Yesterday, Dutch media guru @erwblo tweeted an interesting question. Erwin wondered whether Android users are aware that their phone runs Google’s mobile OS. People around me usually are, and in my experience, they usually consciously choose Android over other options.
But others chimed in and it seems that at least a portion of Android users are unaware that their Samsung or HTC phone is powered by the cute little green robot.
Market vs. Play
This made me wonder about Google’s brand strategy. In order for “Now available on Android” ad slogans to work, it’s essential that users know they own an Android-powered phone, and can download the app. And up until recently, Google had one essential app that was fully Android-branded, Android Market. But Market became Play, and with that move, the age of the robot all but came to an end.
New phones now will have Play pre-installed, and judging from screenshots I’ve seen from the HTC One series, Samsung’s Galaxy SIII and Galaxy Nexus, their end-user experience is pretty much Android-free.
I think this is a potential threat to the Android ecosystem. It’s essential that if Google starts pushing the Play brand instead of Android, vendors do the same. And whatever it’s called, the OS and the ecosystem should be a selling point for the phone or tablet. I get the feeling that Samsung prefers to push it’s own Galaxy brand, and doesn’t mind customers not knowing about Android. This to me seems short-sighted, and it doesn’t do Google justice.
So what do you think? Will we be talking about Galaxies two years from now? Play-phones? Or will the mechanical man prevail?