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Where are these Android phones? How many of them are used for little more than phone calls and texting?” – Daring Fireball, in GOGO Inflight WI-FI Usage Numbers.

That’s the real question: how many of them are used as smartphones?

The answer, I think, is “Not many“.

Google’s strategy in deploying Androids is very simple: the more Androids in the market, the better. Therefore they’ve filled up the sales channels till there was no room left for anything else, and no alternative for the customers.

As the Macalope pointed out (subscription required): “[...] if you push enough crap into the channel, will consumers [...] have any choice but to buy it?“, there is a huge difference between what Google pushes to its channels and what’s coming out of those channels.

That’d be one trick.

The other trick is a “subtle change of concepts“, as a friend of mine used to call Google’s main strategic objective.

What’s changing here is the concept of smartphone itself. Why should Google bother selling smartphones or tablets, when it can sell only the Android brand? For Google, it doesn’t matter whether an Android powered device is used for smartphone-like tasks or simply for cracking nuts or playing music in a car.

There are huge and statistically significant quantities of Android devices made by Huawei, ZTE or Alcatel that are pushed into carriers sales channels for 70-100 bucks cost, each. Is anybody writing a review on them or make a fuss about these companies’ financials? Never.

Will you ever be able to count those low-end-smartphones’ online visits, connections, internet usage, social network presence? Never.

Because they’re never used as smartphones! They’re only pushed by carriers with a minimum subsidy, with prices ranging between 0 and 20$, for 1 or 2 year contracts or in prepay, for 99$… Millions of them, all around the world!

Who’s really counting these duds? Only Google; not even the carriers are looking at these phones as “smartphones”. The real reason: 99% of the customers buying these devices will never install an app, never go online on purpose, never do anything but calls and texting. These users are zombies.

The cheap, fake smartphones aren’t anything but Androids, and their number is several times bigger than Samsung or Motorola reported sales.

The problem is not Google lying about its Android sales, but Google telling the truth; there are hoards of “Android smartphones” in the market, none of their users knowing or giving a shit their phone’s supposed to be “smart”.

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