Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th Oct 2013 09:48 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

I think many who extol Android's flexibility fall into the tinkerer category, including some tech bloggers. They love all the ways they can customize their phones, not because they're seeking some perfect setup, but because they can swap in a new launcher every week. That's fun for them; but they've made the mistake of not understanding how their motivation differs from the rest of us.

A whopping 70%-80% of the world's smartphone owners have opted for Android over iOS. You could easily argue that 3-4 years ago, when Android was brand new, that it was for early adopters and tinkerers. To still trot out this ridiculous characterisation now that Android is on the vast majority of smartphones sold is borderline insanity.

Choice is not Android's problem. People who assume out of a misplaced arrogance that they represent the average consumer are the problem.

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RE: It's cheap
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 16th Oct 2013 10:43 UTC in reply to "It's cheap"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

That's why it's been adopted so broadly. Nothing more, nothing less. Android phones, depending on the model, are some of the cheapest smart phones a person can purchase right now.


The most popular Android phones are expensive flagships. That makes no sense.

None of my friends or family are likely to ever buy an Android phone again.


Virtually everyone I know with an Android phone has a high-end one. I've never even seen any of the low-end devices you speak of.

Then again, Samsung has a 75% market share in The Netherlands, driven almost exclusively by the Galaxy SII/III/4.

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: It's cheap
by Nelson on Wed 16th Oct 2013 11:01 in reply to "RE: It's cheap"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Here in the states these cheapo phones are everywhere. Android 2.3 phones that are basically thrown at people, I wouldn't be surprised if they're included in cereal boxes.

Which by itself wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't such a terrible experience. The devices themselves are the definition of bad compromises and the OS on them is a terrible, terrible experience.

Its probably an even mix though, I see a lot of high end phones (though subsidized pricing always skews this stateside) and low end phones, and some more reasonable phones which aren't too bad.

Then of course its pretty much an iPhone fest over here too.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: It's cheap
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 16th Oct 2013 11:20 in reply to "RE[2]: It's cheap"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Here in the states these cheapo phones are everywhere. Android 2.3 phones that are basically thrown at people, I wouldn't be surprised if they're included in cereal boxes.


I just realised something - with 20% of the US living in - by Dutch standards - extreme poverty, the prevalence of these cheap phones in the US actually makes sense.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[3]: It's cheap
by Lurking_Grue on Wed 16th Oct 2013 18:14 in reply to "RE[2]: It's cheap"
Lurking_Grue Member since:
2013-03-15

Here in the states I see the reverse, mostly I run across flagship phones.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: It's cheap
by ichi on Wed 16th Oct 2013 11:13 in reply to "RE: It's cheap"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Virtually everyone I know with an Android phone has a high-end one. I've never even seen any of the low-end devices you speak of.

Then again, Samsung has a 75% market share in The Netherlands, driven almost exclusively by the Galaxy SII/III/4.


Same over here, I guess it depends on the country.

I don't know what's Samsung's marketshare in Spain but Android as a whole accounts for over 90%.

It's weird though, considering the financial crisis and our high unemployment rate, that pretty much everyone seems to be carrying a flagship device (usually a Galaxy, and always subsidized by carriers).

If price alone was a decisive factor Nokia has some pretty cheap phones with decent advertisement for carriers' subsidized models, and yet WP's marketshare is close to cero.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[3]: It's cheap
by Lennie on Wed 16th Oct 2013 17:29 in reply to "RE[2]: It's cheap"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

It because it is subsidized by the carriers, people might not have a lot of money, but paying a much smaller amount every month seems possible.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: It's cheap
by ddc_ on Wed 16th Oct 2013 12:42 in reply to "RE: It's cheap"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Virtually everyone I know with an Android phone has a high-end one. I've never even seen any of the low-end devices you speak of.

I use HTC Desire S ("saga"), which is not exactly the flagship device (though not exectly low-end either). I run CyanogenMod, and I am fully satisfied. My relative (female with CS education) also uses saga, but her phone still runs stock firmware. She's also satisfied. My father switched from iPhone 3G to low-end Lenovo model, and he finds the latter superrior. (And I can barely stand Lenovo's firmware.) And I'm yet to see an Android user satisfied with iPhone after switching to it. In fact I've never seen anybody satisfied with iPhone after using Android.

User experience is individual. The fact that people I know switch to Android doesn't mean that everybody does so, as well as any others' friends exactly represent market trends.

Edited 2013-10-16 12:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: It's cheap
by Tony Swash on Wed 16th Oct 2013 13:20 in reply to "RE: It's cheap"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"That's why it's been adopted so broadly. Nothing more, nothing less. Android phones, depending on the model, are some of the cheapest smart phones a person can purchase right now.


The most popular Android phones are expensive flagships. That makes no sense.

None of my friends or family are likely to ever buy an Android phone again.


Virtually everyone I know with an Android phone has a high-end one. I've never even seen any of the low-end devices you speak of.

Then again, Samsung has a 75% market share in The Netherlands, driven almost exclusively by the Galaxy SII/III/4.
"


In terms of global sales the vast Asian markets are a very significant proportion of the Android market. Those sales are usually listed as 'Other' in Android sales by vendor tables. The 'Other' category is often the largest.

This is a good example:

http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/screen-shot-201...

Note that the Galaxy range only seems to account for about a half of the Samsung phone sales total.

Not many of those 'Other' phones are high end. What is happening is that low cost Android phones are replacing dumb phones. Because quite a few of those new smart phone owners are not actually seeking to upgrade to a smart phone to use it as a computing or app platform (they just want to replace an old phone, get a bigger better screen, etc) there is relatively low level platform engagement amongst many of these up-graders.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: It's cheap
by ichi on Wed 16th Oct 2013 13:55 in reply to "RE[2]: It's cheap"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Not many of those 'Other' phones are high end.


I don't know, China is getting a new crop of smartphones that kinda trounce the concept of high end being expensive.

Eg. Xiaomi has been releasing phones that top those of Samsung both in performance and design for half the price off contract. According Xiaomi their latest phone sold 100k devices in 90 seconds at launch... which is not that much compared to the numbers of the big players but then it was launched only in China.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: It's cheap
by Deviate_X on Wed 16th Oct 2013 15:16 in reply to "RE: It's cheap"
Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

"That's why it's been adopted so broadly. Nothing more, nothing less. Android phones, depending on the model, are some of the cheapest smart phones a person can purchase right now.


The most popular Android phones are expensive flagships. That makes no sense.

....

Then again, Samsung has a 75% market share in The Netherlands, driven almost exclusively by the Galaxy SII/III/4.
"


Here's some data from appbrain on the subject, i could not tell you which phones are bad or good. But you can see that the S4 is just 8% of the entire Android market. Other flagship Android phones (HTC One) aren't even appearing list.

http://www.appbrain.com/stats/top-android-phones

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: It's cheap
by arcterex on Wed 16th Oct 2013 18:51 in reply to "RE: It's cheap"
arcterex Member since:
2007-08-14

Just because the people *you* know use high end androids doesn't mean anything (no offense). From what I understand from talking to my android using (and advocating) friends about fragmentation of the OS versions (something like 30% of android is still on 2.2 IIRC), the reason for this is tons of cheap phones sold in india/china/etc that are as close to feature phones as you can get. In north america I think we have a far different view of iOS vs Android and what our friends and family uses.

On one hand the "Fandroids" will boast that they have bigger numbers, 70% of the market, a bazillion activations a day, etc.

On the other hand when you bring up OS fragmentation, they (and in this case I am meaning my two raving android fanboy friends), they handwave away the 30% running an ancient OS because those are just throwaway phones who's owners would never buy apps anyway.

FYI the original discussion was about OS fragmentation and the burden it gives developers of android apps vs ios apps where the adoption rate of new OSs is very fast and the distribution of iOS versions in the market is MUCH more skewed to newer versions, and therefor it's easier for iOS developers to use the new shiny APIs to do interesting things.

Just a thought.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: It's cheap
by WereCatf on Wed 16th Oct 2013 19:41 in reply to "RE[2]: It's cheap"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Just because the people *you* know use high end androids doesn't mean anything (no offense).


From what I understand from talking to my android using (and advocating) friends


You do realize that you're dismissing his anecdotal evidence and then you just go on and offer your own anecdotal evidence instead?

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: It's cheap
by fabrica64 on Sun 20th Oct 2013 02:55 in reply to "RE: It's cheap"
fabrica64 Member since:
2013-09-19

Thom
"People who assume out of a misplaced arrogance that they represent the average consumer are the problem."
Seems you are talking about yourself...
Outside US and Europe (and even in US and Europe) people choose Android mostly because it's on cheap smartphones
The fact your friends are all using top Android smartphone is just, as you said, "misplaced arrogance"

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: It's cheap
by bassbeast on Sun 20th Oct 2013 12:38 in reply to "RE: It's cheap"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Sorry but the other guy is right which is why the latest charts still have Gingerbread holding at 1/3 of the install base,its because GB will run fast on weaker hardware.

Hell I'll be the first to admit that even though I've been on Windows since the early 90s I went Android and it came down to cost. I tend to be hard on phones and when my contract expired I wanted something that wouldn't make me bummed if I broke it and one of the prepaid carriers here in the states had Android GB phones at just $25 a pop without any contracts to deal with. The bitch for Google is these GB phones? Are actually quite nice to use, the phone is responsive, pages load quickly and comparing it to the Galaxy III a friend has mine seem to load apps and pages quicker than hers.

At the end of the day price will be the deciding factor for a LOT of folks and when you can get dual core Android phones for less than $100 here without contract? Well its really not a hard choice to make.

Reply Parent Score: 2