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Computex: Everyone's Got an Android Tablet

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

But things are more than meets the eye.

This year at Computex, everyone talks about how "slow" the show is. From one company to the next, the feeling is the same. The most interesting part is that Android tablets took the show by storm. Everyone's making one. It literally feels like if your company has a showing at Computex, they'll have an Android tablet.

Does this mean that Android tablets will dominate? Not so fast.

Speaking with several vendors who wanted to remain anonymous about the subject, the general conclusion is that you have to get on the Android tablet bandwagon in order to look like you're a legitimate player. However, when asked if things will be competitive with Apple, the unanimous answer is that tablets may just very well be a mainstream success that's exclusive to Apple.

Why?

Platform dominance. Easy user interface. App store eco-system. Users willing to pay for apps.

Some vendors feel like the the majority of Android users expect apps to be free, since the entire essence behind Android is to be "open." And open usually means free. The mindset in the iOS space is that cheap apps are perfectly fine. But vendors tell us that things are not quite the same in the Android camp. Unfortunately, this has lead to fragmented app development.

Hardware fragmentation is another major issue that developers must overcome. Designing your app to look great on one tablet, may end up looking different on another. But manufacturers will fall back on advertisements that tout hardware features rather than platform features.

One interesting detail that some vendors mentioned is that Samsung might be the only company with a fighting chance. This is because Samsung manufactures its own LCD panels, and may be able to subsidized pricing on tablets to be competitive with Apple. It is still difficult for many manufacturers to control their price points due to the fact that their own tablets aren't moving in huge volumes. Apple has massive buying power and can command deeper discounts thanks to the success of the iPad.

We will still have to wait and see how things turn out. It's clear that many companies are pushing for Android tablets but thoughts within their executive teams are, at this time, worrisome.

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  • 5 Hide
    illo , June 1, 2011 4:18 PM
    they need to push the boundaries more than apple to be competitive, create tablets for artists, get pico-projectors installed for large format displays, dock able keyboards to take the place of laptops for the average user(read: not people who read tech sites). There are soooo many things that people would love to have and could totally benefit from over what Apple is giving us, why cant these companies start innovating and build something interesting for once.
  • 2 Hide
    TwoDigital , June 1, 2011 4:31 PM
    An impressive set of features is nice... if people want them and are willing to pay for them. One of the problems tablet manufacturers have today is that they are in such a hurry to "out-perform" the iPad. In doing so, they put in more hardware, but the useful life of a charge cycle, and price themselves out of the market where they would probably have had a fighting chance. A tablet with a working 8.5x11 screen that will accept either finger or pen input would be great for reading books, painting, writing, etc... A dual-core ARM should more than suffice. All the extra gimmicks add to the price and limit the market for who is willing to buy them. That said... maybe pen input is just a gimmick too, but it's one that *I* would want. :) 
  • 5 Hide
    milktea , June 1, 2011 4:31 PM
    illo...why cant these companies start innovating and build something interesting for once.

    These companies find it more profitable to sell clones rather than be innovative. They have no aim to drive this industry.
  • Display all 26 comments.
  • -4 Hide
    legacy7955 , June 1, 2011 4:45 PM
    First of all it's the ECONOMY stupid! Consumers are very strapped and except for Apple iDrones I mean cultists (which also is fairly small market), many folks are going without...because they cannot afford
  • -1 Hide
    sceen311 , June 1, 2011 4:52 PM
    Please note, everyone must have a tablet, not everyone must have a netbook, Netbook = fad, tablets = here to stay.
  • 0 Hide
    illo , June 1, 2011 5:00 PM
    legacy7955First of all it's the ECONOMY stupid! Consumers are very strapped and except for Apple iDrones I mean cultists (which also is fairly small market), many folks are going without...because they cannot afford


    first off the world economy is bouncing back, its the US economy that cant figure out how to get itself back together. Many of those people that cant afford the nice toy, probably either didn't go to school, or got a degree in underwater basket weaving.
    Secondly you're a giant douche, people have credit for a reason, they buy stuff they cant afford, its the AMERICAN way. If a tech company were to put decent features that would actually benefit people in tablets, people would buy it with credit. If you want to talk about how thats what got the world into this 'mess' feel free to respond and ill rip you another one about that subject.
  • -5 Hide
    scook9 , June 1, 2011 5:02 PM
    legacy7955First of all it's the ECONOMY stupid! Consumers are very strapped and except for Apple iDrones I mean cultists (which also is fairly small market), many folks are going without...because they cannot afford

    Just because you are struggling does not mean everyone else is. I am 23 and just bought a $3.5k laptop (I know I am a retard and you all will tell me how I could have had a better desktop blah blah blah). People with jobs have money, a lot of them are willing to spend that money.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , June 1, 2011 5:28 PM
    Many of these Android tablets have better specs than the iPad, some have worse. In my opinion it's the perception that Apple tablets are better (rev up the hotbed of arguing here). Many of the Android tablets are nice devices and the Android 3.0 is an easy to use interface. The winners will be the manufacturers that are able to have lower priced tablets.
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , June 1, 2011 5:29 PM
    Just let the potential consumers decide what they want to spend their money on, and give us some objective reviews of some of these tablets at Computex, without throwing here and there an ipad comparison (that no one wants, anyways), like a good tech site would do.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , June 1, 2011 5:31 PM
    Quote:
    Please note, everyone must have a tablet, not everyone must have a netbook, Netbook = fad, tablets = here to stay.


    Why must everyone have a tablet? Is there some sort of law?
  • 3 Hide
    illo , June 1, 2011 5:32 PM
    GreaseMonkey_62Why must everyone have a tablet? Is there some sort of law?


    yes, congress is voting to pass a 'no tablet = act of war' bill.
  • 6 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , June 1, 2011 5:34 PM
    Quote:
    Just because you are struggling does not mean everyone else is. I am 23 and just bought a $3.5k laptop (I know I am a retard and you all will tell me how I could have had a better desktop blah blah blah). People with jobs have money, a lot of them are willing to spend that money.


    I have a good job too, and a mortgage, and a family, and home repairs and the rest of life to pay for. Lot's of people have jobs, (90% of the workforce) not a lot of people have disposable income.
  • 0 Hide
    clonazepam , June 1, 2011 6:38 PM
    You see in that new Verizon commercial, sales lady tells the dude, "your wife will appreciate the dual-core tegra 2 chipset". This is a commercial for an android 3 tab.

    I would say their marketing and advertising strategies are huge if not the hugest fail. Don't spout nonsense the avg person wont comprehend just to sound intelligent. Literally show how its used, show how its use is better than another.

    Disclaimer: This is a comment and not any official statement. Any spelling or grammar errors appear because any person of average or better intelligence will understand what I mean.
  • 0 Hide
    dread_cthulhu , June 1, 2011 6:45 PM
    illoyes, congress is voting to pass a 'no tablet = act of war' bill.


    LOL... guess I'm just on the opposing front then. No tablets, smartphones, or even laptops for me. My computer stays at home!
  • -2 Hide
    legacy7955 , June 1, 2011 6:46 PM
    GreaseMonkey_62I have a good job too, and a mortgage, and a family, and home repairs and the rest of life to pay for. Lot's of people have jobs, (90% of the workforce) not a lot of people have disposable income.


    Thanks for clarifying by point.

    As for the genius that speaks of drones continuing to buy on credit, well it used to be easy to keep doing the wrong thing by buying on credit and digging yourself in deeper into debt, not so much anymore credit is much harder to come by and the interest and penalties are much more severe when you fail to pay on time.

    The spending spree on credit in the US died about three years ago.
  • -2 Hide
    alyon , June 1, 2011 8:05 PM
    Credit in terms of mortgages and car loans are much harder to get. Now small credit accounts which are usually used in buying gimmick fashion electronics is still just as available as ever. The economy is still sucking for air. The only things optimisic are based on speculation which has run rampant in markets. Also, from what I have seen other companies have innovated much more than apple. Apple is known as a 2nd mover fashion electronics company with little actual innovation. Most Iproducts I see are gifts from wealthy sibling. Anyone who makes their own buck won't waste it fashion electronics if they have a functioning brain. Sorry if there are typos. At work on my phone (lunch) making a good living at 22.
  • 0 Hide
    becherovka , June 1, 2011 8:45 PM
    Android should of stuck with phones and made them the best they could. I would like a windows 7 tablet if they could get it working as a useful complement to your pc.
    Ipad is good for games and taking notes and light Internet. This is not too hard to copy but only apple fan boys that need to look cool with a ipad will spend that sort of money on something that does so little
  • 1 Hide
    shubham1401 , June 2, 2011 5:31 AM
    I would take a fusion based netbook over any tablet! They are much functional with Windows 7 installed in them .
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2011 6:24 AM
    Obviously with every vendors trying to build an Android tablet now, most of them will fail and out of the race in a few years time. However, a few vendors will come up on top, using similar spec and hardware, and the sheer volume of the combined sales will drive down the component prices. The situation is same as the early PC era back in the 80s.

    Apple currently has Achille's heel which will eventually undermine their own dominance. Their excessive need to control and maintain a closed platform will turn many buyers away to the Android camp which will remain open, and their conflicting need to control the media format on their platform (such as the fate of those who need to sell content and hardware at the same time, such as Sony), will eventually put up too much stumbling blocks for them that other vendors will move ahead.

    However, if Apple is able to such inherent pitfalls in their business, they might eventually dominate the tablet sales, and in many ways, making in roads to even productivity platforms (i.e. intel/Microsoft domain). However, the challenges are many and I don't see how they can really succeed.
    Before that can happen, Intel and Microsoft are going to throw away so much money to stop them, and every vendors will be supporting due to the fact that Apple runs a closed platform which no other vendor can benefit except Apple itself. Being closed platform will eventually lead to Apple's downfall.
  • -1 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , June 2, 2011 6:52 AM
    alyonCredit in terms of mortgages and car loans are much harder to get. Now small credit accounts which are usually used in buying gimmick fashion electronics is still just as available as ever. The economy is still sucking for air. The only things optimisic are based on speculation which has run rampant in markets. Also, from what I have seen other companies have innovated much more than apple. Apple is known as a 2nd mover fashion electronics company with little actual innovation. Most Iproducts I see are gifts from wealthy sibling. Anyone who makes their own buck won't waste it fashion electronics if they have a functioning brain. Sorry if there are typos. At work on my phone (lunch) making a good living at 22.




    But that is the point isn't it? Apple's typical fan base really DO lack a brain (Well, at least a technical one). They use hype and looks to market products to technological idiots. Some people actually believe that their hardware and products from Apple are somehow special and superior. Little do they know the only difference is a different OS and outdated peripherals. They're just trying to be too cool for school with their iPad.



    Oh, and for you special snowflakes out there, I DO understand that about 10% of Apples fan base may actually have some technological intellect and actually understand exactly what their product is, and the hardware inside of it. You'll come at me with arguments of how you prefer it and like it better, and how you EVEN BUILD YOUR OWN GAMING RIGS LIKE I SOMEHOW COULD NOT BELIEVE A PERSON ONCE BUILT PC GAMING RIGS, BUT NOW PREFERS AND CHOOSES APPLE. Suffice to say, you're just the black sheep; The fact still remains, most of Apple customers don't understand computers whatsoever.....outside of Facebook browsing and flash game sites.
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