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Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet 584

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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  • Kindle Fire (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:57AM (#38470570) Journal

    The Kindle Fire will pave the way, not because people will choose it over the iPad, but because it is opening the market on the low price range, and for people (like myself) that use computers to compute, and midsize tablets for light duty tasks. Of course, the Nook is also helping develop this market. They both prove that there is a sub $300 market for basic tablets that can surf, watch movies, be good book readers, and serve in areas where even a laptop is too large, and a netbook is not efficient.

    Rest assured, the iPad will still dominate the large tablet market, it is just that the new products aren't trying to compete and are instead focusing on growing the market in places that the iPad never entered.

  • by ( 1706780 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:59AM (#38470588)

    Isn't that a good thing though? With iPad you get very little choice as to what you want, everyone's iPad is the same excepting how much space it's got and whether it has 3G.

    With Android tablets though, because they come in such varieties and with such a selection of features you can have a much more personalised experience. Not to mention the fact that individual manufacturers can customise the interface, like HTC Sense and Samsung TouchWiz, to give you more opportunity to pick one that you like. iPad only offers one choice as far as that goes.

  • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:03AM (#38470628) Journal


    Regarding the articles "price to justify" ... I don't have to justify how I spend my budget.

    And more profoundly: every tablet buyer who allready has a Mac or an iPhone (and thus iTunes on his PC) will very likely look forward to buy an iPad. Just as many Linux users will favour android tablets.

    I would assume a big deal of customers judges by features and not by price. For me the price is relevant if I have two things in front of me that are very similar.

    So as it looks now I will by me an iPad this year and an android tablet next year. Because: they are two different things!

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:21AM (#38470760)
    As said by an Android Fan boy... Or perhaps an Apple Hater.

    If Android gets too popular, Apple only needs to do a few things if Android tables get too popular.

    1. Open the app store doors a bit more. (This isn't technical they just need to change their rules to allow more apps in the do things they are currently rejecting)
    2. Allow Android comparability. Android Apps are Java Based. Apple can put in a java interpreter and run Android apps. (So to the buyer... This things runs Android and iOS apps while this only runs Android... I guess I will pick the first one)
    3. Marketing bombardment. Apple has the money, they can market the heck out of their products.

    For android to become a major threat to the iPad they will need to ether produce something that is just as good as the iPad and a LOT cheaper or at around the same price something a LOT Better then the iPad and that includes smoother scrolling.
  • by space_jake ( 687452 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:44AM (#38470950)
    Out of curiosity, what phone/os did you have that was barely functional and what features did a custom Gingerbread ROM add that you didn't have before?
  • ... it's a real bear compared to iOS development.

    I write video games for a living, and lately, we've been using Unity. Whenever we do an android build, it has to be tested on a wide array of devices just to be certain that there are no issues related to screen layout or any problematic performance problems. To top it all off, we also have to make multiple builds so that the data can be stored efficiently on each type of platform. This is problematic because it requires separate repositories of the same code-base, because trying to switch between different builds on a single repository within Unity can take several hours as all of the art assets of the work must be reprocessed. To top it all off, drivers for each indiivdual device must be installed, because there is no single general android driver that works for all android devices, which complicates setup tremendously.

    On iOS, we can simply test on each generation of the iPhone we are intending to support, and also on the iPad1 and iPad2... and there is absolutely no reprocessing of assets required, as all iOS devices store their data in the exact same way. Finally, supporting the iOS device for development only requires having a mac. No additional drivers are required... one is good to go as soon as they have XCode installed on their system and have installed the necessary provision profiles for uploading to a physical device.

  • by SeanAD ( 743296 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @11:06AM (#38471188)

    See, this is the kind of argument I have trouble with. Samsung does a great job copying Apple.

    I don't haven an iPad or any Android device, but if you look at the situation objectively: Microsoft has touted tablets for what -- 15 years? Nothing of substance has come of it. Apple makes version 1.0 and it becomes an insane hit . Then other companies copy them and they're held up to the same standard as Apple?

    No, the best you can say is Samsung can make a good quality copy product. If they were in the same league, they would have made the same device years ago.

    Btw, I like Samsung's products (non-tablet related). You could replace Samsung with any other iPad copier in this discussion.

  • by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @11:17AM (#38471318) Homepage Journal

    You just described the death of Android.

    I'm not seeing Android die anytime soon from where I'm sitting.

  • by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Friday December 23, 2011 @11:35AM (#38471568)

    As somebody who has both a HoneyComb tablet/Samsung 7" tablet and an iPad (original and 2) I have to say I am really really disappointed with Android. Android has four flaws:

    1) Hardware update support SUCKS! I have both a Sony Ericsson Xperia phone, and Acer Iconia Tablet. When I bought the phone it was essentially out of date because Sony said to get the new Android OS you need to buy the more expensive phone. HAD I known that I would not have bought the phone. However Sony did a 180 and said, "ok ok ok we will get you an update." When the original update was released it too Switzerland 7 months to get it. The exact same thing happened with my Acer Iconia. Acer kept hemming and hawing on their 3.1 update and being in Switzerland I was essentially at the tail end of the release. I had Acer Germany unlock the code for me to get my update. This just effen sucks! The Android vendors don't get updates! They just think it is an opportunity for you to buy the latest and greatest piece of hardware NOT!

    2) The apps are lacking on Android. Two apps come to mind; Aligator water, and Put the iPad and Android tablet edition side by side and what you see is that the iPad or iOS app is so much better. Why is that? When I run my Android apps they are slower, and jerkier (yes this has been discussed due to the software architecture choices made). Frankly I don't shive a git! I want a smooth flowing tablet and if Apple found the ideal way so be it, it is the right approach.

    3) Hardware software compatibility. I have so many little tweaks and twiddles with the Android system that it just tires me out. Take for example setting up the wireless networking. On my iOS I can use DHCP and everything works. For some odd and strange reason with Android the network connections drop, come back, drop, come back, and drop and come back. They do this for about 5 minutes until they just stay connected. If I put in a network address all is good. Of course you could argue, "wait your network does something funny." Well my answer is that my laptops (windows, linux, and OSX) work just fine, as does my iPhone, and iPad. Thus while maybe it is network issue, I consider it an Android issue since the other devices are ok.

    4) The hardware is sub-standard by most, not all vendors in comparison to Apple. Most of the Android hardware sucks. I have a Samsung tablet and it is not bad. Good quality. The Acer is ok, but things like battery life just suck. Overall for the amount of money I pay I am disappointed.

    Overall I have to say I am completely disappointed with Android (had high hopes) as I feel Google is doing piss poor job of ensuring a certain amount of quality and usability. Android might sell more devices, but unless Android really changes its stripes it will always be a cheap-skates paradise...

  • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @12:01PM (#38471918)

    We still do.

    I wouldn't touch an Android phone right now, and yes, I have used them and helped several friends with numerous issues they were having. The end result - one went iphone after 3 android handsets, the other is going iPhone after resisting it since the beginning. A third, with whom I have many discussions on the topic, has an iPhone despite stating his preferences for Android (he's a true hacker). He owns several Android devices, but none are his primary, nor do any run the original OS.

    In short, Android is nice, has several neat features, and it's great if you don't mind working with it and dealing with its oddities. In general iPhones, while having some oddities, just seems to do what's needed and you live with those one or two things that don't quite work as you'd like.

    And, there's effectively no Carrier IQ in iOS 5 even on AT&T systems. That's a pretty big deal killer for Android with people I know.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky