Europeans steer clear of Android-powered phones

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Google and its partners have increased marketing of the Android mobile operating system, but it has still been relatively unsuccessful in cracking into the European market.

“Consumers steer clear of Google’s OS and sell-out is below everyone’s expectations,” said Francisco Jeronimo, IDC analyst, in a statement.  “Consumers recognize the Google brand, but still do not understand what Android is.  The lack of devices available didn’t help to raise awareness, though this is expected to change, with more handsets from LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and other vendors hitting the market soon.”

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The IDC report should help Google re-adjust how it promotes Android in Europe — since Internet users are familiar with Google, the company can now utilize its large audience to promote Android.

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The growing number of manufacturers testing Android also will help, as pointed out by IDC, although Nokia’s Symbian OS still controls 48% of the market.  Android only has 5.4% of the mobile market in Western Europe, and still needs to find the winning formula against competitors.

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Despite Symbian’s dominance, Nokia is losing users in Europe and across the world, which is an opportunity for Android to become more relevant.

HTC, one of biggest Android backers, plans to introduce a number of Android-powered phones in the first half of 2010, as the company continues to turn its back on Microsoft Windows Mobile.  Struggling phone company Motorola is also investing heavily in Android, essentially banking its mobile future on the OS.

Despite a slow start in Europe, the Android OS is still flourishing in North America and other parts of the world. According to AdMob, 20% of mobile OS web traffic has been initiated from Android devices.

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