Google Bets on ‘Android Silver’ to Extend Apple-Like Customer Service Experience

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | April 5, 2014 12:45 PM EST

One thing that Android users are missing out to Apple users is the premium customer service experience that Apple provides to its customers via Genius Bar Support.

Reuters
A Google Android figurine sits on the welcome desk as employee Tracy McNeilly smiles at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012.

It is now time for Google to enter this unexplored arena and give Apple a competition. Google is rumored to be running a new initiative called Android Silver, which is set to provide premium Android sale, support and customer service to its users.

But Google is not going to provide premium service to all its Android-based phones and devices.

According to Android Police, to qualify for Android Silver status, a handset manufacturer/network carrier must adhere to the following guidelines:

1. The handset should run the latest version of Android with no or limited customization.

2. At any point of time, only "five" of the handsets will be handpicked by Google for Android Silver status.

3. Such devices will not be sold by Google directly. Apparently, this initiative is aimed at network carriers.

4. Mobile network carrier stores will be equipped with an Android Silver kiosk, exhibiting the Android Silver devices available on their network.

5. The network carrier store staffs are expected to be trained and certified to sell Android Silver devices akin to Apple store experience.

6. The carriers will be expected to stock a definitive number of Android Silver devices and accessories in their stores.

7. By default, it is the carriers' responsibility to aid the customers in setting up their devices with a Google account. They are also expected to help the customers in moving data between devices and assisting them with getting acquainted to Google Play.

8. Customers who are eligible for this program will get assisted over hangout, video chat to fix the problems with their device at any time.

9. Interestingly, the users who lose their Android Silver devices will be provided with an option to get a temporary loaned device.

10. With Android Silver, Google is trying to reduce the fragmentation problems to an extent. The Android OS and fragmentation problems are synonymous to each other.

For those unfamiliar with Android's fragmentation problems: Android users are greeted with varying experiences with the post-purchase service, support and software updates in their devices from different vendors. The various versions of Android in umpteen different devices from an assortment of manufacturers make it hard for Google to find the common ground with all the associated parties. This is probably the main reason the fragmentation problems persist.

With Android Silver, Google might get the required control for those handpicked devices, eventually solving the problem.

According to Android Police, none of the rumored leaks have been confirmed by Google thus far. 

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(Photo: Reuters / Mark Blinch)
A Google Android figurine sits on the welcome desk as employee Tracy McNeilly smiles at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012.
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