Friday, September 7, 2012

Android Shirts and Samsung Sales at a Store in Shenzhen

One day at Shenzhen's Dongmen shopping area two young men walked by with shirts I could not help noticing:

two employees wearing Android shirts in Shenzhen, China

Their blue shirts reminded me of the shirts worn by employees at Apple Stores, except the Apple logo was replaced with Android logos. I wondered if it was possible they worked at a store that might rival the Android store I found in nearby Zhuhai. After a brief chat, they happily pointed me in the right direction to find it.

Although the store proved to be ordinary (for China) in most respects and sold a variety of phones, I was mildly surprised to see that not everyone was wearing an Android shirt. Some of the employees wore similar shirts with an Apple logo similar (if not identical) to those seen at Apple Stores -- not the first time I have seen that in China.

I proceeded to have a in-depth conversation with one of the store managers who opened up on a variety of topics. One issue I found notable was that this manager thought some of the Nokia phones they were selling, such as the N9, ran Windows Phone 8. However, the N9 and the other Nokias available at the store ran other operating systems. I suspect his confusion is a sign of deeper issues, but I will refrain from saying more at this point.

I also found it interesting to hear his account of the store's sales and why he thought various models sold better than others. The biggest nugget in it all was that their best seller was Samsung smartphones running Android. Given what I had recently seen elsewhere in China and reports of Samsung's current strength in China, this did not come as a surprise.

So, the store seems to be another sign of good news for Google in China's dynamic mobile phone market. And like the Android store in Zhuhai, maybe the shirts can provide some inspiration as well. Though Google might prefer a different color.

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