I’m not going to bore you with NASDAQ nonsense and talk quarterly numbers I know little about. All I am going to say is that Android could be in trouble.
As you probably know there exists such a thing as Mobile OS Market Share represented by Android, Apple, Microsoft, Symbian, a couple others and now Tizen.
For some time after it’s release Android occupied only a tenth or so of that pie. From 2012 until now the mobile OS mogul has taken up nearly half if not more. But this year Apple got hungry and took a bigger slice. Shipments of Apple devices have risen 46% where as units shipped running Android have fallen by 16%.
This next part is a bit opinionated, but I’d like you to bear with me. It’s strongly worded, maybe, but reasonable.
Personally, I believe the blame falls partly, if not mostly, on Samsung. People got tired of buying the same phone year after year with promises of more power, metal bodies, better performance, stability etc. And instead were delivered year after year, no promises, no metal, only disappointment and plastic.
What once were Galaxy S and S Note owners are now iPhone 6 and 6 plus owners.
The rest of the blame, of course, rests on Google’s shoulders.
My question is what can they do to take a bigger bite?
First thing is first, skinning. HTC Sense sure is nice, and companies need their brand to be recognized, but how many OEM’s are skinning their devices these days? Enough is enough. Be gone with it, Google! I realize there must be some law in place, and I also realize that progress doesn’t happen over night, but c’mon, guys. The Android logo at boot and a few advertisement’s are a sure start, but you need to step it up. And fast.
The whole of smartphone consumers need to be able to handle any Android device, whether it be LG or HTC and know first and foremost their phone is Android powered. I can almost guarantee that at least 60% of smartphone users are completely unaware of the presence of Android in their device. On the other hand, when presented with an iPhone, people know without question there’s Apple inside.
At one time there was a solution to this problem, and I believe it the only solution. Android Silver. Under this initiative, Google would contract with Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony etc. and offer premium devices showcasing stock Android and minimal bloat, if any at all.
It would be the equivalent of Verizon, ATT and T-Mobile offering Google Play Edition devices at their retail locations.
But of course each manufacturer would need to stand out from the other. In this respect HTC could offer an Android Silver device in Aluminum featuring Boomsound™ speakers and a duo snapper, while Samsung could… Um… LG’s Silver line on the other hand could come equipped with Laser Auto Focus and rear situated volume/power buttons and so on and so forth for each OEM. This would produce a variety amongst Android devices while maintaining consistency (Material Design, here’s looking at you) Variety being something Apple lacks while consistency is something their users enjoy.
Now, I realize this is easier said than done. It would take several months if not a year or more just to coordinate and organize such a campaign. Tack on time for development and production, you’re looking at a year and a half to two years minimum. My best guess. Keep in mind that the concept of Android Silver was conceived some time ago, and this years Nexus was supposedly to be the first ever in a line of Silver devices.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, Googles lead in Carrier and Manufacturer relations decided to abandon the initiative, thus leaving Google with no choice but to put Android Silver “on hold”.
But hey. At least there’s Android One…
Bottom line is something needs to be done. Either Google steps up it’s mobile game or it expands further and deeper into other areas of technology, sacrificing it’s loyal user base and market share along the way.
Does anyone else share my concern or have some insight they’d like to share? Use the comment section below!
Posted By A Living, Breathing, Android Enthusiast.