Today Irwin and I attended the launch of Telstra’s new Android-esque store in their Melbourne CBD store dubbed “Androidland”. Android has well and truly taken over a majority (154 square metres) of the second level of the 246 Bourke St store with hands-on demos of a lot of Android devices and their cool features. The dedicated Android retail presence is the first of its kind in the world with representatives of many manufacturers (HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson & Samsung) as well as Telstra and even a rep from Google — she even had an engineering version of the Galaxy Nexus close at hand.
The setup is set to stay in the store for 6 months, with a continued presence if consumers see a benefit from it, in which case it may move to other major stores as well. It’s not just in the store that has had an Android makeover, the outside glass windows have all been transformed to show off Android as well as a touchscreen allowing you to play Angry Birds (off of a Windows PC, of course).
Inside of the store are three sections of displays showing off just Android devices (tablets + phones). Telstra said the idea of letting people have actual hands-on time with devices will increase satisfaction and then purchase of the product, with the help of their “expert” team.
There were no new device announcements, not even a hint of one. When asked about the Galaxy Nexus, Telstra had nothing to say at this point in time. HTC didn’t even make mention of their upcoming 4G device on Telstra which will not only be the first 4G device, but the first running Android as well.
Telstra did say that Androidland would be a perfect place for devices to be announced, especially considering the input Google has had in the creation of the retail presence. Time will tell if the idea works in Telstra’s favour.