Wanted: Google’s Marketplace.

Posted on 04 March 2010, Last updated on 10 June 2018 by

I’ve just read a great article by K T Bradford on Laptopmag. It adds some input to thoughts I’ve been airing for a while now and it’s extremely important for the consumer tablet, mid and umpc market. The simple fact is that all those Android tablets out there that you see popping up at CES, MWC and CeBIT are built on the open-source version of Android. That’s very different to what you find on smartphones in one very important way – Market.

As we’ve seen through analysis of the Compaq Airlife (Article: Social Netbooks) there’s a lot of potential for ARM-based devices if they address these four points.

1 – Point of  Sale

2 – Always on

3 – Location and social networking

4 – Dynamic User interfaces

The simple fact is that without Google’s market and despite the efforts of 3rd party marketplaces, the device isn’t a point of sale and it won’t attract content and applications. This back-office is critical and will drive the succesful products out in the consumer market..

The opportunity is there right now for Google. There are OED’s all over the world wanting to lever that Google and Android brand to bring devices into the market and Google appears to be keeping the door closed. Read through the Laptopmag article and you’ll find quotes from Entourage and Archos descibing how Google said no. I’ve heard it from other manufacturers too.  Some are staying positive and saying that it’s going to happen soon (‘Version 2.2’ everyone says) and yet, there’s not even a hint of movement by Google.

The strange thing is that Google have talked about using Chrome for 10″+ devices and that leaves a huge gap in the middle.

If Google don’t move quickly they will have a huge problem on their hands with Meego. Intel and Nokia already have stores in place for this platform and it’s going to be rolling out exactly into the space where Google is holding back. If Gartner are right and this market explodes, Google will be left standing and will have to work very hard to catch up. I have no doubt that they could catch up but how much is it going to cost them to tempt the developers back from the 100million netbooks and multi-million smartphones and MID devices that MeeGo could roll out on in the next few years?

8 Comments For This Post

  1. Nate the great says:

    Doesn’t Appslib already fill most of the need of the Android Market?

  2. tesaguy says:

    Not really.

    Appslib is only available to Archos customers as far as I know.

    And appslib does not have all the apps, that google market has.

  3. Nate the great says:

    If it’s only open to Archos hardware, then why is the apk available for everyone to download?

    http://www.appslib.com

  4. mastereye says:

    Your analysis is spot on!
    Without the market Android is only half the fun.
    I would even pay Google for an market.apk to install if the vendor of the hardware doesn’t want to license it beforehand.

    I hope that MeeGo will bring a bit more competition in this area. Can’t wait for the first devices.

  5. pispot says:

    The beauty of Android could be the possibility to use the same software and the same workflow on very different devices.

    Need mobile use? Take that small and nice Milestone phone and off you go.
    Want to stay on the sofa? Take that big screen tablet instead and enjoy a greater productivity.

    Both could share exact the same software and exact the same workflows.

    But as long as Google marketplace separates Android into different classes it remains a missed opportunity…

  6. Chippy says:

    Totally agree. This ‘same workflow’ principle is what drives many UMPC (windows OS) users and there’s no reason why a smartphone user can’t be tempted into buying a ‘computer’ through the comfort of a similar OS and workflow.

  7. Al Sutton says:

    Google have requirements for devices that will be allowed to run Market to ensure that developers know what to expect.

    Alternatives like AndAppStore try to fill the gap, but need developer support to do so. Some OEMs even use the AndAppStore client whilst their thrashing out an agreement with Google.

    Google is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea here, if they allow market on anything they’ll see more talk of fragmentation killing Android, if they keep the restrictions they see people claiming Android adoption is being hampered by devices without the full Google experience.

    In the end they had to make a call, and we have to live with the one they made.

  8. Chippy says:

    Hi Al.
    Yes, we as consumers have to live with the choices google makes but OEMs need a trusted app store with monetisation to compelte their platforms. Without it they lose which, in turn, means the customers lose.
    It also means that Google and alternative app stores could lose as other platforms move in to fill the real gap.

    People can talk about fragmentation but that’s already happened. Developers actually have zero option for monetisation in the emerging tablet and mid market right now so it’s almost the opposite of fragmentation!

    Thoughts?

    Steve.

3 Trackbacks For This Post

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    […] Wanted: Google’s Marketplace. | Carrypad […]

  2. ‘In Other News…’ March 10th | UMPCPortal - Ultra Mobile Personal Computing says:

    […] Wanted: Google’s Marketplace.. The Google Marketplace for Android is a on the critical path for consumer tablets. If they […]

  3. Android, Fragmentation and the Possibility of a Non-Smartphone Marketplace. | Carrypad says:

    […] a question I’ve been looking for an answer to for a long time. There are plenty of tablet manufacturers that are in the dark too. Why […]

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