I’m pocketnow’s “Android Guy”, as such I’m an evangelist of the platform, devices, and concept of all things that are “Android”. Not that long ago I applauded Verizon Wireless’ branding of their Android-powered phones using the Lucasfilms trademark name, Droid. This, combined with their full-court press to advertise in the mainstream media has firmly planted the name “Droid” in the minds of consumers.
Sometimes when I see someone using a phone I don’t recognize in public, I’ll ask what kind of phone they’re using. More often than not it turns out to be an iPhone with a custom case on it, but occasionally I’ll get to see an Android-powered phone in-the-wild. More often than I’d like to admit, the person doesn’t even know it’s an Android.
Sometimes the shoe is on the other foot and I’ll be asked what kind of phone I have. I generally reply that it’s an “Android by” whomever the manufacturer or carrier is. The reply usually frustrates me: “Oh, my friend has a Droid, too. They really like it.”
So, well played, Verizon, well played.
Everyone else is missing out on the momentum of Android because Verizon has “hijacked” the name. To make matters worse, manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, Acer, LG, and friends try to brand the “experience” as their own by rolling a customer user-interface into their phones, removing as much of “Android” from the users eyes as possible.
While this may help with product differentiation, it doesn’t leverage all the buzz that’s encapsulated within Android. It makes each device have go it alone, requiring each one to rely upon its own brand-name, which, to be honest, is going to be old and dusty within six months to a year — tops.
Sprint, it seems, is starting to what I’ve been saying all along, and is hopefully recognizing the value of leveraging Android as a platform, and is coming around to the brand-recognition that comes bottled with the little green robot that is Android.
So, what do you think of Sprint’s use of “Andy the Android” to advertise their EVO 4G? Should other carriers start doing the same?