Monday, March 26, 2012

DISCUSSION - Android Market Becomes "Play"

Just a few days ago, I was helping my friend to install some Apps on his Android smartphone. And, strange ... the "Market" icon has gone, replaced by the "Play Store" (it took me some time to figure out what's happening). Such a change in name is really unusual, and I believe that this reveals a major change in the direction of Google on the Android market; or, I'd say a clear trend has developed, toward the entertainment market - so "Play Store", rather than "Market"... surely is another a business decision of Google.

*This chart is based on figures from wikipedia. Sorry for not quite in scale, yet still good enough for your reference.

No matter what, Android has become a popular platform - for mobiles and tablets, even some laptops on shelf run Android! In Hong Kong, if you have a chance to go to popular shopping areas, places like Sham Shui Po, you will be surprised to see how mobile phones being dominant (over 80-90%) by Android! I can hardly find any Windows OS phone, maybe occasionally find one or two models. Android devices and accessories are everywhere in Hong Kong. Indeed many of my friends are using Android without any idea how much their phone can do, they simply use it as a mobile phone ... until when I show them ... they simply can't believe their eyes!!

I think the most dramatic transition is within these 3 months, from not many is using a tablet around, to now almost all my friends around, yes, it's almost everyone of them is with an Android tablet or phone.

With the ever growing Apps on the Market, the usability and value of Android device keeps growing. However, how many Apps can a device install? Maybe a browser, email, apps for viewing documents, excels, pdf, epub, video player, music player, photo gallery, and a few tools you use, etc. and that's it. Still, the number of Apps an average person will use is quite limited. But, for entertainment, on the "data" side - music, video, books; of course, together with games - the potential is much greater!! Just think about the success of Angry Bird - well, in Hong Kong, you can see Angry Bird everywhere, not just simply as a game, but Angry Birds of all kinds - decoration, key-chain, bags, toys, clothes, even cakes!!

We see the logic behind the change of name - Google "Play"!!

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