Looking at the myriads of Android handsets (priced Rs.5000 to 8000) now available in India you see attempts to play down branding, unless you’re Samsung, LG or even a Nokia. Here’s an example. This Croma (a large electronics chain like Best Buy) Android phone has no branding on the front face. Most follow this trend. The plastic back has limited branding. If the owner is even worried about being seen to carry the wrong brand they can easily cover it with a case (many cases just their hand). Then no-one can determine what Android anyone is carrying. Android has been an equaliser. What makes one Android phone different from another are a few hardware specs, the Android OS version and after purchase, only the owner will know, which brand it is. For much less than $150 I can have the latest Android jellybean, a good screen and 5mpx camera.
Android is now the brand of phone and tablet you buy in India today.
The same picture exists with Tablets. As perspective, Croma sells a tablet too (approx Rs.9000). Great spec, looks good. In fact you can even put it to your ear and use it as a phone. This tablet represents the possibility of an always on computer in a country where WiFi and broadband connections at home are high cost extras. The expanding phablet, tablet, adds a new challenge to the desktop/laptop and perhaps how students access computing. This in a market where budgets are constrained and network connections and bandwidth help make choices. There is clearly a lot of choices in flux.
An observation: when Android becomes the brand, there is less scope for differentiation among handset manufacturers. A critical question to ask as a purchaser is will this software in my current purchase be upgraded, or am I better off buying a new hand-set in a year’s time? Which increasingly means, should I not bother with the high-end smartphones running on Android?