How are Android Devices selling from online retailers?
I have been blogging for a long time and have made a lot of friends in the industry. Running Mobility Digest has allowed me to talk to people and get information to blog about and really stay at the heart of what’s going on. So as it turns out yesterday, I was talking to folks at Wirefly and was asking them some hard questions of which some of them they would comment, and some others they could not. First, did you know that Wirefly is the largest online only authorized retailer of phones? They have stiff competition, but not having the brick and mortar stores like Best Buy and Radio Shack to help push their online efforts, Wirefly has to do things the old fashion way, better. Yet Wirefly is not without their fair share of problems. You may or may not have noticed, but AT&T is no longer being sold at Wirefly. What’s up with that? Well, that is one of the things I could not get out of them. I suspect that it has to do with the prospect of eventually selling AT&T again in the future. What I do know is that changes made by AT&T caused a lot of online only retailers to quit selling AT&T devices. Myself, I have a love hate relationship with AT&T, but my home town is quite limited on carriers so AT&T is it.
So as I was speaking to Wirefly I asked them how sales were without the presence of the Death Star. They said that sales were good and that Android was covering the hole left by AT&T. AS a side note, Wirefly does not sell the iPhone either by their former exclusive distributor AT&T, or the second carrier with Apple’s iPhone, Verizon. So I asked Wirefly what was their top selling Android devices and I was a little surprised by the result.
When you look through the top ten selling Android devices on Wirefly.com, you will notice that Verizon does not represent the top 5 spots, and they don’t even have the number one spot locked up. Even more surprising was that with the top US carriers Wirefly does carry, the top positions are pretty well spread out. On top is Sprint with the HTC EVO 4G. I know that this device would do well, but not really on top. And so it seems that Sprint actually landed 3 top ten finishers along with T-Mobile, and Big Red Verizon claiming the other four.
The next surprise was the devices. I was expecting to see the latest and greatest prominently displayed from the top down but this was not the case. More often it is the free Android device with 2 year contract that is moving the most off Wirefly’s shelves. As a matter of fact, only three of the top ten will cost you any money, and of those, one is priced $19.99 (Sprint HTC EVO 4G), the second is $49.99 (T-Mobile myTouch 4G), and $129.99 (T-Mobile HTC Sensation 4G). All of the others were free under contract.
From a device standpoint, six out of the ten devices were running on 4G speed networks. Only one, the T-Mobile Sensation 4G was running a dual core 1.2 processor. You will not find the 3D Android devices on here either. So are online consumers taking advantage of more cost pointed Android devices and that is what is fueling Android’s tremendous growth. There is no doubt that Android offers something for just about everyone. Because I am a tech nut, I assume most people are like me and only carry the latest cutting edge technology. I think that is part of the reason Android has done so well, they remain on top for the baddest spec’d out device money can buy. Combine that with multiple solid spec devices across all carriers that are free and there is your recipe for taking over the mobile world, or at least attempting too.
Even though Android is not without their fair share of problems, they do have a solid Marketplace to sell apps and encourage development, as well as generate interest. We see Android continue to release updates at a furious pace. Gingerbread, or Android 2.3 is making the rounds on carrier updates and most devices are running Froyo, Android 2.2. Even the Android Tablets are getting attention with Honeycomb, Android 3.0 which made to optimized specially for tablets. And keeping up with Apple and their fall release of iOS 5 and Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango, Google will be launching Ice Cream Sandwich Android version 2.4 (that’s what they call it, fo’ realz) to coincide with all of the other operating systems being released.
So check out the top ten Android devices from Wirefly and taking it with a grain of salt of course because of the missing AT&T lineup. I still thought this was post worthy and wanted to share some of the information I got from Wirefly.
The nation’s first 4G smartphone is the number one selling device at Wirefly. Sprint has done a great job marketing their 4G capable devices and going after the market with a solid device in the HTC EVO 4G. Running Android 2.2 Froyo, the EVO 4G comes with a 1GHz Snapdragon Processor (no dual core goodness), Rear 8MP Camera and A 1.3MP Front-facing Camera, 4.3″ Display, and a unique kickstand for easy media viewing on-the-go. The Sprint EVO 4G is a great device and there is no doubt why Sprint has been enjoying great success with their Android lineup of devices.
Currently the Sprint EVO 4G is $19.99 with 2 year contract.
Verizon’s Motorola Droid X takes a back seat in sales only to the EVO 4G and remains a very popular choice among consumers. Excellent build quality and marketing by Motorola and Verizon launched solid sales and success. With a huge 4.3 inch display, the Droid X touts about having a “Pocket-sized Home Theater”. Slightly behind on the battle of specs, the Droid X comes with a 1GHz processor, 8MP Camera With Dual Flash, high definition 720p video recording, running Android 2.2 Froyo on Verizon’s 3G network. Number two on the list is free with two year contract.
The latest myTouch for T-Mobile is now 4G! Running on Android 2.2 operating, the myTouch 4G comes with a Qualcomm MSM8255, 5.0MP Camera With Auto-focus and Flash Also Captures HD Video. The very popular myTouch has received a lot of marketing and some very humorous videos poking fun at AT&T’s iPhone. The marketing seems to have paid off for TMO, because the myTouch 4g is #3 on the top ten. Currently the myTouch 4G is $49.99 when you sign up and commit to a two year contract.
After grabbing the number one spot, Sprint is back with the HTC EVO Shift 4G featuring and EVO Style slide out keyboard. Keyboard lovers give up screen size and in this case the 4.3” inch screen in big brother EVO 4G is now reduced down to 3.6” inch capacitive only. Never fear, it is still running on Sprint’s 4G network while rocking out with Android Froyo 2.2. 5MP Autofocus Camera With 720p HD Camcorder, Talk and Browse The Web Simultaneously In 4G and WiFi Coverage Areas, and a Processor Speed-800MHz. The EVO Shift 4G is free with 2 year contract from Sprint.
Verizon hits the top ten for a second time with their HTC Droid Incredible 2. Following up from the original Droid Incredible, the second coming of the Droid Incredible comes with Android Froyo 2.2 with HTC Sense, 4″ Super LCD Display, 8MP Rear-facing Camera and A 1.3MP Front-facing, 720p HD video capture, and a now substandard 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 Snapdragon Processor.
The Droid Incredible is now priced for the very low price of free when you sign on the dotted line for a 2 year contract.
If it’s free, it’s for me, and if it’s 4G, it makes me really happy! Okay, no more rhymes. But what we have at the number 6 spot is the T-Mobile Samsung Exhibit 4G. Powered by Android 2.3 “Gingerbread”, the Exhibit sports a Lightning-fast 1GHz Hummingbird Processor, Dual Cameras w/3MP Rear Facing, and a tiny 3.5 inch screen. (seriously, it’s that small). But it’s free, and it’s 4G, but plan on signing over a 2 year contract baby! Okay, I’m done now.
T-Mobile’s HTC Sensation 4G is cutting edge and one badass Android device for all the fine Carly Foulkes loving subscribers at TMO. The HTC Sensation comes running Android Gingerbread, beautiful 4.3″ Super LCD qHD Touch Screen, 1.2GHz Dual Core Processor, 1080p HD Capture and Video Sharing Using The 8MP Camera, and speeding along on T-Mobiles 4G network. I still am a huge fan of HTC Sense and this is an excellent choice for T-Mobile subscribers to consider when upgrading or jumping into a new two year contract. Currently the T-Mobile HTC Sensation 4G is $129.99 w/Contract.
The Verizon Droid 2 from Motorola features a 3.7” screen with slide out keyboard. Packing a 5MP Camera With Dual LED Flash and DVD-D1 Video Capture, the Droid 2 speeds along with it’s 1.2GHz processor. Not a 4G device, so you will not get Verizon’s speedy 4G LTE network. The droid 2 is currently free with two year commitment. The Droid 2 is currently running Android Froyo 2.2.
The Kyocera Echo by Sprint features the first dual touch screen Android Smartphone that opens up a huge 4.7 inch display. 5 Megapixel Camera With LED Flash, Digital Zoom, and 720p HD Video Capture. The Echo come loaded with Froyo, Android 2.2 and is currently free with two year commitment.
Finishing off the top ten is the Verizon LG Cosmos Touch. Definitely nothing to write home about where the specs are concerned, but it does come in at the free mark.
“The LG Cosmos Touch for Verizon Wireless is a quick messaging phone for the serious texter. Slim, sleek, and feature-packed, this handset boasts a touch screen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard for unsurpassed messaging speed and convenience.” Cosmos Touch includes a 1.3mp camera, BT headset capability, direct uploading of images to Facebook, and a Favorites Key to connect with 11 contacts
I’ve been wondering this for a while too and this article actually bolsters my opinions, and explains a lot.
The truth is MOST people simply don’t give a shit about specs. It’s as simple as “can it do what i like?” and they’re happy. A small minority bother getting wrapped up in processor speeds, etc… I mean until the OEM’s start putting it in commercials and convince the sheep to care. And that small minority are the ones making the most noise in forums, and blogs and what not. i wont claim the 5 people I know with Androids represent the vast majority of android users, but I do think they’re pretty accurate. Of that 5 4 of them have no eartly clue what the phones can really do. It can text, take pics, facebook, internet and their fine. The other didn’t know much either, he got an EVO and learned a bit abou it. But none of them got thier devices for any “droid specific” reasons beyond, big screen and keyboard.
With the carriers being flooded with android devices it makes perfect sense that the prices would be so low and so many people would end up with them. Most folks simply don’t know about smartphones, and if the dude at the store is pushing it on them they are most likely going to get it. it’s not a true choice for most, it just becomes a decision they end up happy with IMO.
Great article! Yes most people are turning to wirefly and other online sources like Amazon Wireless to get good phones and great prices. At this point one has to wonder how brick and mortar stores are still popping up.
OEMs are flooding the market with Android devices and thats causing the logical slashing of prices. The funny thing is that OEMs are competing against themselves as they all are releasing multiple models in a short span of time and thus drastically cutting the shelf life of their own products.
I walked into Walmart’s wireless store and out of the 35 models I seen there were 27 Android phones, 2 iphones (3Gs, 4G) and the rest being off-contract feature phones. Its to the point that stores only have so much shelf space and competing platforms have to fight just to have a place.
So……..to eventually be competitive, MS will need to flood the market with WP7 offerings OR is it about giving phones away with a new 2year contract?? I used to be very spec oriented as I knew the custom ROMs I would run required the best. I don’t give specs a second thought now, my Focus runs really smooth and performs more than any custom ROM I’ve used in years past. I think the OS is important for getting the consumer to not care as much about the specs. Thoughts??
I think processor specs are about to play out as real drivers for sales, but I am still very interested to see camera specs continue to improve. So in that respect, I think specs are very important. We are already seeing HD video capture as standard now as well as HD screens. Hell, there are even 3D screens. I know and recognize that the OS is the most important and that current processors are more than capable to handle them because of the continued optimization, but we live with our devices daily, relay on them in so many ways, and multi media , especially taking pictures is huge for me.
Either Simmons doesn’t read your posts, or he likes you too much to comment on how your grammar gives him aneurisms.
@Ali: He does and I’m sure he’ll appreciate your thorough scrutiny of my article.