Android Needs More European Love – App Explosion Should Help



Reuters recently published an article summarizing what IDC had to say about Android’s market share in Europe.  It would seem Europeans are shying away from Android phones, showing little interest.  The bottom line – many don’t understand what Android really is, and the lack of devices available further hurt awareness.

“HELSINKI (Reuters) – Operators pushed market share of cellphones running Google’s software a little higher in September quarter in Western Europe, but consumers showed little interest toward them, research firm IDC said on Saturday.

Android has won attention in the mobile industry lately, with Motorola and Sony Ericsson choosing it for their new top models.

Market share of smartphones running Google’s Android operating system (OS) rose to 5.4 percent from 4.2 percent in July-September in Western Europe, a key area for the smartphone market.

“Consumers steer clear of Google’s OS and sell-out is below everyone’s expectations. Consumers recognize the Google brand, but still do not understand what Android is,” IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo said in a statement.

“The lack of devices available didn’t help to raise awareness, though this is expected to change, with more handsets from LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and other vendors hitting the market soon,” Jeronimo said.

But like it says – the lack of devices available is really about to change. There has been an explosion of Android phones – to the point where at some point we’re going to have to stop posting about every single one.  Its growth seems exponential and I don’t see it going anywhere but up. So as more and more devices become available naturally the awareness with creep up.  In the meantime.. all you Europeans need to keep showing your phones off to all your friends and family. Get on it!

As for this part of the article:

“Last month Gameloft, one of the largest cellphone game makers, also bashed Android saying it and other software developers were cutting back investment in developing games and other applications for the platform.”

Eh. You know what I think about that? Well,  I’ll tell you.


IDG also published its list of predictions for 2010 – and one of those predictions is that of an app explosion.  It expects to see five times the Market we currently have by Christmas of next year.  Gameloft and “other software developers” will come around when they see where Android is headed and with the onslaught of new developers they may find themselves behind in the game.  Yeah, at the moment you will find reports floating around talking about how unhappy developers are with Android Market (profits, design.. etc) but I’m confident that trend will reverse as the platform ages.

If how far Android has come since release is any indication at all of where it is headed – I think we’ll be just fine and dandy.  As it gets more attention from developers as well as from phone manufacturers, I don’t see how awareness can go anywhere but up.

As the original article states:  “Android has won attention in the mobile industry..”

[ ca.reuters.comreuters.comIDC ]


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  1. enough of that gameloft….the very next day they decided to develop new games for Droid. Why didn’t the article mention that fact hmmm?

  2. only time will tell if the market will blow up to the proportions stated in this article.

  3. A couple of things that don’t help European Android adoption are the lack of key Google services like Goggle Voice and the recently announced Google Maps Navigation and the fact that the Android Market doesn’t allow unlocked handsets (not tied to a particular network) to choose from the full range of apps. In many European countries unlocked phones are the norm.

  4. Well I’m showing Android all sorts of lovin’! and I’m Scottish :D

  5. How about, oh, i don’t know, OPENING THE PAID APP PART OF THE MARKET?

    I have money, I have the phone, but only free apps because I’m in Denmark?

  6. how about adding other methods of paying…
    as a student i don’t have the income to get a credit card…

  7. Yeah, national localizations and operator restrictions are a much bigger issue imo. You go to Android because you don’t want another Apple iCrap, why then go that way, Android?

    Personally, i see a lot of Android (G1 and HTC Hero mainly) around here in Amsterdam, and i own one too… Yaay!

  8. the hell im showing it off who would possibly keep something as awesome hidden in their pocket

  9. Tip for Google: stop preventing users with SIM-unlocked phones from buying copy-protected apps.

    They made a massively stupid decision to close a loophole with the dev phones, and they’re going to be hearing a lot of complaining from users of unbranded Milestones who have done and *can* do nothing wrong…

  10. @vman81: Ah, didn’t see your comment raising the same issue. It’s not a country thing, it’s that they assume SIM-unlocked = dev phone = TEH EVIL. Perhaps a semi-valid assumption in a US-centric context, but stupid stupid stupid on a continent where many people choose to buy their handset at full price and use a cheap prepaid carrier.

  11. Another thing….Telefonica released the G1 here in Spain with firmware that DID NOT SYNCRONISE WITH GOOGLE….

    Out of the box it was worhtless. After rooting it and uploading another firmware it works flawless, of course.

    I love my dream but I’ve heard that people brought theirs back because of the lack of funcionality (OF COURSE…)

    Thanks a LOAD Telefonica….


  12. Wasn’t aware of being unable to buy apps if you have an unlocked phone. Makes it even more annoying that I have just ordered a Milestone, which as I understand I can ONLY get Sim-unlocked, and now I won’t be able to buy apps for it, grrrr.

  13. Looks like everything that needs to be said is said…Because I am one of those unlocked milstoners (writing right now on it)…the restriction in the market for unlocked phones is just crap…comon google is this open develeopment or not?

  14. i’ve got an unlocked G1 and i have access to paid apps.

    I just think there is too much emphasis on the US market to the detriment of the European and Asian market.Perhaps bc Google is based in the US.

  15. I’m from Portugal and did get the G1 as soon as it was available in US, just asked a friend who was in a trip to US to bring me an Android, and since then I’ve been in love with it, and showing to friends, but lots of people just can’t see what Android can give without using it for a while, or any sort of publicity, so I’m still waiting for my next Android phone: HTC touch HD2 with Android 2.x. Unfortunately I think I’ll have to wait a bit more, because the HD2 available in local stores is the shitty Windows version :(

  16. Well we’ve got more Android handsets here in Germany than they have in the USA.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Acer Liquid next week… can’t wait…

  17. Xperia X10 is the phone for me. I’m just waiting. From the latest videos it looks ready to be released. I hope the default UI has no framerate issues (ie, NOTHING on the phone results in a low frame rate). I hate it when scrolling from one screen to another is jerky. Always at least 30 fps to be in the green!

  18. “Looks like everything that needs to be said is said…Because I am one of those unlocked milstoners (writing right now on it)…the restriction in the market for unlocked phones is just crap…comon google is this open develeopment or not?”

    exactly. I think that if windows mobile wasnt so ugly slow and shitty, they would beat android because they are a true open source/free market OS. you get the OS and the phone, and like a laptop can do anything you want with it. not this waiting around for your carrier to permit you to do things that run perfectly on other phones. why 1.5, 1.6, and 2.0. how about 2.0 for everyone. free market! its our phones!

  19. Open the paid app store! ‘Nuff said.

  20. Hello?!?! I have yet to see anyone publish these statistics. I still see mainstream media quoting the old “10,000 apps” compared with 100,000 Apple apps. Nobody does any homework anymore, they just regurgitate what they’ve read. The number of Android apps is already exploding. Over 18,000 now. That’s just about double what there were at the beginning of Sept.


    Three months, folks. They’ve doubled in 3 months!

  21. Are we sure that SIM-unlocked phones don’t have access to the Market? Or are people confusing SIM-unlocked phones with the dev phone and rooted phones?

  22. Sharon: Hello! Yes.. The article referenced and linked to on the app explosion portion very much says that. In fact, they round up to 20k.

  23. No wonder why this is… Google is focused with his key new features (Voice, navigation etc.) on and only on American market. Furthermore, some of western european countries still does not have non-root payd market.

  24. @Johnny Awkward,

    Yes, we’re sure: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Android+Market/thread?tid=084e9487e0314217&hl=en

    It looks like they implemented a ‘clever’ way of stopping rooted / developer devices getting access to the market (why is it important to stop people who rooter THEIR phone from buying apps exactly… but I digress) and the knock on effect is that each SIM free model needs to be manually whitelisted in order to gain access to most paid apps in the market. There doesn’t seem to be a proper process for doing this whitelisting and the Market people are sitting with their fingers in their ears pretending not to notice.

    FWIW, people have been complaining about this since July 2009 with non-rooted, retail phones purchased in Europe.


  25. @Martin
    Yeah not sure what they are trying to say here.. Just a short time ago, we in the US had only the G1 and myTouch, and waited and waited for more HTC phones like the Hero, which took it’s sweet time getting here because HTC couldn’t make enough phones fast enough.. and were behind because they had backorders to fill for Europe, which has been enjoying Android for quite awhile.. I think this is wishful speculation by “otherphone” fanboys who ignore history and want to rewrite it in some desperate attempt to justify their “otherphone” purchase.. It doesn’t seem to match what really happened.. In fact, it is my opinion that the success in Europe is what led to carriers taking a bigger chance on Android here in the US.. You like Apples ? .. how about them Apples ? (Shameless rip-off from Good Will Hunting)

  26. The problem in Europe is that people simply don’t know what android is…. Here in the UK advertising is everything and all we ever get are those bloody iphone and blackberry adverts!!!!

    Seriously though, there is a massive market here that is being missed and before too long everyone will be tied into contracts on blackberry and iphone and there won’t be anything left. The solution is simple, people don’t know what to buy unless you show them…..

  27. I think that as I have stated before- Android will be above all soon just look at how they have grown. And look at how they work to fix problems with there phones…it is only a matter of time before Google wins all around the world with Android

  28. Paid apps for everyone, in all contries! This should really be a priority.

  29. Mads , agreed .
    Now many countries have android phones , but they can’t buy apps , and in many cases they don’t even get the market in the android os !! , also there is the language problem where most of people doesn’t have their language in the android os , so google I give you 7 months to solve this problems , or I’m really just going back to the iphone where I wont get this problems .

  30. the app thing is really strange….i have a rooted phone and have no problem downloading paid apps from the market…i don’t get this ….tho is the percentage of phones rooted and pirating software so great that they will risk losing the entire european market over it….i know personally i don’t pirate software on my phone

    this just seems very strange

    what if i want to unlock my phone to say travel to europe will i then risk losing my ability to get paid apps…its just very odd behavior

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