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How Android Phone Makers Are Missing the Marketing Boat

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-must-have-some-steak-with-the-sizzle dept.

Android 373

An anonymous reader writes "Why are Android device commercials showing giant robots and lightning bolts and not advertising features? Here is an interesting blog post of things Android device manufacturers could be doing to get ahead of Apple, but aren't." On a similar front, as a mostly happy Android user, I must admit envy for the jillions of accessories marketed for the iPhone, especially ones that take advantage of that Apple-only accessory port; maybe the Android Open Accessory project will help.

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373 comments

Marketing and user experience (4, Insightful)

nepka (2501324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965740)

It's because Android devices are marketed for nerds, by nerds. And nerds don't understand marketing or user experience. You can see it with Linux. Even if the Android advertisements would include features, I have a strong feeling it would be something like "Freedom! 1 GHz processor! 128MB RAM!", ie. just listing specs. That isn't interesting. Users don't know what and why. They don't need to know the specs. In this day and age everyone has lots of things to do, and contrary to popular Slashdot belief, normal people have no need to learn such things. Hell, there's many things I could learn and which would improve my daily life, but I rather learn more about things that really matter and interest to me - that being computers and everything related. At the same time I can see everyone is the same way, but about other things. I don't expect them to know computers or what I know, and they don't expect me to know everything either. Then you can just laught it off. That's being social, something nerds are really bad with.

What most nerds don't get about advertising and user experience is WHY. What can this do to me and why? "What do I get out of the freedom of Android (or Linux)?" It needs to be something that the user, the normal user, actually cares about. As a side note, I honestly can't think of any reason the freedom of Linux would provide to casual users, compared to Windows and OSX. That is probably the reason why Linux still isn't on desktop. It's also what Stallman constantly forgets to mention and just comes out as an asshole trying to force everyone to FOSS.

The iPhone ad shown in the article is actually perfect. It answers why, it shows what you can do and it doesn't go on and on about things users don't directly care about, like processor speed. Hell, I'm a geek and that ad made me want to buy iPhone (and on top of that iPad too!). The Android advertisement just left me thinking if it's an advertisement for some movie or wtf.

Re:Marketing and user experience (3, Insightful)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965790)

No it's because iPhones are marketed like wine. The people who buy them are going to love them at least somewhat based upon owning something of "quality". Something that's exclusive. Something that's better than what you have, because it is. And much like wine, you're never going to convince them that Android has all the same features. Because they have a price differential to prove otherwise.
Granted at one point the iPhone was far ahead. But it has long since become about the cachet of being able to afford the device and data plan. My wife voice tweets on her $120 unsubsidized android phone with an unlimited data plan for $35/month. Yet somehow that's not as impressive as a device with Siri and a $199 subsidized phone and a $90/month plan.

Re:Marketing and user experience (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965836)

Yeah, because Android users don't have contracts or subsidized phone. Get real. The vast majority of Android users are paying the same price for voice and data as their Apple and Blackberry loving counterparts. The vast majority of Android users are also using a subsidized phones and, yes, many of the leading Android phones are going for prices that are in line with their iPhone cousins.
 
So you're dead wrong. While some Android device might be able to be got for a lower price point and while you may be able to get them with a cheaper data plan, the vast majority of Android users simply aren't doing this.

Re:Marketing and user experience (2)

Jumperalex (185007) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966214)

You missed his point ... it isn't about what the average android user has blah blah blah ... it is about his specific example where EVEN CHEAPER AND UNSUBSIDIZED his wife STILL isn't as impressed as a the more expensive option with Siri.

In fact, you're being so obtuse you don't even realize that you and tthomas48 AGREE.

Re:Marketing and user experience (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965868)

Meh, most of the big name android devices cost the same as the newest iphone, with service plans that cost the same.

Thing is, you can attack the problem from a price perspective or you can try to go head-to-head against apple in their own court. You can't really do both.

Porsche and VW have been down this road. You have to keep things very separate or one messes up the other. To some people an Android phone is that dogshit $100 phone that looks and works terribly. To others its the insanely crazy (and iphone-expensive) galaxy. Selling the two next to each is bad news... but that's how it goes with an OS deployed over a gajillion devices.

I see us heading to a bazaar situation in mobile some day. A real one. And then apple is going to get kicked out on their ass again, just like they did in the PC market when commoditized home computers yanked the market out from under them.

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966398)

I see us heading to a bazaar situation in mobile some day. A real one. And then apple is going to get kicked out on their ass again, just like they did in the PC market when commoditized home computers yanked the market out from under them.

We can only hope...

Re:Marketing and user experience (3, Interesting)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965900)

Siri is a lot more impressive than Android's voice functionality, which is basically just voice-to-text with the ability to say "call X", "send text to X", or "navigate to X" tacked on. iCloud is similarly impressive.

Yes, I can do almost all of those things with Android, using Dropbox and Flickr and Amazon, but with Apple you can just turn on iCloud and you're done. No setup required. If saving $60/mo is a really important thing to you, then you're not Apple's target market. They sell to people who have plenty of money and don't want to have to think about their technology. And the iPhone 4S, despite lacking 4G, is in most ways the best phone on the market. When you get down to it, now that Apple stole the notification bar, the primary reason I still use Android is Swype.

Re:Marketing and user experience (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966014)

I don't have Siri, but pretty much everything I've read about it indicates that it isn't reliable. Voice to text that works is going to beat speech recognition that doesn't work reliably any day of the week.

$60 a month is a lot of money, perhaps your independently wealthy, but for most people that is a lot of money that they could be using for other things. That's just about more than the cost of a voice plan around here.

Re:Marketing and user experience (3, Interesting)

danomac (1032160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966104)

The morning of the iPhone 4S the news crew was out downtown talking to a new owner who waited all night for one. He was like "this Siri thing is cool" and asked the phone for the local weather, and it gave him the current time... on camera. That was pretty funny.

I've experienced the same thing with the voice control on my Galaxy S, so I stopped using it. It took longer to get it to do what I wanted with voice than to just type it in.

Re:Marketing and user experience (2)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966218)

I have Siri and have always hated voice control for the last decade. Siri is about 70% successful in practice when you can't use the full interface (mainly, while driving). That ain't bad.

And I think issues are being confused:

1) feature phone vs. smart phone
2) android smart phone vs. Apple smart phone

You can make a good argument for whether $25-30 / mo (I don't know where $60 / mo is coming from) diff between feature and smart phone is worth the jump from EVDO data to 3G data with another $10 / mo going to additional subsidy, but that isn't exclusive to Apple that is equally an issue with a Feature phone vs. RIM/Blackberry or low end Android vs. high end.

Re:Marketing and user experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966472)

I'm not really sure where the $60 came from, but the GGP used it. I would assume that it has something to do with the cost of the iCloud though.

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966140)

iCloud impressive? shees.

Android did all this sync stuff, from day one, way better (compare, for example, picasa photo albums with the mess that are iCloud streams)

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966224)

Where are you getting $60/mo? With most carriers the spread between feature phone and smart phone is $25-30/mo.

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966220)

No it's because iPhones are marketed like wine. The people who buy them are going to love them at least somewhat based upon owning something of "quality".

Partly. I bought my latest iPhone to replace the gen1 iPhone I had previously purchased second hand. At the time, android was still beIng tested, and the iPhone was better than my razr and Nokia candybar, and about 75% as useful for Internet stuff as my old Linux iPaq (but it actually fit in my pocket!). The iPhone4 was purchased due to laziness and lockin. Had I expended effort to port my data, I would have purchased an n900 just before Nokia whored itself out to Microsoft. Sure glad I didn't make the mistake of buying a Nokia based on the name, or I'd have a(n admittedly great) phone with no promise of a new one homogeneity to when it dies. I'll being buying an android next as Apple's ios5 has made my iphone4 run dog slow (when it used to be super fast).

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966256)

promise of a new one homogeneity to when it dies

@&#%ing iPhone word replacement. "promise of a new one to upgrade to when it dies"

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965806)

Even if the Android advertisements would include features, I have a strong feeling it would be something like "Freedom! 1 GHz processor! 128MB RAM!", ie. just listing specs. That isn't interesting. Users don't know what and why.

OK. Then if you were a manufacturer that made phones with say, 32 GB (let's assume that's double the maximum everything else), market it?

Re:Marketing and user experience (4, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965826)

Even if the Android advertisements would include features, I have a strong feeling it would be something like "Freedom! 1 GHz processor! 128MB RAM!", ie. just listing specs. That isn't interesting. Users don't know what and why.

OK. Then if you were a manufacturer that made phones with say, 32 GB (let's assume that's double the maximum everything else), market it?

I dunno, but I'll ask Siri.

Re:Marketing and user experience (0)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965960)

How your bandwidth after asking Siri all those dumb questions?

Re:Marketing and user experience (3, Insightful)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966110)

About 63 kB per Siri query [arstechnica.com] .

In other words, I could use Siri 6 or 7 times, and still consume less "bandwidth" (data) than loading the mobile version of Slashdot's front page (418 kB when I checked just now).

Re:Marketing and user experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966094)

Oh it's up and running today?

Re:Marketing and user experience (4, Insightful)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965954)

Market what you can do with that extra storage, not that is has extra storage. "7500 songs or 20 hours of movies". Market benefits, not specs.

Re:Marketing and user experience (-1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966142)

"7500 songs" is just as bad as that Libraries of Congress shit. Some songs last 3-4 minutes, some run for 7-9. Bitrate can also change the total count significantly. What's more, users usually don't know how many songs they have. A better measurement would be a "74-minute CD", but it still depends on the bitrate.

Re:Marketing and user experience (4, Insightful)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966272)

Oh my god. No one cares about that bullshit! You just estimate a song at 3:30 and say 256kbps and multiply it out! Your mother is not going to flip through her music collection and sue the phone maker because she only got 3/4ths the number of songs promised. And most likely, if someone has that much music or that unusual of a collection, they'll figure out ahead of time if it will fit!

Re:Marketing and user experience (0)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965962)

Why would the average user care about having more storage space on a phone? If I want to carry around a bunch of large files, I'll buy an SD card or USB stick.

Re:Marketing and user experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966010)

I don't think it's about not marketing it at all, it's about where and how. Appeal to the broader market first.

Publishing your specs on line and those people who are really interested in that will be frothing about it on forums everywhere.

For the "average" person what does it mean though? Really they want to play films, music, take photos, read ebooks, perhaps even make phonecalls etc. Show it doing those things well, the increased memory follows on from those, and the 32GB number probably isn't important - more like has twice the memory of smartphones meaning twice as many films, twice as much music etc. Demonstrating other features such as face recognition isn't perhaps a great differentiation from the competitor, but it does show that your phone can do it, not making an assumption that every consumer understands android and knows it to be a stock feature from v4, whilst this phone has 2.x

Point of sale is also place to upsell on such features, "this one has twice the memory of the others so it can get and extra 10 films on it and 200 more music tracks" (or whatever).

Re:Marketing and user experience (3, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966428)

You wouldn't. Look at what Apple does: they hype Facetime, then Siri, and then when you go to buy that, you have to choose between the economy (16 GB), Regular (32 GB) or Deluxe (64GB) model. Flash or RAM size is not a deciding factor: most people don't really know what it does, everybody has the same, and most have SD card anyway, or had rather not say they don't.

Flash / RAM size is not a key feature. Apps and style are.

Re:Marketing and user experience (0)

heptapod (243146) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965822)

> It's because Android devices are marketed for nerds, by nerds. And nerds don't understand marketing or user experience. You can see it with Linux.

Which is why every one of the last ten years has been hailed as the year of the Linux desktop.

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

qualityassurancedept (2469696) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965930)

I don't know about the "nerds" screed but actually if you focus on the features of Android too much then the seeming advantages could be turned against you at the level of ordinary users. For example, "You are free to write any app you want for your phone and upload it to the Marketplace" can very easily be turned around as "The apps are shoddy and lack proper testing." Or how about "You are free to alter your phones OS any way you want!" which can just as easily be turned around with "First you have to root your phone and then you can do anything you want to it so long as you don't care that you just voided your warranty." In other words, the features of an Android phone were amazing a couple of years ago, but now there is no consistency across all the different hardware versions and the vetting process for what is actually being sold is somewhat lacking compared to the iPhone. The Robot ads are actually pretty good in terms of just creating a sort of mystique about the device that translates into desirability. Of course, the iPhones are more geared toward the features women want and so they are nicer and cute. That doesn't mean they are better. They are marketed to different demographics really.

Re:Marketing and user experience (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965994)

It's because Android devices are marketed for nerds, by nerds. And nerds don't understand marketing or user experience.

Hit the nail on the head. There was a huge contingent here jeering and predicting in dire tones the huge failure of the iPad between its unveiling and release. Some nerds gets filled with nerdrage when tech isn't marketed to them, I guess. They also go about trying to sell products in all the wrong fashion and don't understand what drives people to buy them, and end up calling said (and popular) products crap in some hipster-nerd type of elitism which doesn't exactly bring them closer to understanding the market.

Anyway, from what I read, Apple's users more willingly pay for apps, so developers develop more willingly for iPhone. Since the price difference on iPhone and Android products are miniscule when subsidized, it's going to become a "It's the Apps stupid!" cycle ala Apple vs PC wars, except Apple is going to be on the flip side despite having a smaller base. (Also, less fragmentation of devices is nice for the developer as well, but $$$ is king of course.)

Though I wish Web OS became more popular, iOS and its clone Android has UI quirks that annoy me.

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966006)

It's because Android devices are marketed for nerds, by nerds. And nerds don't understand marketing or user experience.

Never seen HTC's "You" campaign, have you?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lUkF1vVudA [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-QhxjJFl7E [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md52PdldJ1U [youtube.com]

Watch those, and tell me with a straight face that this is advertising for nerds, by nerds, and by people who have no concept what the words "user experience" means.

Incidentally, every phone shown in those 3 ads is an Android phone.

Marketing to no-one (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966172)

Watch those, and tell me with a straight face that this is advertising for nerds, by nerds, and by people who have no concept what the words "user experience" means.

I'll grant you that's not by nerds, for nerds.

But how is that anything about user experience? The ad is TOTALLY devoid of any user experience using the phone, looking out from the phone you know nothing at all about how the phone is to use or what it can do.

I am pretty convinced those kinds of ads (and I've seen them for other products) do nothing whatsoever to drive sales. How could they? Why would I remember HTC in connection to 30 seconds of nothing?

Can YOU honestly say with a straight face any of those ads would compel someone to even think about asking to look at HTC phones in a store, much less go out and get one?

I don't have an iPhone 4s. I have an iPhone 4. I didn't really feel like I needed a new phone right now, so I chose to skip this round... but every time I see a 4s commercial I start to question my choice to skip. Those are powerful ads.

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966300)

You're right those are great commercials. HTC also does a wonderful job of keeping their phones up to data and has a great reputation. Had Verizon not signed Apple I would have gotten an HTC.

I just wish they did battery life.

Another problem (5, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966020)

That ad for what you can do with the iPhone was actually an ad for what you can do with iOS. That works fine for Apple because if they convince you to use iOS the only product you're going to buy is an iPhone.

On the other hand if Motorola puts out an ad highlighting all the things you can do with Android then even if they convince you to get an Android phone there's no guarantee you'll by _their_ Android phone.

This isn't an insurmountable problem, they could split the time between what's good about Android and what's good about their phone, or talk about features of Android without mentioning they're features that _all_ Android phones have. But it probably seems safer to the executives to only focus on what's cool about _their_ phone.

And of course the other thing is that i believe historically commercials that have gone with the whiz-bang appeal have done better than commercials that tried to be informative. As a nerd this always bothered me because i'm more interested in facts than presentation. (Not that i don't enjoy a well done presentation, but i try not to let my purchasing habits be influenced by it.) But i guess the majority of the male 18-35 demographic that commercials always try to aim at doesn't think the same way.

So another question to ask is, what demographic is the Apple commercial appealing to? And is it actually more successful overall than the Android commercials? The iPhone is certainly selling well above any individual Android model, but it's selling well below the total Android ecosystem. If one company switched to similar informative commercials would they actually see an increase in sales? Or is the iPhone's dominance as a single model due to some other factor? Again, as i nerd i actually like the tack the Apple commercial is taking (even if i get offended at all the times they imply, or even state outright, that you can't do the same thing on Android when you most certainly can) but historically appealing to people like me hasn't usually led to widespread market success.

So given all the differences between the Apple/iOS/Apple/iPhone model and the Google/Android/Dozens of companies/hundreds of phones model it's hard to say when comparing marketing strategies and measures of success is valid and when it's comparing, well, apples to oranges.

Re:Another problem (2)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966476)

Good point about Android manufacturers. That's part of the downside of a fragmented marketplace. RIM and Apple just have to sell you on their platform while Android people have to sell you on their particular models, and that's frankly hard when they are so generic. Which is precisely the problem PC manufacturers have had, they are selling a commodity.

The other thing is that Android does well selling to a lot of niches. Android feature phones don't do all the stuff the expensive HTC do either.

What Apple adds work on
"There's an ap for that" = advantage of the app marketplace. Which is a real difference with Android.
"Digital assistant" = advantage of Siri
i-Cloud = advantage of integration
Camera = actual about the technicals an area where the hardware is generally better.

Even the if you look at the earliest commercials they were about the intuitive nature of the apps.

The theme that Apple sells is: It does what you want, easily.
And that goes with Apple's brand identity. Does what you want, easily.

Android's brand identity is "does lots of stuff". Which of course leads the average customer to think "hmmm that Android probably does more stuff than that Apple but does it do the right stuff?" Android marketing plays into this theme. Where Apple has problems is price perception. Android, even Smartphone Androids could advertise the cost and how your monthly bill is a huge subsidy to pay for a $700 phone.

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966048)

I think you're right on the mark with your comment. There is a certain level of snobbery with technonerds that makes them want to feel "above" the average user of technology. I figure it's some form of low self-esteem. Rather than present how a piece of technology can enhance the life of the daily user, the Android commercials seem to be fetishizing the tech for its own sake. Apple addressed this years ago by making products as additions to people's lives rather than devices that will "change" people's lives. The Android/Linux/whatever crowd has not learned this yet.

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966066)

What most nerds don't get about advertising and user experience is WHY. What can this do to me and why? "What do I get out of the freedom of Android (or Linux)?" It needs to be something that the user, the normal user, actually cares about. As a side note, I honestly can't think of any reason the freedom of Linux would provide to casual users, compared to Windows and OSX. That is probably the reason why Linux still isn't on desktop. It's also what Stallman constantly forgets to mention and just comes out as an asshole trying to force everyone to FOSS.

The iPhone ad shown in the article is actually perfect. It answers why, it shows what you can do and it doesn't go on and on about things users don't directly care about, like processor speed. Hell, I'm a geek and that ad made me want to buy iPhone (and on top of that iPad too!). The Android advertisement just left me thinking if it's an advertisement for some movie or wtf.

      It's worse than just that - e.g. that Android fails to market the "why". The big problem is that if you actually try to market it that way, it comes up very, very short. Looking at it from the perspective of the potential buyer (not nerds), it's actually not very good. You get an iPhone, turn on a few things, and forget about it, just use the thing. It's not like that with Android, and they aren't even the same from vendor to vendor.

      Until everyone involved gets that, android and essentially everything involved with open source (Linux and the variations) are going no further than they have - niche products and the source of nerdgasms.

Re:Marketing and user experience (0)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966088)

I wouldn't call Google's marketing nerdy, nor that of other OEMs like Dell, Acer, and others. I might expect that of an HTC, but not the US companies that sell Android.

I have an iPod Touch which was gifted to me, and I've found it so far impossible to copy music videos I downloaded from YouTube into the iPod Touch - it converts them into audio only tracks. Dunno whether the latest iOS would allow it to do more, but haven't tried. So I'd have to pick a number of them and buy it from the App store, if I decide to go that route.

My phone is still not a Smart Phone, and I doubt I'd want to pay for any 3G or 4G plans. Any data downloading, I do on my PC, and I prefer to transfer that to my smart device. If I can do it easily - after all, all they need are USB ports and appropriate USB class drivers - I'm happy. Unless I'm using Google Maps or something while looking for places in another city, I do not need a mobile data connection.

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966156)

Let me guess. You're trying to sync from Linux aren't you. The fault isn't iOS, but rather the syncing tool you are using. Blame that on Apple too though, since they have always tried to lock down the syncing. If I used "Clementine" to sync file to the ipod touch they always came across as audio regardless of whether they were videos. But if I use GtkPod, it seems to work fine. And of course iTunes on Windows always works too.

Re:Marketing and user experience (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966466)

Nope! I was trying to copy some files which I had downloaded from YouTube, converted to MP4 using Format Factory, and then copy them to the iPod. This is all under Windows & iTunes, except that iTunes doesn't give me the option of syncing a music video. It converts it into an audio song, and then syncs it, which is not what I wanted. I don't plan to watch movies on the Touch, contrary to what Apple thinks, simply the 2-5 minute videos are fine.

Re:Marketing and user experience (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966288)

It's because Android devices are marketed for nerds, by nerds. And nerds don't understand marketing or user experience.

I think the "not understanding user experience" is a big problem in the tech industry, and Apple seems to be the only company paying attention to the user experience. Nerds/engineers simply fail to understand; the whole thing goes over their heads.

I've had lots of conversations with nerds/engineers about this, and when I try to talk about how Apple focuses on "user experience", they insist that Apple just makes "prettier" interfaces. To a lot of the people involved in these things, there's a false dichotomy that research and development is either focused on "useful features" or "useless superficial things, like pretty interfaces". They don't understand that there can be such a thing as "too many features", making the user experience confusing and frustrating. They don't seem to understand that it matters how you organize programs, options, and settings in your UI, that it only matters whether the features are there, and not how you access them.

The reason usability is so important is that "features" are only useful if people can figure out what those features are and how to use them effectively. UI design is important, not just to make things pretty, but to give visual cues about how to use the Interface, and to provide intuitive organization. The fact is, smartphones and computers are about as powerful as they need to be to do the things we want to do, and improving usability is probably the most important challenge right now. That is, making it easier to do the things you want to do, and removing the obstacles that prevent you from being productive.

I'm of the opinion that iCloud may end up being one of the great underestimated advancements in computing of the past couple years-- comprehensive data syncing between an entire ecosystem of Internet-connected devices. However, it requires a sort of vertical integration that only Apple is positioned to achieve. In short, I'm probably going to be stuck being an Apple customer for the foreseeable future because Apple is the only consumer electronics company that hasn't stalled out in terms of developing more usable products.

Re:Marketing and user experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966346)

Need to score nepka to 6, since he nailed it. Apple sells a device that solves your problems and makes your life easier. Motorola/Samsung/HTC sells a device with specs. Normal people do not understand specs nor do they care too. These are the same people who think 4G for AT&T is the same as from Verizon. The Droid commercial in the article looks like a scary video game.

THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION IS NOT NERDS!!!!! Anyone who does not understand this is destined to continuously fail at trying to market technology to them. This is why Apple has the second largest market cap in the USA. They have figured out how to make cool tech for the tech-illiterate. They have people lining up outside stores and camping out to get new products. When has anyone ever camped out for a Motorola/Samsung/HTC product, ever???

Linux is a great product. What they need to do is come up with a single super user friendly GUI that the 50 year old woman from the article could use and understand without having to go to a cmd line. Unfortunately, Apple already got there with OS X. I know it is BSD/NeXT/Mach based but again you are missing the fucking point.

Sell people simple solutions to their daily problems and you will have a cult following too.

Re:Marketing and user experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966410)

It's because Android devices are marketed for nerds, by nerds. And nerds don't understand marketing

OK, I do not understand bullshit (I understand maths, physics and algorithms, because these are understandable) and I'm not prepared to talk bullshit. That's an advantage in my book, that's why I'm a "nerd". Now you can call this position elitist, but I'm not prepared to compromise on this.

And nerds don't understand user experience.

Nonsense. But if "user experience" means crippling stuff down: no thanks a lot.

They have No substance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965752)

If they averted features of the OS and they all use the same OS they have no way to differentiate them selves.

Standard Connector? (2)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965840)

So, what's wrong with USB anyway? I LIKE the fact that I can plug my android phone into a $2 car charger, and not have to buy the $35 sold at the phone store.

They don't really need a standard connector so much as a standard protocol for communicating over it beyond just filesystem access/etc.

And yes, phone commercials that barely even show you the phone are really annoying. I really don't care that their CGI robot can smash a CGI alien or whatever - I'm buying a phone, not a combat robot...

Re:Standard Connector? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965870)

But, the USB port can be anywhere: top, bottom, side, back, front, whatever. On the iPhone/iPod, it's on the bottom, and accessory makers design around that, in many cases allowing the device to dock. If the Android makers could standardize on anything, ie that the port will be on the center bottom, you'd see stuff designed that way since it could work with multiple devices.

Re:Standard Connector? (2)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965936)

If the Android makers could standardize on anything, ie that the port will be on the center bottom, you'd see stuff designed that way since it could work with multiple devices.

Never gonna happen.

If I, as a handset manufacturer, do something like that, what differentiates me from any other Android handset manufacturer? I'm already running out of things to compete on now that I'm using the same platform as everyone else, last thing I need is to reduce that further.

Re:Standard Connector? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966076)

More than that... standardizing on a single spot for the cable would also require standardizing on certain dimensions for the phone itself... that would prevent certain form factors and features from being added to the phone... stuff like, for example, having an actual honest-to-goodness hardware keyboard, which is a feature I won't buy a phone without. If, the next time I need a phone, I can't get an Android with a real keyboard, then I will end up buying a WinMo phone, as HTC makes one that isn't completely crappy and has the keyboard I want.

standardizing on certain dimension, sort of. (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966114)

If you are careful about "standard" location and placement, ie. hdmi to the left of usb to the left of X, by 2 mm, you can have standard connectors with little restriction on case size.

Re:Standard Connector? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966102)

Given that Motorola is not even capable of standardizing their webtop connectivity across their phone range, this will never happen.

Re:Standard Connector? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966166)

Why is that - the location of the USB port - a problem? On the iPhone/iPod, what's on the bottom is their connector, not necessarily an USB host. In other words, one can read the data on these things to a computer, but one can't transfer data from the laptop to the phone (oh, and not to forget, you have to go into iTunes to do anything useful). OTOH, a plain & simple design, that allows an Android device to be a host to peripherals - just like a PC is - and copy stuff off card readers and portable drives - that would be a lot more convenient. As it is, there are now plenty of USB device connector standards that devices could use, depending on form factor.

Re:Standard Connector? (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966082)

Well said. I also like the fact that I can connect an android phone to a printer and print photos. Or connect an android phone to a TV and watch video clips. Or connect an android phone to a car stereo and play mp3s. Or connect an android phone to a PC and access the internet. And the phone will recharge while doing any of the above. Where the USB MSD protocol fails, MTP can do better. A "dock" would only be a hindrance, and limit the possible form factors of Android devices.

Re:Standard Connector? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966112)

Your are right. I really wish to have a design that can plug in the usb adapter [hkcolordigital.com] and usb drive [hkcolordigital.com]

Re:Standard Connector? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966152)

USB does USB and power. The iAccessory port does USB, power, analog audio output and playback control. Very nice for accessory manufacturers, as it means they don't need complex and expensive electronics.

Re:Standard Connector? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966180)

Actually, we love

usb [hkcolordigital.com]

The iPhone connector is MORE standard (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966244)

So, what's wrong with USB anyway? I LIKE the fact that I can plug my android phone into a $2 car charger,

I can do the same thing with my iPhone because I can simply use the supplied cable into any USB port.

But I can also do more. I can be reasonably sure I can go into most hotels and dock my iPhone with the radio for playback (or charging), no cables required. If I forget a cable when I travel I think it is MORE LIKLEY I will be able to find an iPhone USB charging cable or some device to charge the phone, than to find the exact variant of micro-USB used by some other kind of phone.

When someone is more prevalent, is that not truly more of a standard - by any definition?

Re:The iPhone connector is MORE standard (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966322)

That's not "more standard." That's just de-facto acceptance due to the commonality of the device. The port is still totally proprietary and I have no doubt that Apple would sue the fuck out of anyone else that used it.

USB is a standard. The dock connector is not.

Standard is an end-user idea (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966424)

That's just de-facto acceptance due to the commonality of the device.

To the user on the street though that does not matter. The FACT is that as a user, you can find more ways to make use of the iPhone dock connector and more devices that support it in everyday life.

To the end user that is all they know, is what they can do. And to them the iPhone connector appears simply to be more standard, more widely available, even if they have no idea why other companies cannot use it.

So complaining about Android having a "more standard" connector totally misses the fact that from the standpoint of people buying the phone, the Android connector is simply not as standard.

Re:Standard Connector? (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966280)

So, what's wrong with USB anyway? I LIKE the fact that I can plug my android phone into a $2 car charger, and not have to buy the $35 sold at the phone store.

What? iDevices charge from a regular USB socket. Just get something like this [amazon.co.uk] which turns a car lighter socket into a USB A power socket - works fine with iDevices or Androids - just check the reviews to make sure it delivers enough juice.

Meanwhile, unlike standard USB, the iDevice dock connector also carries analog audio in/out and video, essential for the cheaper speakers/accessories.

Android is not one man's vision. It is more/less. (4, Insightful)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965846)

Why?

Because:

  1. Android, unlike iOS, has marketing funded by many different organizations and managers separately, working competitively against other Android manufacturers. They are each trying to differentiate from the other.
  2. And don't forget:

  3. Android devices don't have a standardized dock/interface connector so dock accessories don't exist for Android.
  4. Android devices just show up as dumb disk drives when you plug them into my computer.

Re:Android is not one man's vision. It is more/les (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965968)

> Android devices just show up as dumb disk drives when you plug them into my computer.

And this is a bad thing why exactly? I mean, I keep hearing my iPhone-using friends say "iTunes borked my data and I have to sync it all again". Never seen this kind of shit with filesystem-based solutions.

While I agree with the original article about exposing sensor features of the phone when connected to the PC, I don't think this should require iTunes-like software bullshit; it should rather work as if I connected all those devices separately, i.e., plugging the phone exposes several separate devices: a storage, a camera, a GPS, an accelerometer, etc.

Re:Android is not one man's vision. It is more/les (1)

danomac (1032160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966118)

iTunes was the main reason I went from my iPhone 3GS to my Galaxy S. While I never experienced the data corruption as some have, I found it really irritating to have to use Mac/iTunes or Win/iTunes to do something with my phone - I am using linux 99% of the time.

The main one was iTunes trying to organize my library, even when I specifically turned that feature off. That was the tipping point. Leave my organization alone.

Re:Android is not one man's vision. It is more/les (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966190)

iTunes was the main reason I went from my iPhone 3GS to my Galaxy S. While I never experienced the data corruption as some have, I found it really irritating to have to use Mac/iTunes or Win/iTunes to do something with my phone - I am using linux 99% of the time.

Yes, Apple and iPhone will really be losing out because of all those Linux users.

Re:Android is not one man's vision. It is more/les (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966170)

Small thing I'd really like: My phone can be used as a USB tethered internet connection. But my android tablet doesn't support using the same device to get it's connection - if I hook phone to tablet, all I can do is transfer files. It'd be nice to have internet too.

Re:Android is not one man's vision. It is more/les (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966210)

And this is a bad thing why exactly?

Because most people on earth do not understand file systems.

I keep hearing my iPhone-using friends say "iTunes borked my data and I have to sync it all again".

Possibly. But then you have it all back.

When you broke the filesystem on Android you are screwed unless you carefully backed up everything. Now with iCloud a user just shrugs and gets back all the data, should there be an issue.

People cannot really handle backup or file management tasks. Which is why even the bad solutions to those problems are preferred by most people as long as in the end they mostly work..

Re:Android is not one man's vision. It is more/les (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966116)

When I plug my wife's ipod touch into my computer it doesn't show up as anything.

Re:Android is not one man's vision. It is more/les (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966132)

my Driod X can be connected with sync ability with microsoft media player. I guess you didn't do your research. Which is another problem that happens when you have choices. People don't want to take the time and shop around. I think that is one of the big reasons as to why the iPhone has so much success, people don't care that they are using equipment that isn't top of the line or does the best. They just hear the name Apple and go for it.

howto delete my /. account? (-1, Offtopic)

davFr (679391) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965852)

Hi,
I am exhausted with the current level of news posted on slashdot, how can I kill my account? please help me quick.
Thanks.

Re:howto delete my /. account? (0)

vakuona (788200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965948)

just redirect slashdot.org to localhost in your hosts file.

Then you can pretend Slashdot doesn't exist.

Re:howto delete my /. account? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965956)

It's easy. Point a loaded gun at your head, turn the safety off, and pull the trigger. Your account will then be truly dead.

Don't follow the old slashdot link (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965890)

If you are following the links looking for information on the origin of the port on the ipod, the link from the old slashdot story [oynk.com] doesn't work any more. Of course, that is a link to a site that isn't managed by slashdot or their overlords, so they don't have control over it (not) being there.

What would their market share be if they got it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965904)

Damn... And I was stupidly thinking that Android was one of the hugest success we've seen in the last few years.

Can't help wonder what the Android market share would be if they "got" marketing right!?

What was it yet? More than half a million Android phones activated each day. Several hundreds of millions of phones already in use.

Nearly 50% of all smartphones market shares and 75% of all new phones being sold nowadays being considered smartphones?

I mean: something like that. And btw, no, I'm no Android nor iPhone user: good old Nokia to just "give phone calls and send sms" here.

Is This Guy Serious? (1)

Thargok (661682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965914)

First of all paying for data is ridiculous, there is no data that Google needs to pay you for when they are already getting all the data from your cookies they need to generate ad revenue. Also I would like to point out there isn't a barometer in your phone, but I would love to see that in you iPhone vs. Android commercial. Freedom to check air pressure? iPhone: What is wrong with you? Android: Ditto. I think a phone needs a barometer just about as badly as it needs to support SCSI devices. (Rinse, lather, repeat for infrared) Android supports USB devices, it doesn't need a dock connector. Apple had the advantage of building like 600,000 devices with dock connectors at a time when there was demand for something like that. Now just about every car has a USB support and many support to AD2P audio, making this request, like your barometer, and infrared port archaic. And I don't think that for marketing sake advertising a mobile device as something that is useful when you are immobilized is the right message you want to send. Sure it's a phone... but look what happens when you stop using it for it's primary function of mobility!

Re:Is This Guy Serious? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966040)

I think a phone needs a barometer just about as badly as it needs to support SCSI devices.

I don't think you understand the purpose of the barometer - it's to allow a faster GPS lock. On more than one occasion, I've entered a new destination into my phone while in a new town, exited a parking garage and then have to guess which way to go while I wait for the phone to get a GPS lock.

Why wouldn't you want that in a smartphone?

Re:Is This Guy Serious? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966378)

Rather than put in barometers, they should consider putting in RADAR-detector-detectors, so that seeing it, one will know when to slow down on a seemingly empty freeway. Really, USB connectivity would be the biggest advantage of such a product. Do everything a PC can, access USB devices like a PC can (and you can be sure such peripherals will support Android drivers like they support Windows). Some things, like a map search while travelling, or games while waiting in the doc's office make sense, but beyond that, I can't see a compelling reason to use a mobile data plan when one's home broadband should be able to get 90% of the stuff one needs, and then transfer it to the phone.

Boat caught - and full steam ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965920)

Errr, is there really a problem with Android marketing? Last I heard Android devices were outselling the iPhone.

True, the marketing message doesn't appeal to every demographic, but that is why there is so much variety of messages...

user experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965976)

android has a long way to go to exit geekdome
http://pleasedonttouchthescreen.blogspot.com/2011/10/zip-lockscreen.html

Android is not missing anything (1)

Moralpanic (557841) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965982)

I don't think Android is missing anything. Android has a bigger marketshare than Apple, and they entered the game late.

Apple tried the 'vs' ads with their Mac vs Windows, and as popular as those ads were, they didn't help Apple much in sales. But the iPod, which did not have to compare themselves to Windows, which did not have to insult current Window users, but instead showed silhouettes of people enjoying their iPod, conquered the market.

The infrared emitter - i got one for my iPhone, and it sucks. When i upgraded to the Galaxy S2 last summer, i had planned to use my iPhone as a remote. But a touch remote sucks. You have to turn it on, unlock the screen and if the app is not running, run the app, all to flip channels? You can't use it with one hand (at least not reliably) or without looking at the screen. Without tactile feedback, it just doesn't work.

I don't really see the appeal of docks. I'd rather everything just connect through bluetooth or something and we get integration that way.

Re:Android is not missing anything (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966182)

Bluetooth is yet another antenna draining power rather than a dock port which may be charging while docked. There's a place for both in the market I think.

Mostly? (1)

Wingsy (761354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966022)

"On a similar front, as a mostly happy Android user, I must admit envy for the jillions of accessories marketed for the iPhone, especially ones that take advantage of that Apple-only accessory port; maybe the Android Open Accessory project will help."

And 70% of iPhone users would replace your "mostly" with "very", whereas only 50% of Android users would. But it seems you're not even in that group so why not get something more likely to keep you very happy?

(Incoming Mods!)

Re:Mostly? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966092)

I don't know about the writer, but in my case it's because i've tried friends' iPods and iPhones, and they do not make me more happy, just more frustrated. I'm interested in what makes _me_ happy, not what statistically makes other people happy.

Maybe that's because i got a top line Android phone that is in every way comparable to an iPhone. Do you actually have a study to back up your statistics or are you just making things up? If there is such a study did it differentiate between people who were willing to pay for a quality phone and people who just went with Android because they could get a cheap phone that way?

Alternately there are people who become totally invested in the things they own and can see no fault with them, and there are people who can enjoy a product but still analyze its strengths and weaknesses from a mostly neutral perspective. Perhaps one of those groups is more attracted to either Android or iPhone than the other?

Re:Mostly? (1)

Wingsy (761354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966150)

Yeah, I can back it up. I read it on the internet.

http://www.splatf.com/2011/07/mobile-satisfaction/ [splatf.com]

Re:Mostly? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966192)

And it does indeed appear that all phones that are part of the OS are getting lumped together. The article complains about Windows 7 getting lumped together with Windows Mobile, but there's a similar problem for all the OSes besides iOS. Apple doesn't sell crappy hardware, so i'm not surprised Apple came in head and shoulders above everyone else. If they broke the results down both by OS versions and by phone models the results would be much more interesting and informative. As it is the results are practically meaningless.

Re:Mostly? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966108)

Mind if i reference the allegory of the cave? (tho i admit, that is a sword that cut both ways in this regard)

Re:Mostly? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966260)

Because the difference between "mostly" and "very" generally has more to do with the person than the phone.

So much for sex? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966042)

One interesting thing about the "good" Apple ad vs. the "bad" Droid ad in the article is that the Apple ad is bright and sparkly and clean, while the Droid ad is much darker and sexier, with a pretty woman writhing all around.

Re:So much for sex? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966188)

while the Droid ad is much darker and sexier, with a pretty woman writhing all around.

Sexy? Attractive woman in a jawdroppingly terrible advert. Like a Micheal Bay movie, it'll appeal to nobody other than immature 14 year old and 'kidult' males stuck in a cycle of terminal masturbation. While that market segment is large, it's not large enough for market dominance.

Re:So much for sex? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966298)

Apple is very careful to keep a squeeky-clean image.

Reminds me of those Microsoft ads promoting IE's new private browsing feature. Their example was of a husband using it to hide from his wife a purchase of flowers to show how he loves her... not only is there a huge elephant in the room, but the visible efforts of the writers to look away from it only serve to further direct attention to its presence. Everyone knows the *real* reason for private browsing. Something for which internet is really, really great...

Even the author doesn't quite get it... (4, Informative)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966064)

Some should be showing off new features that Apple doesn't have like the new face unlock feature in Android 4.0.

Yeah, when there are phones shipping with Android 4.0 and front facing cameras that can use the features. Marketing features that aren't yet available to the end users is a REALLY bad idea.

Others should highlight their restrictive model: picture the old Mac vs. PC ads, but with the iPhone checking with Apple before denying the user's request to install an app of their choice.

This would probably backfire, how many trojans and programs that send your info back to the developer's server have been found in the Android marketplace? Lots. Apple would almost certainly use that in a counter-attack ad.

Market your strengths, but be careful of those that also have an underlying weakness/vulnerability, it will come back to bite you.

Android needs more standardization. A standard UI, a minimum resolution, and a minimum hardware set. One of the things Apple has done very effectively is manage the user experience. MS Windows and Android have allowed manufacturers to put out devices with too little RAM, CPU, and/or poor quality screens, keyboards, touch-screens and it hurts the reputation of the platform. When a user buys a bad Windows or Android device, they're as likely to blame the OS as they are the hardware manufacturer. Failing to understand and address that is a marketing failure on the part of the OS vendor.

Re:Even the author doesn't quite get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966090)

I agree. That article was full of terrible suggestions. The author misses the point every bit as much as the people currently making the advertisements for Android phones.

Re:Even the author doesn't quite get it... (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966376)

One of the things Apple has done very effectively is manage the user experience

Apple is also a single company that produces both the OS and the hardware.

MS Windows and Android have allowed manufacturers to put out devices with too little RAM, CPU, and/or poor quality screens, keyboards, touch-screens and it hurts the reputation of the platform.

WP7, since that's the only thing that is relevant now, requires you use the hardware that Microsoft dictates, with a little maneuverability regarding design and gimmicks. As for Android, I don't your point regarding the other bits as NEW devices tend to be top of the line in all aspects. Rather, Android itself seems to have been fundamentally fucked as Google has spent the last 3 years reinventing the wheel that had already been built, quite well, in regular Linux platforms.

Created by iWriters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966168)

I bet a fair share of those marketing execs creating the Android ads are using their iPhones and other iGadgets when making the ads.

Look at the demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966252)

Android is popular among pre-pubescent teenagers and cheapskates.

Apple-only accessory port (0)

yacc143 (975862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966318)

You mean the port that means you always need a special cable? The port that proves that Apple's profit is way more important than user friendliness? Practically all other phones nowadays come with a MicroUSB connector. So MicroUSB charger are plugged in at strategic places at home, and anyone (visitors too) can just plug their phones in, for charging. Only Apple lusers need to remember to carry an adapter plug, how is that for user friendliness?

Regional differences? (1)

jwijnands (2313022) | more than 2 years ago | (#37966352)

Makes me wonder if it's a regional difference. Apparently over there in the US of A Apple's marketing for brain dead appeals to a lot of people. Over here in north-west Europe Apple doesn't do much marketing instead it relies mainly on buzz, word of mouth and free publicity (a surprising number of 40 something journalists are die-hard apple fans). HTC (which made the brilliant marketing move of sponsoring a team in the tour de France) and Samsung are good at showing that their products fit a rather hip and very mobile 20-something lifestyle. Result: you've got blackberry on the corporate market and with the teen girls. You've got apple slowly losing market gear in the rest of the market (fragility and the piss poor hardware support do NOT go down well in this market) to Android. In the Netherlands Android is already outselling IOS. I think in Germany it's pretty close as well.

Stockholm effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37966480)

Android users choose to succumb to their devices, to behave like their captors.
"DROID!"

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