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Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet 584

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-all-scream-for-ice-cream dept.
lseltzer writes "The iPad has dominated the high-end tablet market so far, but that is about to change. At CES in Las Vegas in a couple weeks you will see tablets running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) everywhere and at prices that will make an iPad a lot harder to justify. The competition from the OEM model in the Android markets will massively shift market share away from Apple, just as it has done in the smart phone market."
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Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet

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  • by Threni (635302) on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:00AM (#38470596)

    Yeah, but.... who gives a shit?

    Next year it'll be the Transformer Prime and Google's tablet. Apple might bring out the iPad 3, it might not. Whatever. As a platform - the important thing - Apple's star is waning. You can't compete with the rest of the industry just because some fan boys prefer how the screen scrolls when you swipe it, or whatever.

  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:43AM (#38470936) Journal
    You can call me a fanboy, I guess. I have a one of the $100 Android tablets mentioned in TFA (actually, the $120 Novo 7 Advanced with Gingerbread), and it's an excellent little machine. I originally grabbed it as an Arduino platform, but it's very responsive, has 8Gb storage, capacitative multitouch and a good range of ports, including host mode USB and HDMI. I'm using it a lot more than I expected.

    There's no way in hell Microsoft, Apple, RIM or any of the proprietary giants would have allowed a machine like that to be built if they could stop it - not enough margin for them. Look at how much effort MS put into killing Netbooks.

    Still, if Apple wants to compete on price and quality with it, I say bring it on!

    Seeing the big boys start competing in the sub-$100 tablet market would definitely be a win for us buying them

  • by markkezner (1209776) on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:50AM (#38470996)

    nerdy technical innovation every few months that's incompatible with the previous version.

    This is a myth. Android releases have always been backwards compatible. That is, Apps written for Android 1.0 will work just fine in Android 1.1 and any later release in the future. If you're writing an app that requires, say, Android 2.1, such as a Live Wallpaper, then any Android running version 2.1 and higher will work fine. Devices that don't meet the requirement simply won't see the app in the Market.

    If appropriate, developers can mark that support as optional, so your app will include that feature if the device supports it, and if it doesn't the feature will be disabled and the rest of the app will work regardless.

  • by Xest (935314) on Friday December 23, 2011 @11:15AM (#38471302)

    "But look at any individual manufacturer, and that "All Android Phone" share is sliced into so many tiny pieces that Apple dwarfs them."

    Really?

    Many sets of stats, like these:

    http://www.mobilesplease.co.uk/news/nokia-lumia-slow-start/ [mobilesplease.co.uk]

    and these:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15489523 [bbc.co.uk]

    Suggests that's simply not true.

    If you look at the first survey for the UK, the Galaxy S II has been outselling the iPhone 4 white, and black model combined, and it's only when you then factor in the 4S white, and black model, that the iPhone finally overtakes the Galaxy S II in sales.

    What all stats coming out in the last couple of months appear to demonstrate is that you're quite wrong - the Galaxy S II as a single model, has been outselling either the iPhone 4, or the iPhone 4S as a single model. When Samsung combines all it's Smartphones, as the iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S are lumped together as if they're equally a single offering, it's shifting over 7% more handsets than Apple.

    It was a valid argument early on, but it just doesn't seem to really hold any weight anymore. This is the fundamental problem with people who feel the need to defend Apple, they originally said Android would never overtake the iPhone, then when it happened they said, no individual manufacturer will ever overtake Apple, now it's happened they're saying no individual handset is beating the iPhone, but even that seems it's almost certainly happening now. Even if it's not quite the case yet and the stats are wrong and the Galaxy S II isn't outselling a specific iPhone model, and almost even all iPhone models combined, then it's still a close enough call such that terms like "Apple dwarfs them" is laughably incorrect rhetoric.

    Apple's marketshare for tablets has already declined this year, it's now down as far as 62%, having been up at around 90% last year:

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mobile/display/20111215172936_Apple_s_Tablet_Market_Share_Drops_to_61_5_in_Q3_2011_IDC.html [xbitlabs.com]

    This is with countless false starts (HP's tablet, RIM's playbook etc.), lacklustre Android offerings, and even some Android tablets being banned from sale in some markets. As these issues start to fade and the Android tablets pick up strength, i.e. through inclusion of things like Android 4, then the market for the iPad isn't suddenly going to grow. It's opportunity to thrive has been possibly bigger than ever with all the setbacks competitors have faced, yet it's marketshare has still declined.

    I'm not talking Apple down because I have some irrational will to see them fail, I'm not that much of a fanboy - I do disagree with many of their corporate decisions, but what I do like is to see a bit of truthfulness in these sorts of discussions, because fanboys lying to themselves and agreeing with each other is a largely meaningless sport - a fanboy can spout some crap about how their pet brand is going to win some arbitrary war all they want, but it wont change reality if it then doesn't. By all means I may be wrong, and Apple may see a resurgence that allows it to grab increasing levels of marketshare, and that's fair enough if someone wants to make that point, but throwing around clear bullshit like "no individual Android tablet is going to have more than 5%" with no suggestion as to why that might be the case when it's not been the case with phones is meaningless.

    There's no doubt Apple is going to continue to be a massively profitable company thanks to the iPhone and iPad in the near to medium term, but I believe they've made some serious mis-steps that has allowed Android to take the lead, and that's led to an inevitable snowballing on it's behalf - the more marketshare it gets, the more developers begin to develop for it, the more open it is, t

  • by jordanjay29 (1298951) on Friday December 23, 2011 @12:02PM (#38471936)
    Or you do what's called beta test and let other people test it for you on their tablet. Bring your thinking into the 21st century, all the big kids (read: video game companies and calling 'beta' a gold release) are doing it!
  • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@@@gmail...com> on Friday December 23, 2011 @12:20PM (#38472148)

    On the iPad things are instant. Nothing stutters when you scroll, nothing "loads" other than massive apps, they just open instantly.

    Wow, you must have a different iPad to me.

    On my iPad, ever since IOS 5, everything has been noticably slower, with lag just about everywhere in the interface, from resizing to rotating to scrolling.

  • by rbrander (73222) on Friday December 23, 2011 @02:01PM (#38473410) Homepage

    I agree "Innovative" was the wrong word for the Transformer. "Awesome" would, however, be more the right nuance.

    I bought the first netbook (also ASUS, of course, the Eee PC) because the form factor worked for me as something you didn't hesitate to carry everywhere - and lightened the load on vacation while still being able to keep up with E-mail and handle all my photo review / tossing-out / rotating / cropping / blogging.

    I love the "pad" style touch interface (I'm having to hold back from touching other screens now), but I'm just not terse enough to do E-mail with a screen keypad. Only useful for typing in passwords and short URLs. No E-mail, no-take-on-vacation. End of story.

    An iPad with a keyboard accessory could cure that, but the Transformer is much more - doubling the battery life (and the way it does it is very clever: plug a depleted pad into the keyboard and it will actually charge it up until the keyboard is nearly depleted, so a mid-day session of catching up E-mail can have you ready to go back out to the field again; I never bring the charger to work), and providing an SD port and two USB ports. That's "killer app" compared to an iPad right there. (Oh, and Transformers have a micro-SD slot right on the Pad, so you can either increase your storage with it, or even use one in your camera and be able to review photos on a 10" screen...)

    YMMV, but in my location, the price of the Transformer with keyboard and 32GB was the same as the iPad2 with 32GB and no keyboard. Case closed.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday December 23, 2011 @02:15PM (#38473574)

    Funnily enough, no it doesn't. Only part of Android is open source, the rest is closed source and needs to be licensed from Google. And if the manufacturer doesn't license the closed source parts, they can't call it Android as Android is a trademark of Google.

    Kindle Fire doesn't license those parts, and thus doesn't have the full Android functionality, can't call it's software Android, and doesn't have access to the Android Marketplace.

    It's related to Android, but it isn't Android.

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