I just came across an article which was horrifying to me as it gives advice which is so wrong it should be outlawed. To be fair, the article written by Elizabeth Woyke over at Forbes explains survey results from Haydn Shaughnessy head of research for the Conversation Group, a London-based communications agency.
Shaughnessy explains how OHA vendors should attack the market. Here are some of his thoughts:
Most of the commentary focused on the G1's ability to challenge the iPhone, pitting the two devices in a head-to-head battle. Unfortunately for Google and G1 maker HTC, the majority of commentators concluded that the G1 lagged the iPhone in critical ways, such as style/design, features and sales potential. The upshot: A lot of G1 coverage ended up promoting a rival device, the iPhone, instead.
The solution to a device which isn't as good as the iPhone should be - build a better device. Right?
Google should formulate a more coordinated communications strategy for the rest of the OHA to follow. Part of the strategy should focus on nurturing a blogging community that is specifically interested in Android products--a necessity, says Shaughnessy, to offset the influence of the many Apple centric blogs that enthusiastically cover iPhone news. While some influential tech blogs, including Engadget, wrote favorably about the G1, other big names like Boy Genius Report and VentureBeat consistently took a more negative view, according to the report.
Shaughnessy also recommends that OHA members communicate with consumers more directly and try to "disassociate" Android from the iPhone, so that coverage of new Android gadgets moves beyond what he calls the "iPhone/Android duopoly."
These challenges aren't unique to Android. "There are a lot of device manufacturers scratching their heads, wondering how to get the kind of attention online that the iPhone gets," says Shaughnessy.
Once again, the advice to Google should be to improve the device.
I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the iPhone but prior to this device I made a career out of ignoring all things Apple. I am the person who brought desktop publishing to TMC in the mid-eighties and chose to do so on the PC platform as I was such a PC fan and saw no long-term future for the Mac.
You have no idea how difficult it was to design magazines on a PC back then. The software stunk.
I am still not a huge fan of the Mac OS but the iPhone has taken a device category which once had clumsy interfaces which were impossible for the average person to use and made them simple to operate. Its genius is its simplicity and that has led to massive market-share growth and a cult-like following from application developers and a new wave of users like me.
I remember when I picked up my first Android-based device I was excited. I wanted it to be better than the iPhone. I walked away unimpressed - maybe disappointed is a better word.
The simple solution to the problem once again is to make a better phone. Make it powerful and easy to use and the rest will take care of itself. Any other advice is simply a waste of time.
Unlike some who love Apple products - regardless of what they are, when I write, I tell you the honest truth. Many other bloggers do the same and they know what the competition is doing -- and they will tell their readers. You will find it really hard to influence them in any way other than making superior products.