by an astonishing 350 per cent, while the overall market remained barely stable. This means a much larger market share for this new mobile phone.
Android is likely to be a dominant force in the smart phone market in the foreseeable future, and it is easy to see why. The branding is excellent. The logo features a small stylized robot, cute and yet straightforward at the same time. This is sure to appeal to a generation that grew up with positive associations with technology.
Further, the brand is all about flexibility, adapting the software to your life, your choice of telephone and your choice of carrier. This appeals to the modern consumer, because no one likes to feel caged in by their own technology. The sense is that the little robot in the well known telecom logo design is the user’s personal servant.
Second, Android is dedicated to changing with the times and constantly updating its products. While iPhone’s glitches are being correctly at a snail’s pace, Android seems almost feverish in identifying and resolving new issues. New versions come out around twice a year, and new handsets carrying this software are increasing every month as customers learn to ask for this operating system by name. Unlike Apple, Android made no exclusive contracts, allowing people from almost all mobile phone carriers to use their product from the very beginning. This may be a large part of brand momentum.
Can the egalitarianism of the Android compete with the exclusive, technologically savvy feeling of an Apple product? So far, the answer is yes. In fact, Android phone sales are surpassing that of the iPhone quickly, in part because there are so many different handsets available.
Even iPhone apps are feeling the squeeze. It has been predicted that Android application downloads will surpass iPhone’s in the next five year, especially in key markets such as Asia and the Pacific. Google even has announced the development of an Android App Inventor which will allow users to create their own apps and share them with others.
Apple’s tech-savvy ‘geek’ base is beginning to switch. Key bloggers are proclaiming the advantages of the Android and fellow techies are listening. For many, the decision is about choice: being able to choose a handset and service carrier that suits them best instead of letting a company make all the decisions.
Will Apple bounce back from this blow to their brand? Although Android seems poised to dominate the field, there is no predicting what is going on behind the closed doors at Apple. One thing is certain: if Apple can come out with a system even more multi-functional and flexible than Android, the telecom war will have officially begun.