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G’day mate, and welcome to Androidland

by Marty Gabel

Roll over Apple, there’s a new store in town!

Telstra, one of the major telecommunications companies in Australia, has just opened a new section of its flagship store in Melbourne called Androidland.

The store was designed in collaboration with Google, plus some major Android manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG and Sony Ericsson. According to the Official Google Australia Blog, Androidland “features displays and games that will help shoppers learn about Android phones and tablets.”

With plenty of big green robots on display, the store also boasts a spaceship where customers can “Androidify” themselves, fly through the world courtesy of Google Earth and play Angry Birds on a giant TV screen. They’re even ‘piping in’ gingerbread smells, which is sure to make potential customers even more hungry for some Android goodness. Here’s a video displaying some of what’s on offer:

As well as being a whole lot of fun, the very idea of an Android store seems like a positive step forward for Google, and hopefully we’ll see more like this throughout the world. There’s no doubt that Apple has benefited from its retail outlets which have helped put a human face on its technically-advanced smartphones and computers. It’s also given customers real people to talk to and devices with which they can test in person before buying.

Adding more fun to the Android buying experience is a great idea. It can lead to customers making more informed purchasing decisions. It also makes both the Android OS and related smartphones/tablets more accessible to potential buyers, especially those who may have been put off by Android’s somewhat techie/geek appeal previously.

Although just an experiment at this time which will need to be financially viable to survive and grow, it’s still an encouraging development for Google and Android.