2010 looks set to be the year of Android with mobile makers and telcos alike backing Google’s open-source OS for a bumper year.
However Android has been slow to take off in Australia says Tyler McGee Vice President of Telecommunications for Samsung Australia.
McGee told APC that â€œAndroid is hampered by low level of consumer awarenessâ€ on the local market
â€œThere are pockets of people who know what Android is although general awareness is still quite low in Australia and it has a low presence at retail. But as more Android devices come from the major players in future this will boost awareness and when you have more of a range at retail will have more impact on consumers.â€
although it still plays safe with the design specs and UI
Samsung will be part of that push with McGee saying the Korean colossus â€œwill continue to grow the Android market with new devices this year.â€
These phones are likely to sport more of a customised UI compared to Android’s standard ‘out of the box’ interface.
â€œWe get a little but hung up about platforms to a degree but the top layer user experience should be the same whether you pick up an Android or Bada or Windows Mobile device from usâ€ McGee said. â€œWe’ve learnt a lot from the Icon Galaxy and that will help us in the evolution of what were going to being in future Android devices.â€
Telstra is also bolshie on the prospects for Android with the carrier committing to launch its first Android handset in April.
Ross Fielding Telstra’s Executive Director of Wireless Applications and Services told APC that the carrier’s pricing on the HTC Desire (shown above) â€œis going to be very aggressiveâ€ in order to ensure it lands in the palms and pockets of punters during Telstra’s three-month exclusivity period on the handset.
â€œThe Desire is great around social networking and getting customers online. We see a massive opportunity for growthâ€ Fielding predicts
Paramount to that would be educating the market on smartphones as a category rather than Android as a platform says Fielding.
â€œIt comes down to asking what’s the underlying OS versus what you do with the phone. The OS allows all sort of online use and social networking and access to services but it’s probably more important for us to educate the market on what you do with your smartphone.The underlying OS is less interesting although app stores come to the fore in that discussion.â€