Amidst all this fervor over Apple releasing the iPhone 4, another story is slipping through the cracks, and that is that Steve Jobs may want to start looking over his shoulder for a little green robot coming his way.
On the first day of iPhone 4 pre-orders, Apple boasted that it sold 600,000 units. That is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but what else do you expect from the first day of sales of a highly publicized and desired phone? Come back and tell me how it’s doing on a day-to-day basis for me to be more impressed with the numbers.
All of this comes up because at the press conference to announce the Droid X from Verizon, Google’s Andy Rubin announced that 160,000 Android-powered devices are being activated each day. Just this past May at the Google I/O conference, the number announced was 100,000 devices were being activated each day, so we’re not sure why there was a 60 percent jump in activations in such a short amount of time, but that’s what is being put forth.
They also boasted about the Android Marketplace now having 68.000 “apps” in it, but the Android definition of “App” is a bit loose as it includes sound boards, wallpapers and so on.
The thing is, why isn’t Android getting as much coverage from the media as the iPhone? True, it’s still only about nine percent of the market compared to Apple’s 28 percent, but if it’s growing by leaps and bounds, why aren’t more people getting excited about it?
Simple: It has no unified face.
If someone puts up a picture of an iPhone, everyone knows what it is instantly even if there is nothing on the screen at the time. If you put up a picture of an Android phone, even with the OS visible, well, there’s still some question of what it is. If it’s running the HTC Sense overlay, it looks different than the Google Nexus One and so on. While the ability to customize Android is a blessing, it could also be viewed as a curse from a promotional viewpoint.
And, lets be blunt, Android is suffering from a severe lack of a “sexy” handset. They tend to be either a tad clunky looking, like the European version of the HTC Hero, or they just look like any other number of phones on the market. They just aren’t as pretty to look at as an iPhone, and I think that is definitely hurting some of its mass appeal.
The numbers certainly say that Android is still selling a goodly number of phones, but the disparity in the amount of coverage the two phones get is surprising. Apparently the little green robot needs a better press agent.
What say you? Do you think it’s odd Android could be selling this many phones per day, but yet it gets nowhere near the coverage the iPhone does?