Google's Android Riding Verizon Ad Spending Coattails

ComScore came out with data this afternoon that shows Android users are highly engaged with the mobile Internet and that Android's "brand" is gaining traction and awareness among consumers, who previously didn't know what Android was. Thank Verizon, with its audacious and testosterone-infused Droid campaign.

The amazing thing -- no, the "genuis" of Google's strategy -- is that others are building the Android brand and Google is the principal entity reaping the benefits. Google is the one constant in the ever-multiplying field of Android mushrooms. According to comScore:

Google’s Android platform has continued to gain awareness among U.S. consumers. In August 2009, just 22 percent of mobile users had heard of the Android, while in November 2009 this figure had reached 37 percent, largely prompted by the Verizon Droid advertising campaign launched in the fall. The comScore study found that not only is general awareness increasing about Android, but intent to purchase an Android-supported device is also increasing among mobile phone users.

Verizon's marketing dollars are helping build buzz for Android more generally, not just Droid. Indeed, Droid has already been surpassed by the phone that's not yet out in the market, the Nexus One, which is faster and better. 

Here are comScore data about mobile media engagement:

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The following chart is about intent to purchase among those considering buying smartphones in the next 90 days. In total 17% of consumers plan to buy an Android device, with Droid leading the pack because of the major ad spending. Amazingly more than 50% plan to buy a BlackBerry of one sort or another. One question: are these existing RIM users or those coming from another handset?

The only WinMo device on this list is the AT&T (HTC) Tilt, unless you assume that the 8% "none of the above" includes WinMo devices. The list features 0% Nokia devices -- unless, again, you wistfully assume that "none of the above" is a repository for Nokia smartphones.

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