The One Killer App

04Apr10

“The little blue dot is coming up to the roundabout. Take the first left,” I said emphatically.

“What left? I have taken all the possible lefts I can take! THERE ARE NO OTHER LEFTS!”

“Mom, seriously, take the first left.”

“Ok, but I’m telling you, I’ve already taken this left. We’ve taken this left and it was the wrong left. Oh! We haven’t taken this left. Um, ok, what does the miracle phone say next?”

And with that one right left, my baby-boomer mother became a fervent convert to the Android phone.  One killer app – in this case, Google Maps Navigation – and my mother decided that her Blackberry was redundant. We in the UK don’t even have the cool sat nav version available in the US.

Apple are so good at this – at showing what their phones can do – but Android phones can do this out of the box. That’s pretty cool. So why aren’t Android shouting this – “HEY! LADIES! THIS PHONE ROCKS! LOOKIT! SAT NAV! LOOKIT!” Instead, it’s befuddled and haphazard attempts at marketing and most they can come up with is, “We’re not restrictive.” And that’s true. The possibility of developing cool apps down the line is great (although it’s worth noting that the Android Market has just over 30,000 apps compared to the Apple App store’s 150,000+). Android desperately needs to show women how this phone is relevant to women and their lives.

According to Google, 58% of smartphone buyers are men. So the majority of smartphones are currently owned by men – for now. The gap is closing and closing fast and the market segment showing real growth is among women. The real test will be which manufacturer makes these phones relevant for women and makes them relevant fast.

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