Feeds

The curse of Google?: Android licensees fail to cash in

Brand-slut buyers have no loyalty

High performance access to file storage

Google's Android is now in almost half the world's smartphones – but licensees are finding that quod eos nutrit eos destruit – or what nourishes them destroys them.

Figures from research company Canalys released this week certainly show booming growth in Android devices. Android is grabbing 48 per cent of the smartphone market worldwide, up 379 per cent from a year ago, in a market that is growing like Topsy.

But the success isn't translating to the bottom line – nor is it establishing much of a brand.

One observation caught my eye. Nokia's failure to update Symbian or supersede with something more attractive means its left a vacuum for more competitive products from rivals.

"Samsung has failed to fully capitalise on Nokia's weakened state around the world, as the Finnish company rides out a challenging transitional period," noted Canalys principal analyst, Chris Jones.

Android is very much the "generic" platform, but being generic, it brings no brand sizzle to the manufacturer. Expensive efforts to differentiate their Android handsets from others are turning out to be a waste of time. That was one of Symbian's founding principles, and it's coming true.

Samsung scores highly in user satisfaction surveys, but buyers remain promiscuous – once they have their smartphone, they feel they owe the manufacturer very little gratitude. There's no brand loyalty.

So, when the market stops growing, what will manufacturers do?

It's not as if they'll have built up huge cash warchests. Estimates vary on how much profit manufacturers are taking home: here's a recent one. It's still Apple, and decreasingly, RIM. There's a few pickings for HTC and Samsung. The others, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and LG, aren't seeing any positive revenue from Android.

Eventually something has to give, because being in business is about profit, not market share. The operators long to fork Android, because they don't want Google creaming off service revenue. I expect this to be a certainty – I only wonder how many forks there will be in this drawer. ®

Bootnote

Windows has raced to 1pc market share – showing how much work Nokia has to do.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.