Apple does one thing better than any other company on the planet — market. That one company knows how to boil consumers into a Beatles-like frenzy faster and with more regularity than all tech companies combined.
And then there's all things Android. Yes, Samsung runs TV commercials and, for the most part, does a fairly decent job with them. LG dips their toes in those waters now and again as well. There are, however, a lot of Android device-producing companies completely missing in the marketing realm. Take, for instance, Motorola. The Moto X is probably my all-time favorite mobile device, and the Moto X 2014 improves on that to near perfection. But when you widen your vision, how many people really know about the Moto X? Moto X lovers sure do. Outside of that, not many.
I think I've finally found the solution for this. Said solution all starts at the core — Google. You see, Google holds the keys to a very splendid kingdom. Those keys need to open the gateway for all to behold. But they haven't. Yes, they've done a great job of promoting the Chromebook. That promotion has helped lift those devices to some serious market share. What Google hasn't done, however, is market Android.
Not as a device, not with an OEM or carrier, but as a platform.
Try to locate an Android commercial and you'll spend a lot of time viewing cute (and well done) little commercials like this:
Try to find an official Google Android commercial, and you'll come up empty handed (although I did come up with a Google Nexus commercial or two).
That, my friends, is what Android is missing... official platform marketing from the official creator. Google.
Why? Because consumers need to know what they are missing — not on a device level, but on a platform level. People need to see Android in action, what it can do, how flexible it is, how much more it can be... and not through the eyes of a carrier or manufacturer.
I watched an Apple commercial the other evening where an aging hipster is having to silence his iPhone because he's about to take it to the Apple Store for a the next iteration of his iPhone. It's clear he has a relationship with the device, yet he wants to upgrade. That is the Apple way — get consumers to upgrade their device, even when it isn't necessary. People with perfectly functioning, mint-condition iPhones toss them to curb to get the next shiny thing.
I'm not saying that Google should perpetuate disposable consumerism on that level. I am, however, saying that Google needs to spend the time and budget on bridging the gap between consumers and Android. Yes, Android is the most widely used platform on the planet. Much of the market share happens to fall in countries outside of the US (where disposable consumerism is tantamount to a company's success). But with a marketing campaign that highlights the right blend of user-friendliness and cool, Android — and by association, Google — could reach fanboy/fangirl level of hysteria associated with iPhone releases.
If you really break it down, the difference between handsets is not nearly as great as we think. You might want a bigger screen or not. You might want pure power. You might want great sound. Nearly every manufacturer of smartphones has an offering that will suit your tastes. What's truly at the heart of the matter is the platform that drives the devices. This is where Google needs to take control and market Android. Once they open consumers eyes to what Android is and can do, they'll create a buzz that's worthy of the vaunted Apple iPhone.
What do you think? Is commercialism the missing element for Android, especially in the US market — or has Android reached the point where it no longer needs to concern itself with such things? Let us know your thoughts in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.