After a brief chat with TeleChoice CEO Ehab Abdou today at the launch of their new sponsorship with the Sydney Swans, I came away with a distinct vibe that while Apple has its salivating fanboys, Android has its fair share of fans too. With over 150 TeleChoice stores operating across Australia and a serious passion for the Android platform, Abdou is in a unique position to comment on the developing Apple versus Android war.
Regardless of the recent iPad 2 hype he says, Android still has a strong place in the market as a viable alternative in both tablets and smartphones. Given the iPad’s impressive marketing and brand saturation recently, Abdou is quick to point out that there’s still plenty to learn when it comes to imitating the Apple appeal.
“We can learn from them. We can knock em, but at the end of the day, they did excite the market.”
Abdou is not just making decisions based on his own interests (he’s using a Nokia N8 for now), but given his large stable of stores offering Android phones on the Optus Network (he does wish HTC hadn't signed an agreement with Telstra though), Abdou believes there is a larger market for those people who have yet to even purchase an iPhone or a tablet. Even still, there's little love for Apple products at TeleChoicea: the company does not stock iPads, even though it already sells iPhones.
TeleChoice’s Top 3 Reasons For Going With Android:
1) It’s not an iPhone 2) More of the apps are free 3) Once you get familiar with the Android system, you can jump from one different handset to another and still understand how to use the phone.
The scope for emerging smartphone players such as Nokia (who recently made an agreement with Microsoft to use the Windows Mobile platform) and Android-powered tablets and handsets (including the Samsung Galaxy S, which is TeleChoice’s best selling handset) is growing says Abdou.
Will 2011 become the year of the Android? It’s certainly possible, says Abdou. In the next few months, new phones including a Sony Erricson gaming smartphone and popular sequels such as the follow-up to Samsung’s Galaxy S (due around May he confirmed) will debut and prove even more tempting value to customers.
Abdou is hoping, like many, that the future of Android will provide a real alternative to smartphone innovation in an Apple dominated marketplace:
“They [Apple]introduced new technology, we’re forever grateful for that. But hopefully that’s going to change over the next few months as manufacturers come out with new technologies.”