Blog Post

Android Store Opens In Oz, But It Won't Have The Galaxy Tab 10.1 Just Yet

One superstore step forward for Android in Australia, but another step back for Android-maker Samsung. Today saw what could be Google’s answer to the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) Store retail phenomenon, the unveiling of an Android retail operation, in Melbourne. Meanwhile, Samsung got dealt one more blow in Sydney’s courtrooms, as Apple got a stay on the original injunction on the company’s Android-based tablet, accused of violating Apple patents, which had been overturned by appeals judges earlier in the week.

Androidland, which has been developed by Australian operator Telstra in cooperation with Google (NSDQ: GOOG), looks like it is the first Android-based retail setup in Australia and may be the most extensive Android-dedicated retail operation that we’ve seen anywhere yet — although if you have been to one of the big trade shows, like Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, some of the installation concepts may look familiar to you.

The shop is actually a “zone” within Telstra’s flagship retail store in Melbourne, and its purpose is to educate and delight people with all things Android.

There is a section dedicated to games; a spaceship that lets people “Androidify” themselves and fly through Google Earth; and a giant touchscreen device to play with apps. All the major Android makers, including HTC, Samsung, LG (SEO: 066570) and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC), are represented. It’s not clear whether any of the devices sold at the store are unlocked to use with carriers besides Telstra.

Although Australia is in the middle of its summer right now, that has not stopped Telstra and Google from riffing on the winter theme in the entrance way, as you can see from the illustration here. It will form a central part of the carriers’ holiday season promotions, a key time for all consumer tech companies to pick up business and longer-term customers.

One company that has had yet another setback in that marketing game, though, is Samsung, whose 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab tablet was most definitely not a part of the display at Androidland when it opened today.

Over in Sydney, an appeals court has granted Apple yet another week’s extension in its injunction against Samsung over alleged patent violations concerning that tablet. That injunction was due to be lifted this Friday afternoon, after a panel of appeals judges decided that Samsung had been treated unfairly and that it should be allowed to sell the device, despite the ongoing court case.

According to Reuters, the ban will now stay in place until at least December 9, when Apple is due to make its formal response to the appeals’ court decision. In all, Apple and Samsung are filing injunction requests against each other’s devices in some 20 separate cases, although the only other case where Apple has succeeded in blocking a Samsung tablet is in Germany.

But as we noted when the appeals judges thew Samsung a tablet lifeline on Wednesday, it may be too late in any case to do anything for the device, which has not exactly overtaken the iPad in markets where it is being sold.

If only Androidland had a time machine that let Samsung go back and review its tablet strategy afresh…