There’s a new trend emerging in mobile tech, not that anyone has noticed it yet. Android is slowly, but surely, disappearing. First came along the Google Nexus, which was quickly usurped by Samsung’s incredibly successful brand of Galaxy phones, making Android as a brand less and less relevant. Today, it’s got to the point where Android is more or less invisible.
Yep, or at least the “brand” is. Take the Mobile World Congress for example, where Android was everywhere last year, with by far the biggest exhibition space. The entire show was all about Android and what it can do, with barely any room left over for the poor old hardware manufacturers.
But this year things are going to be markedly different. There will be no Android at the MWC.
Some might say that this is because Android simply doesn’t need to turn up. Google’s OS is the choice for the vast majority of consumers (basically all except Apple fanbois), controlling some 70% of the global market share. Then again, there’s the argument that these huge exhibitions simply aren’t that relevant any more, with many companies running their own special events whenever they launch new products, while consumers can use sources like YouTube to learn much more about the latest devices than they could from reports of these events.
But if this is true, then why have hardware manufacturers also dropped the Android brand? HTC’s new flagship smartphone for example, barely even mentions that it runs Android.
Could it be that Google is making a concerted effort to de-emphasize the Android brand? It certainly makes sense. After all, having two brands (Google and Android) can be pretty confusing for consumers. And Google would rather that Google is the brand than Android, given that it is “Google”, after all.
My theory – Google wants to kill the Android brand, and make everything about Google.
We saw this with the way Google killed off the Android Market, replacing it with the Google Play store. We’ve seen it with their phones and their tablets (Google Nexus), and the way that other smartphone makers have played down Android, and we’re about to see it happen again when Google opens up its new hardware stores.
It make sense. Few people, except for the geeks at SiliconANGLE, talk about “iOS phones.” Most people own “iPhones” and they most certainly do not own “iOS Pads.” Meanwhile, Android is so dominant that it doesn’t even matter what happens to the brand – de-emphasizing it will only help Google’s name grow bigger.
And if Google does kill off the Android brand, no one will care. No one has ever cared about Android – they care about the hardware, and what it can do, and so long as it gives them all the apps they want they couldn’t give a damn about the name.