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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Google phone sales

This isn't surprising is it?

If you don't provide support and let the customers run around, it comes back to bite you. 
While the competition, *cough*, that fruit company is pumping out better versions of its products and shipping a few million phones in a few days or weeks.

Having a great product is one thing, letting customers down is only going to make it difficult to get acceptance.  For the sea of developers who got the phone free to develop applications to rival the App store, this is going to be a bit frustrating.
A dream phone, nice development platform, having it all knackered by the lack of customer service!

Though,  I do wonder how much of it is cultural or customer behaviour issues.  I'd rather feel, touch and play with the phone before I order online.  And if I have to hunt for specific outlets to just see it and hold it in my hands, well, my enthusiasm soon flags.

It's not like I'm a nerd or something.  :)

More importantly, this might be the only leverage carriers can exert influence on Google, I think.  From advertising to store placement and sales training that's a long time line that Google can't afford but must do.  Every ask and feature by the carriers will only delay the roll outs.  With different vendors for different parts of the mobile phone business (manufacturer, carriers etc), it's not going to be easy.

This is not going to be like Amazon shipping something off.  Every detail that the carriers and networks need, they'd have to adhere to or get around to putting it in.  They'd have to do that, till the phone products have critical mass so that it is evident to the customer that the phone has a support infrastructure in its place from calling plans, software and hardware.

Lots of plodding to do.  Lots. 

And if they do that, other mobile companies will beat them at it; they have been at this far longer.  The first mover advantage is gone; unless they come out with a better business model, they're stuck with the current one and they'd get clobbered.

Even with a great product.

1 comment:

Robert said...

For all the complaints about Apple's closed iTunes store, the excessive openness of Google's Market is a huge hindrance to acceptance.

The Android Market is an ill-structured trash heap of applications, most of which are garbage. The user quality comments are all over the map ("crashes all the time! 3 stars!") and so effectively useless in navigating the trash heap.

Until a better marketplace comes along, it's going to be hard to go anywhere with Android apps. And it makes Apple's closed policy look good...