Google and Android Focus on Consumer Electronics
July 13, 2012
Reporter Galen Gruman suspects the youngsters at Google just want to be entertained. That’s one speculation he puts forth in InfoWorld’s “After I/O: Google Tries to be Sony, Hobbles Android’s Business Case.” The renaming of Android Marketplace to Google Play should have been our first clue that the company is veering toward the fun stuff, he says.
The article notes that, back in the day, Sony was a consumer-electronics powerhouse; the Walkman cassette player was as significant in its time as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been over the past few years. (Will I seem like a dinosaur if I admit I used to own one?) That pioneering company is the Sony of Gruman’s title, the example Google now seems to be reaching for.
Gruman provides several examples of both Google’s current consumer-electronics focus and ways in which the company is neglecting business applications; see the article for his logic and evidence. Search functionality, I suspect, falls into this apparently diminishing category. The article observes:
“That entertainment focus may be the right move for Google — there’s a lot of money in the space, and Apple is proving hard to beat in the business market even as Android does well in the consumer smartphone market. Furthermore, Google’s business is based on advertising, and having a play-oriented platform that collects data about where people spend their time and discretionary dollars — made possible in the new Google Now service in Android 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’ — could reap Google billions as it sells individuals’ behavior profiles to consumer goods and services companies.”
Gruman speculates that Apple will move in to fill the business gap Android seems to be leaving. He also supposes that, as the median age of Google employees goes up, the company may return to a more business-oriented space. Perhaps.
Cynthia Murrell, July 13, 2012
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