by Gray Graham
I have been reading how the Xoom is DOA and has only sold around 100,000 units despite being absolutely loved by experts in the tech world. So what happened?
After reading many, many, many comments around the web, not from tech experts, but average joes I realized that the very things that make techies love Android or the very same things that make the average joe avoid it like the plague. Gates, Jobs, and Zukerberg aside, techies (or nerds as they were called back in the day) are not cool people. They are not trend setters. Average Joe is not trying to be a geek.
He is not trying to hack and customize his Android tablet, so that it can run Linux, start his car, and control a weather balloon. He just wants to buy it and use it. Simple as that. He wants to tell someone I have a new widget and that somebody knows what the widget is without having to explain it.
The cool factor is a major reason people buy things and it is the one thing tech companies seem to miss the most. I remember back in ancient times trying to explain to someone that black computer was just as good as the beige one, they were just different colors. It did not matter because every computer they had ever seen was beige so if it was not beige then it did not work. (you will notice that most computers today are black or a dark gray). I remember when they changed the color of computers to red, blue, white, and then designs tech people stated that was the craziest thing ever.
Tech companies always seem to forget that not everyones idea of fun on a Saturday night is hacking their smart phones after a day of playing Magic. The most telling thing I saw was from a person that asked why Android phones all looked different and why couldn't they be like Windows Phone 7 and all be the same. (see Microsoft people don't hate Windows Phone 7, they just hate Microsoft). This seems to be a message that Google has gotten loud and clear as they began to change how Android is shared with other companies, I will not be a bit surprised to see in the future, there being one version of Android that everyone will use.
If you think the Average Joe doesn't care about tech specs, you better believe the Average Jane really doesn't care. Who wants a computer with flowers on them, Average Jane that's who.