It seems ironic to me, being in the software industry for so long, that the phone that is based on the open-source operating system has such Microsoft-feeling ads (the two mentioned here are at the bottom of this post). The latest bomb to drop is the “Stealth” Android commercial. I think they were shooting for the Lexus vibe, but I really think these spots are missing the mark (see 0:32 in the Droid spot, where they literally drop them into the ocean). But the spot that really compelled me to write this post was the highly-stylish the Sony-Ericsson Xperia ad. This ad drops so many name brands that for a second, I thought Chanel came out with a new phone. I fell under the Sony-Ericsson spell a few years ago and bought a beautiful phone with a big, bright screen (unusual at the time). Although I enjoyed the phone and browser parts, I found the media parts completely useless. Without illegally downloading content, there was no way to get anything useful on the phone. I found this really frustrating, because the software was actually kind of decent. Speaking of software, mobile applications will undoubtedly be ported to ever piece of hardware that can support them, and if the mobile gaming industry ends up driving the application content, they have tons of experience porting to different platforms. Although perhaps it would be nice if Android could showcase even one application. Of course, which hardware builder and/or mobile network is going to showcase an application that isn’t exclusive to them? I’m not sure. My real problem with Android phones is that there is no clear solution for distribution of content. I’ve found that audio/video compatibility becomes an unbearable burden with anyone but Apple. Or maybe Microsoft, since at least then I know I’ll be locked into Windows Media. Even then, I wouldn’t know how to legitimately get content onto a Windows Mobile phone. It’s pretty obvious with an iPhone.
Full disclosure: I’m a happy iPhone user. Ever since my first experience receiving a call while my iPhone was playing music through my car stereo, when the music faded out like a Hollywood movie, I’ve been in love. The experience has been closer to perfect than I ever imagined (note: I did not say perfect; it’s technology, and it has its problems). I would like the iPhone to have a better camera, and I’m sure Apple will produce one way before my contract is up, putting me in the awkward position of deciding whether to spend $500 on a phone or to wait another year or so to upgrade. That’s okay with me. I use my phone a lot to check email, hop on the Web, text message, and yes, I even make and receive calls from time to time. I’ve found that I’m not unusual among my friends and, surprising to me, my professional acquaintances. Text messaging has taken over. Voicemails are no longer left, because they are no longer answered.
So, Android phone builders, how about showing some commercials where people are actually doing something with these hot new pieces of hardware, besides dancing or quivering in fear? There will be people who will buy style over substance, and you’re selling the “sizzle”. But unless there is some “steak” to go along with that sizzle, your new customers will not turn into raving fans, like I have. I recommend iPhone to literally anyone who asks (or even to people I overhear talking about getting a new phone). Who’s going to do that with your phone? Any why will they do it?