Focus on Price, Produce Design Improvements

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-05-09 Print this article Print


5. Focus heavily on product design.

When one looks around the smartphone market, it's hard to find many Android-based smartphones that are as well-designed as the iPhone. Part of that is due to the average company's seeming inability to see the value of design. If Apple has proven anything, it's that product design matters as much, if not more, than the features a particular device boasts. If Android smartphone makers want to be successful, they will need to focus far more on design than they do now. The market is waiting desperately for an Android smartphone that can match the iPhone on design.

6. Think about differentiation.

If one goes to their local AT&T or Verizon store, they will find far too many devices that look nearly the same. It has come to a point where differentiation in the Android market is practically non-existent. The smartphones feature the same operating system, the same processing power and the same basic specs. The iPhone, on the other hand, is easily differentiated from all others. If a company like Motorola or Samsung wants to break from the pack, it will need to show why its own phone is different from all others running Android.

7. Put pressure on Apple through pricing.

Like it or not, Apple's iPhone is the benchmark by which all other smartphones are judged. And if given a choice, the average consumer will opt for the iPhone over another if they are even considering Apple's device as their next smartphone. In order to tilt the balance more in their favor, Android vendors need to rethink their pricing strategy. They need to work out better deals with carriers and give those telecoms the chance to charge less for their devices. As the world starts to recover from the Great Recession, pricing still matters. Android vendors can't forget that.

8. Address iPhone's Retina Display Advantage.

Although there are several devices on store shelves, including the Motorola Droid X, that offer bigger displays than Apple's iPhone, that's not enough. For one, the difference between the iPhone's 3.5-inch display and the Droid X's 4.3-inch screen isn't groundbreaking. Secondly, Apple offers the Retina Display, making all other screens look rather obsolete. The time has come for vendors to think seriously about overcoming the Retina Display. As picture definition becomes increasingly important in today's marketplace, offering the highest-resolution display possible is integral to future success.

9. Flash doesn't cut it.

Whenever the benefits of Android smartphone ownership are discussed, Flash always comes into the conversation. Those who support Android-based devices say that with Flash's help, they can connect to any Website on their smartphones. iPhone owners, on the other hand, cannot. But as the past several years have proven, few people in the mainstream care about that. And in some cases, Websites have adapted to that change. So, while Flash might benefit some, for the vast majority of folks, it isn't that big of an issue. The time has come for Android vendors to focus their efforts elsewhere and not spend so much of their time worrying about Flash.

10. Remember the enterprise.

One of Apple's key shortcomings is that its iPhone is still not best for the enterprise market. The device lacks a physical keyboard and delivers a more consumer-focused experience than, say, a BlackBerry. If Android vendors want to change their luck against the iPhone, more of them need to think about the enterprise. Motorola did so with the Droid Pro, but it needed to do more. Android vendors should spend as much time as necessary to learn what enterprise customers want and deliver it. The enterprise is far more important in today's mobile space than some think. 


Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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