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Is the Android OS bigger than the brand?




For the last two years, I’ve bought over half a dozen smartphones running Android OS and realized they came from different handset brands — Samsung, Sony-Ericsson, HTC and just recently LG (the Optimus 2X, my very first LG phone ever).

One thing came to mind — has Android grown so big it’s now even bigger than the handset brand? What I mean is that consumers will start trusting and/or buying devices not primarily because of the brand but because it’s running on Android.

My personal experience might be an isolated case but I’d like to hear what others think. Is Android OS a bigger influence than the handset brand when buying a smartphone?

Go hit the comments to share your opinion.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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85 Responses

  1. Imitator says:

    What could happen is vey much similar to the current PC market: Windows being the standard software and people deciding their purchase based on the hardware or aesthetics of the computer.

    Android will become the standard smartphone OS (like Windows is for PCs) and people will start deciding which phone to purchase based on their own needs (the latest hardware, aesthetics, unique offerings, etc., whatever they want)

  2. Justine says:

    Is there a possibility that Nokia will have Android phones?

    • Hivemind says:

      No chance Nokia will ever have an Android OS phone, especially now that it will be bought by Microsoft.

  3. Benchmark says:

    IMO Brand names choose Android for it can be customized/personalized, plus it is cheaper than developing their own OS.

    And I don’t think consumers will buy a unit because of the OS, but because it is cheaper & has good specs under a reliable brand.

    Am I in the right drift??? :)

  4. charli3 says:

    I think this is true for some brands. For example, I myself am willing to buy an LG phone since it uses Android, same with samsung. If not for these OSes, I won’t waste my time playing with Touchwiz or LG’s default OS.

  5. Seph says:

    Brand name would still apply for me. I wouldn’t be buying an Android phone coming from a less known manufacturer.

  6. Ry says:

    I believe you are right, Sir Yuga. People look at the UI and features of an OS as much as they look at the specs. Android is a nice OS (a potential iPhone killer as they’ve said). I guess the brand manufacturer’s only option is by making good specs that can outdone others. We can already see this kind of war in the android tablet war

  7. Dhan says:

    definitely agree with @Imitator & @Ry’s opinions.

    PC:
    OS = Windows
    alternative = Mac OS
    PC specs = user’s preference

    Mobile:
    OS = Android
    alternative = iOS
    PC specs = user’s preference

    P.S: I’ve got nothing against apple or its products but it’s how I see the consumer-market regarding the PC and mobile world. :)

  8. Wakocoke says:

    maybe in the future we can build our own mobile phone!

    CPU: Snapdragon 1GHZ
    GPU: RSX 256MB
    Motherboard: ASUS KXXXX
    RAM: 512MB corsair
    Screen: 4.5in LG OLED
    Casing: Samsung Galaxy ATX
    Battery: HEC 2000maH
    OS: Android Spaghetti

    LOL

  9. JKisaragi says:

    “Is Android OS a bigger influence than the handset brand when buying a smartphone?”

    I think it’s more of the features of the OS. I mean, it sure was the deciding factor for me when I bought my SGS last June. I just wanted something fluid that worked out-of-the-box and something that would pretty much let me do anything without having it tied to a PC software.

    The brand would come into equation when it is known to have already established a very good reputation of producing quality phones, and/or if the buyer has had a very good run with it so far.

  10. giogagz says:

    Agree aq sau sir yuga

  11. caloy says:

    I think it the OS and the brand comes hand in hand when choosing what phone to buy.

  12. kannuchi says:

    I have had officemates who are fond of high-end mobile phones.

    They have Galaxy S, iPhone 4, LG 2x, HTC HD, HTC Desire, Xperia Arc, Blackberry Bold, etc.

    Based on their feedback, I often hear performance, battery and stability issues of OS and softwares mostly on Android ones, be it rooted or not. iPhone 4 and BB, none at all.

    That’s why I’m still in wait if WP7 is going to win on this, since I saw youtube how great UX on WP7 was, as well as the recently launched Mango update.

  13. Mat says:

    I would say, No. At least to the informed. Even if you dont fancy rooting, the brand plays a part in terms of UI/Skin. If you are a fan of root, then you would go to brands that make it easier to do so. Plus, theres the build. The reason I dont touch Samsung phones is that I don’t like how it feels in hand compared to those from HTC. Also, you have to think of the service. Some brands are better than others.

  14. coollearner says:

    As per my observation and personal purchase YES

  15. Noir says:

    Hmmm I havent tried to use a Android yet. (Globe still doesnt have 3 Huawei Ideos Phones in stock)

    But Once i saw it was Android and it’s specs Top Notch. I didnt care about the brand.

    Although I am a PC Enthusisast so Brand does not really hinder me from buying

  16. tmcr says:

    Would you buy a china phone that runs on Android?

    • yuga says:

      @tmcr – Cherry Mobile, Torque and Huawei are some of the Chinese-supplied Android phones that are quite popular in the Philippine market so I’d say Android still had an influence.

    • tmcr says:

      how about this no name china phone? :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCRqSJZ2_0U

    • rene says:

      I may add if the price is cheaper and its android why not. It all depends on what spectrum your in, class d will certainly get them because thats all they can afford.

    • tmcr says:

      That’s worth 10-12k as sold online. So that’s definitely not for Class D. If you have that much money, which would you buy that phone or b) Samsung Wave or c) Nokia C7?

  17. dan says:

    yes android is a big influence. i am not looking at the brands nowadays but on its OS especially android

  18. faisalsher says:

    i think now a days android is ruling the market :)

  19. Iyan Sommerset says:

    Definitely. In the same way as many people don’t really go buy Dell/HP/Acer/etc desktops (and to a lesser extent, laptops). It’s all about what’s inside and what that entails, not the packaging on the outside.

    Of course, cheapo China phones still make you think twice, the same as getting cheapo China PC parts/laptops do.

    But in the end, I’d say that people who choose to buy Android phones choose them primarily because they’re Android and only secondarily because they’re *insert X brand*.

  20. mark says:

    an android phone made by crking. . .
    Would you buy it?

  21. mark says:

    an android phone made by cdrking. . .
    Would you buy it?

  22. Derrick says:

    I will definitely go for Android any day(and you already know why). And for the mobile phone brand, I’ll go for the trusted one in terms of quality and presentation. Samsung Android for the kill!

  23. 1001 says:

    it’s worth a try. if it works go for it. if not then….

  24. Dindo says:

    first time android user and i love it.

  25. Zo says:

    finally, it’s dawning on people. Android is a wave sweeping across the globe.

    The sheer number of phone AND tablet manufacturers are dishing out devices left and right sporting Droid OS. It’s obvious that yes, Android has become bigger than the phone brand themselves. It’s even the reason why those brands are selling. But if i recall correctly, Android ‘s been really just a platform created by google. Sure they have the Nexus phone line, but i’m pretty sure Android came out first as really just a platform…

  26. 21 says:

    Well, Nokia and Apple is BIGGER than Android..
    Wanna buy an android, but my mind keep telling me just wait for WP7… geez !
    anyone?wat u recommend? Microsoft is updating fast the Os..

    • tmcr says:

      try launcher 7 app on Android Market. Your Android phone will look and feel like a Windows Phone. Plus you have access to Android Apps. The best of both worlds.

    • Wakocoke says:

      man that’s unfair, nokia PLUS apple

      siguradong mas malaki nga sila sa android LOL

  27. wanroyd says:

    nope. i wont buy a myphone or cherry mobile with android OS..

    wait for windows phones. very promising indeed.

  28. marvin says:

    I say YES! But i would still consider what brand i am buying.

    And no! I would never buy a wndows phone. Cause it is on a closed system. I am tired of all the restrictions a closed source OS can give me. Parang wala kang kalayaan sa sarili mong cellphone. Stuck ka lang kung anu ang gusto ng microsoft para sayu.
    That is why android rules and will continue to rule. It really defines what a true smartphone should be.

  29. nivla says:

    Yes Android is a big factor for me in buying phone doesn’t really care with the brand. So far I still have Samsung and HTC Android phones..

  30. Winziph says:

    hindi ako sure pero sa tingin ko YES lalo na at Google pa ang gumawa kaya parang naging household name pa lalo.

    by the way pa promote na rin po itong NIKON entry ko pa LIKE na lang po hehe http://d5100.nikon-asia.com/en/submissions/12291

  31. rene says:

    From the start I believe its always been about OS. I bought a Nokia because its user friendly. I got an android because its got more apps and its cheaper than the iphone.

  32. Pinoy Persuasion says:

    YES! Android has been made to be a distinct brand in itself and has become an attraction for consumers in their purchase decision-making. A clear rival of iOS.

  33. SGT-Owner says:

    For me i can put a video like series i download and just watch it right out there with out even converting it and easy and fast not like when i use Apple still good but for now i can use it and modify it like i really want to. Then there is the new GUI a Mod Desktop like interface still you can get what its always we see. Then where almost half of the people use the Google Chrome it will be the new browser in the Android 3.0 and 3.1 with that in mind i really cant think of going back at Apple when i finally got to use a iPad2 i never got to use it in a top of 10mins dead zone for me already know it only i check out is the camera where it suck dunno but for me still go for the basic digicam.

  34. Sha Um Sala says:

    When I talk to most of my friends and acquaintances, here and other parts of SouthEast Asia, they don’t even know what Android really is. When I started talking about them they go like “Oh Android, yeah I heard about them…” and then basically the talk diverts to another brand like iPhone or Nokia.

  35. Jon says:

    Nah, I still think people stick to their favorite brand. I’m sure these companies make sure that their products still maintain their own identity, especially when they are running an OS like Android. If you notice, big brand names like HTC, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung all have distinct looks.

  36. rguintoph says:

    Yes for me.

    I was a loyal Sony Ericsson user until the iPhone came. I thought to my self that I would never replace my iPhone and just upgrade to latest iPhone model if ever it breaks down.

    But now, I find my self looking into LG, HTC, Sony Ericsson again, heck even Huawei Ideos and Cherry Mobile because of the Android OS. It’s a real treat for consumers that you now have a myriad of phone models to choose from without having to worry about adapting to a new UI. Even my mom now does facebook, e-mail, YM, Skype and Twitter (to follow showbiz tsismis) because of her droid phone :D

  37. Jhoms says:

    For me, Yes! android FTW! Regardless kahit ano pang Brand yan as long as okay sakin ang hardware specs and price :)

  38. brian says:

    the OS plays a big part in the equation but its not everything..

    you still have to factor in specs, aesthetics and of course, the value for money.. it may not be in that particular order, though..

  39. Nico says:

    It’s like hamburger. No matter what raw materials you put into it, someone will buy it eventually since it’s hamburger. It has this template of perception that it’s delicious, especially when you have a reputation of selling tasty fried chicken since.

    As I see it, Android OS just got into great timing with cheaper internet connectivity(due to the rising LTE marketing perhaps), with different tech advancements available(High resolution screens, camera sensors etc. at their mainstream age) and with the current market competition(the blend of Apple’s & RIM’s cheap savvy phones and Nokia’s expensive, low-tech, entry-level phones; notice the sarcasm).

  40. phets says:

    Hi Abe! Just a question.. The Optimus 2x that you have, is that the one you bought from the sale? :D How long before you got the phone? :)

  41. adam says:

    I am willing to buy Cherry Mobile as long as it has android OS.

  42. Eason says:

    Android did revolutionized the Phone industry, making smartphones available to the mass. Before OEM manufacturers has MTK OS but now the can release Android phones which enhanced their brand such example are (Cherry Mobile, Torque).

    Even Huawei and ZTE started to enter the phone market due to android making them now reputable in the market by bringing affordable entry level androids.

    With almost all brands going ANDROID I just hope they are all willing to provide updates if its available and not abandon their customers.

    For me Android is definitely BIGGER than the brand itself especially if its the LATEST version. With the Filipino instinct to follow the latest trend they will definitely try android even at any brand.

  43. Th0m5k says:

    Short answer: Yes.

    Long answer: Many mobile device companies are hitching their wagons to the Android train Their business model hinges on the success of the open Android platform.

  44. justlhiz says:

    I believe too Sir Yuga.. I wont buy a new Phone if its not running on Android OS.. hehehe.. Big Point you got there

  45. Mills says:

    ~ for me, i guess its a mix of both — the brand plus the OS it runs on…but i give higher consideration to the OS. :D

  46. Glen says:

    Same for me. I only buy android phones. But I do care about brands.

    I used to buy only HTC or Sony Ericsson brands.
    Now im considering Motorola, Samsung, LG because of Android.

    I believe that Android is the future of mobileOS.

  47. scandid says:

    Android users are Jologs!

  48. scandid says:

    Jologs will buy Cherry Mobile because it’s Android.

  49. beanniebaby says:

    I like the android because of the android market, where i can download a lot of free stuff. but there is serious lag time, i get frustrated trying to download a new apps. i like the ipad but all the decent apps, i have to purchase. but now i think we have an alternative, the bLackBerry playbook, check the Blackberry Playbook revew for more info. i for one can’ t wait to own one

    • poche says:

      madami lang free stuffs ang android now kasi di pa nila maperfect ang market nila. pero once na ok na yan parang ios app store na din yan.

    • ako says:

      @poche

      “madami lang free stuffs ang android now kasi di pa nila maperfect ang market nila. pero once na ok na yan parang ios app store na din yan.”

      ang labo naman ata na susunod ang android app market sa IOS store . . yung android app market open market . . . kahit sino pede maglagay at mag-benta ng apps ng walang gaanong supervision ng Google

      . . sa IOS store, mahigpit na binabantayan ng Apple . . at dapat e-approve pa ng Apple yung apps bago ilagay sa IOS store nila . . na may dagdag nang patong . . kasi pera naman talaga habol ng Apple eeh . .

      yung angry birds nga sa android free . . ba’t di yun magawa sa IOS store ?

      at saka depende naman yan sa developer ng games at apps . . kung lalagyan nila ng presyo yung apps nila o free at sa ibang paraan sila babawi . . tulad ng paglalagay ng ADs habang naglalaro ka . . o optional na pagbili ng items ingame . .

  50. raul barrios says:

    The OS is a big factor but I guess the quality of the brand must also come in mind. You don’t buy a phone for it’s OS but purpose.

  51. John says:

    HAHA! bakit sir yuga? ang pangit ng LG 2x no? ma lag ba? HAHA!

    afaik, samsung galaxy s2 is the only dual core android phone that can really deliver. I mean, that can even compare to wp7 phones and iOS phones in terms of smoothness.

    I dont know about HTC, i never heard any review about the sensation, but samsung did something on the galaxy S2.

    anyway, i still go for brand name.

  52. poche says:

    ang problema kasi sa android e fragmented yun os at hardware kaya iba iba experience ng mga users.
    iba ibang brands at iba iba pa system o hardware specs. idagdag nio pa yun mga tweaks na ginagawa ng mga handset maker.

    for ex un lg 2x e halos kapareho lang yun ng galaxy s2 sa specs pero malag daw lalo na sa hd video playback.

    • Anonymous says:

      “ang problema kasi sa android e fragmented yun os at hardware kaya iba iba experience ng mga users.”

      -this is manufacturers fault for bringing too much choices to the table

      “iba ibang brands at iba iba pa system o hardware specs. idagdag nio pa yun mga tweaks na ginagawa ng mga handset maker.”

      -i would rather not call them “tweaks” but “bloats” would be the appropiate term plus add the different launchers which sometimes hinders the performance of the Android OS; Blur by Moto; Touchwiz by Samsung; Sense by HTC; etc..

      “for ex un lg 2x e halos kapareho lang yun ng galaxy s2 sa specs pero malag daw lalo na sa hd video playback.”

      -this is same as with a PC with same specs but has different hardware inside it, the other may perform better because of the hardware inside it. Samsung clearly has an advantage since it puts it’s own hardware (SAMOLED+ DISPLAY,CPU,GPU,NAND,FLASH MEM,etc..) on it’s phones

  53. milan gan says:

    I believe so sir yuga, and I can attest to that, before whenever I plan to check on up coming mobile phones, i go to websites of nokia, sony Ericsson, motorola, etc. but now, all I do is go to your websites or crackberry or Android central or wp central and even engadget

  54. tfcnow01 says:

    the answer depends on how you define big first? next question is can you really size an OS and compare it the way you size a hardware manufacturer brand?

    truth of the matter is, any operating system can be tweaked, optimize, improved, and what not. the question is always, can the hardware cope up?

    its like you have a lot of things you wanna do in your life or a lot you wanna be, question is, can your body handle it? or your the type who just talks or thinks a lot but not action at all.

  55. supernaut says:

    That’s what i think too. Android is bigger than the handset brand itself. First choice is OS (android) then the brand is just secondary.

  56. Ralph says:

    I want to have an android even if its only a cherry mobile phone..I want to experience android OS!:D

  57. e30ernest says:

    Yeah I didn’t pay much attention to the brand. I just went with whatever device was running stock Android. My first was the Nexus One and my current is a Nexus S.

  58. bern says:

    Yeah, bigger than brand – that brand is “Apple”

  59. light says:

    @ will consumers start trusting and/or buying devices not primarily because of the brand but because it’s running on Android?

    For me, the answer is ‘not really’. Android isn’t that perfect yet. I mean you can compare an android phone that has really high specs and yet the general experience (scrolling and stuff) is inferior to that of iPhone 4, even if it has greater specs.

    What I’m trying to say is that the Android OS isn’t that much ‘optimized’ yet, so just buying an inferior model just because it has Android is a waste. (But if that’s all the average consumer can afford, then why not?)

  60. TechLinking says:

    samsung galaxy s2 is the only dual core android phone that can really deliver. I mean, that can even compare to wp7 phones and iOS phones in terms of smoothness.

  61. mikey says:

    not exactly, it’s like a flow chart:

    windows phone 7 – ios – android – blackberry
    if android, motoblur, htc sense or touchwiz?
    etc etc etc

    anyway point being that the way you choose your brand is the same as the way you choose your OS, it’s just a matter of preference and ofc price.

  62. cesar says:

    well, the android OS is a catch for me… but i still look for the brand and specially for the tech specs (the processor speed and the memory)since android Os is better used with fast processors… which I prefer samsung to be in the top and LG 2x on the line too.

  63. Cez Prieto says:

    I agree that the Android OS is bigger than the brand. When I went to buy my first Android phone I did not care much about the brand as long as its running on an Android OS and that it was within my budget.

  64. windows phone 7 OS is way better than Android.

  65. Cez Prieto says:

    I agree with you that the Android OS is bigger than the brand because when I first bought my first Android phone I did not care about the brand as long as it was running the Android OS and that it was within my budget.

  66. Revjustice says:

    Opinion ko lang po: For me, if its android then it must be cheap, easy to use and most of all, very customizable. its like iphone on steroids. android for me is freedom. download lotsa apps without voiding the warranty. customise your fone to your heart’s content. expand your memory (expandable SD slots) for additional storage. virtually unlimited usage because of the freedom of choice. unlike iphone and windows phone, most apps must be approved by the os provider muna. pag hindi and nagkaroon ng problema handset nyo, voided ang warranty. unlike iphone, pwd ka mag store ng madaming mp3’s, hd video to your heart’s content without jailbreaking your phone to accept the video. and unlike iphone, mas mura sya. kahit na umabot pa sya ng 20t+, mas mura pa din kesa iphone. so kung choices lang, i’d rather go for android. :D

  67. bench says:

    hindi ko rin maintindihan..dati nung bago palang i launch ang OS na ito ang sabi nila ito ay para sa masa sa presyong abot kaya..sa ngayon nakikita ko mga lumalabas na gadgets na may OS na android e sobrang mahal..nakikipagkumpetensya na sa presyo ng apple products..samantalang..kung ikukuimpara mo ito sa ibang OS hindi padin talaga totally complete ang OS nato..a lot of applications are way behind than those apps sa appstore.

    • ako says:

      aaaaahhh . . binasa nyu po ba yung comment nyu ?

      “gadgets na may OS na android e sobrang mahal..nakikipagkumpetensya na sa presyo ng apple products”

      ang layo kaya ng price tag ng apple products sa android gadgets . . note . . wag nyu pong i-kumpara ang price ng ipod nano sa samsung galaxy tab . . kasi totally na magkaiba yan . .

      yung mga bagong labas na high-end na mga android phones di lumalampas ng 30k pagkatapos ng ilang buwan bababa yan malapit ng 20k . . yung iphone 4 30k+ . . aside sa hype at label nito . . wala namang ibang dahilan bakit sobrang mahal ang mga ito . . . OVERPRICED

      aside sa high-end na android phones . . merong mga 4-5k na mga android phones na merong desenteng specs(hindi naman ata gagana ang android OS sa mababang spec na phone . .

      “kung ikukuimpara mo ito sa ibang OS hindi padin talaga totally complete ang OS nato..a lot of applications are way behind than those apps sa appstore.”

      pero kumpleto na ba talaga ang iOS ?? eeeh merong mga bagong apps na hindi gumagana o not supported sa mga 3g apple gadgets . . kumpleto ba yun ?? eh 1 year lang naman ang gap ng iphone/ipod touch 3 sa iphone/ipod touch 4 . . panu naging hindi supported ang bagong apps ??

      at ang dami ng reviews sa internet na nagsasabi na ang iOS ng iphone, ipod touch at ipad . .eeeh sobrang outdated na talaga . . hindi mo nga ma-fully customize yung screen ng iphone . .

      at saka . . na-overtake na ng android app market ang appstore ng apple . . pano naging way behind ang android ??

  68. Alwin says:

    I think the Android OS is bigger and that’s why a lot of phone manufacturers are racing to get a slice of the pie. Motorola even got a shot in the arm with this OS.

  69. karl says:

    .android is not necessarily bigger than the phone’s brand for me. for example: i will not buy a TORQUE or CHERRY MOBILE android phone :D. read reviews first then decide.

  70. sir abe! is there a situation that your LG optimus 2x restarts by it’s self? kasi nanalo ako sa LG blog contest and magkakaroon na ko ng 2x baka nxt week daw.. is it worth it or madame talaga bugs ang 2x??? thanks po..

  71. karl says:

    still relie on the brand.the os has nothing to do with the quality of the phone.. os nga android d mo nmn mgmit ng ayos ngsayang k lng ng PERA.
    for example:
    may mga ngrereklamo n malag daw e2 o d kya nmn buggy o kya panget ang specs.. syempre kpag bibili be wise..
    tulad ng cherry mobile i’m not saying this offend them but to tell them to improve their work.. they can make things with a cheap price without giving up the quality.. mrmi kong nbsa sa mga tech blog n nttkot clang bumili ng cherry mobile kasi mdling mcra … so dun n lng cla sa trusted brands… Filipino based p nman yan… nbbhiran ng ndi mgnda ang ating bansa kilala tau sa mgndang quality at ndi sa quantity ,d tulad ng china n mataas ung bilang ng mga binebentA nila la nmn kwenta xcept lng s mga branded doon tulad ng lenovo zte huawei etc etc..
    pra sa akin myphone ang mtibay n brand d2 sa pinay though i don’t own 1 handset of them… most awaited p rin kung mglalabas cla ng android phone and tablet…

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