Why haven't Android tablets taken off?


Android tablets have nowhere near the market share that Adroid phones have captured.  Why is this?  Well, John Gruber, in Daring Fireball, speculates as to the reason:

My hypothesis has long been that Android has very little traction in and of itself. What has traction is the traditional pattern where customers go to their existing carrier’s retail store to buy a new phone, listen to the recommendations of the sales staff, and buy one of the recommended phones. Tens — hundreds? — of millions of people have done this and walked out of the store with a new Android handset. (By my theory, this is why Android phones are so under-represented compared to the iPhone in terms of usage — things like mobile web traffic. A lot of people think of them just as phones.)

There is no such traction for the idea of going into your phone carrier store and buying a computer. That’s why carrier-subsidized netbooks didn’t take off, and that’s why carrier-subsidized Android tablets haven’t either.

I think the other reason may be marketing.  Most people couldn’t care less about a device’s specifications, much less even understand them.  However, Android Tablets are being marketed as hardware.  Contrast this to Apple’s marketing of the iPad.  They market it as an ecosystem.  Big difference.


5 Comments on Why haven't Android tablets taken off?

  1. Have android tablets failed to take off?

    Android tablets have 43% marketshare in the tablet computer space, according to isuppli (presuming that RIMM’s blackberry tablet is negligible in the 12% other category).

    Android phones have 41% marketshare, according to comscore.

    43% is actually a bit ahead of 41%.

    Ipad’s high market share in the tablet category is simply due to the relative absence of Blackberry, Microsoft, and Nokia OS devices.

  2. I have been monitoring the prices of Chinese-manufactured Android tablets on eBay and in the last six months they have dropped roughly 30% for equivalently-featured models. There’s no sign of the trend stopping. Ultimately that kind of competition has to drive the name brands down to more reasonable prices and trigger market growth. And once schools and colleges pick up on Android tablets they will have a powerful market entry point, like Apple did all those years ago.

  3. Android doesn’t have near 43% of the market. The numbers reported in those reports for Android include shipments to retailers, not sales to customers. The Apple numbers are total sales to customers. Android’s likely share is 35% or less.
    Another feature of the Android tablet market has been the huge discounts being offered to shift product, while Apple never discounts. Noting here that Apple has one device … Android is on …. a gazillion of them.

    With the launch of the iPad3 next week, Apple’s share of the market is likely to rocket. As the article above says, Apple offers a consistent, integrated ecosystem. Android is all over the place.

  4. An “ Apple to Apple “ Comparison ?

    Since the debut of affordable Aakash Tablet , any number of manufacturers have announced launch of similar products

    This is all very good for the Indian users , since competition always brings out the best amongst the competitors in terms of quality / service etc

    But for the moment , users are confused as to the price-points vs specifications of various manufacturers

    It would be nice if some independent authority can develop / publish , a comparison of various tablets in terms of ,

     Network Compatibility [ WiFi – 3G – GPRS Modem etc ]

     Processor Speeds [ Over clocking / Architecture ]

     Operating Systems [ Open vs Closed ]

     USB Ports [ Full size vs Mini ]

     Screen Type [ Resistive vs Capacitive ]

     Import content vs local value addition

     Price

    May be an “ Index “ can be developed which can rank all competing tablets on a score of 0 – 10 , taking all the above – mentioned factors into account ( with weightage for each factor and then rating each factor itself on a scale of 0 – 10 )

    Such an “ Apple to Apple “ , single digit comparison, by a “ third party “ having no vested interest , would go a long way in helping non-tech first-time buyers make a considered decision

    With regards

    hemen Parekh

    Jobs for All = Peace on Earth

  5. It’s simply a matter of time. Android tablets will be the dominant player in sheer volume at some point, probably surpassing iPad in quarterly sales sometime in 2012. It might take to 2014 before it surpasses Apple in installed tablet base … but perhaps earlier.

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