During this year’s holiday season news slow-down, a time which usually comes towards the end of the year, and is always full of opinion editorial pieces, Android’s manufacturing model has become a hot topic. It all started a little over a week ago now, when news first hit that HTC is planning on releasing less devices with a focus on higher quality in 2012. It brought up old questions about over saturation, fragmentation and most importantly, what’s best for consumers.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do the math. More devices means more choices for consumers, but there is a point where it becomes overwhelming. It also means more devices for accessory manufacturers to pick and choose from (because they certainly can’t cover them all), less innovation, lower quality products and more devices means more custom updates to develop and supply. All of these problems add up to one thing, a bad consumer experience. So how can manufacturers stop all these problems from happening?
It’s easy. They just have to slow down, and release less devices.
Samsung has started to head in the right direction. They still have a ways to go as far as sorting things out, but releasing one high-end Galaxy S device a year has done wonders to their sales numbers. Unfortunately, Samsung is still having problems keeping up. They recently announced that they would not be updating the Galaxy S and original 7-inch Galaxy Tab to Android 4. But after an outpouring of emotions from Galaxy S owners, Samsung has said that they are going to reevaluate the situation, and see what they can come up with.
Realistically, Samsung decided they wouldn’t update the Galaxy S and Tab because they didn’t want to. Their original decision had nothing to do with what’s best for consumers. Samsung has too much going on, and felt they could better invest their time elsewhere. This is where releasing less phones would really help. They’d have less hardware to focus on, and could devote resources to keeping current costumers happy. Not just finding new ones.
Having been met with more failures than success in the past, Acer is going to try the less quantity, more quality approach. Back in mid-December, Acer Chairman and acting CEO J.T. Wang said that his company’s product lineup would shrink by as much as two-thirds in 2012. Today, Acer’s founder, Stan Shih reiterated this, along with squashing any rumors that Acer was bowing out of the tablet and smartphone race.
Considering the much overlapped development of tablet PC and smartphones, a simplified organization is expected to increase operation efficiency, reduce conflicts in product development and consolidate resources for developing niche and competitive products.Stan ShihAcer
Making less devices with an emphasis on quality isn’t going to skyrocket Acer to the number one spot in Android or Windows devices, but it’s a step in the right direction. It’s one that all manufacturers with a hand in the Android market need to take.
I know we’ve been saying it a lot here at Android and Me lately, but 2012 is going to be an interesting year for Android. Especially if we see more killer devices, and a lot less terrible ones.