Android tablet army starts to form

Android tablet army starts to form

Summary: The Android tablets are coming and this time Apple won't have a big head start. Will value tablets sell?

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The Android tablets are coming and this time Apple won't have a big head start. Will value tablets sell?

Dell's Streak (top right), a 5-inch tablet powered by Android, launched Tuesday in the U.K. and the device will come to the U.S. later in the summer. The Streak has integration with the Android market and a few other goodies that may attract buyers, according to Dell.

Meanwhile, Pandigital has its Novel, another Android-powered device. The Novel (bottom right) is a 7-inch touchscreen device also powered by Android. Joel Evans calls the Novel a poor man's iPad at $199.

Get used to it. There's an army of "poor man's iPads" on deck. Note these devices won't be iPad killers or anything, but Apple legitimized the tablet form factor and the followers are lining up. There will be multiple Android tablets waiting in the wings.

Last year's netbook is this year's tablet. Om Malik notes that Android has trumped Google's Chrome OS. Jason Hiner wonders if Android is the Windows of smartphones. One thing is clear: Android has proven to adapt to multiple devices. And like Google's smartphone efforts, the aim appears to be to surround Apple.

The big difference with the Android tablet army is that the Apple iPad doesn't have much of a head start. Apple's iPhone had a few years on the first Android device. Google's Android platform is growing quickly, but isn't likely to catch the iPhone in terms of smartphone market share any time soon. Google's Android will be a solid No. 3 in smartphones.

However, tablets are a different story. Apple's iPad isn't as expensive as originally thought, but it's not going to be $199 any time soon. Android tablets will hit that price point. Just to reiterate: None of these Android devices are going to matter to Apple, which doesn't sweat market share standings.

The big question is how long it takes an Android tablet equivalent to the HTC Droid Incredible to form. The Incredible is a solid iPhone rival, but Apple had a few years to establish the its smartphone before real rivals surfaced. The iPad is a big success, but will only have a head start of a quarter or two before Android tablets appear everywhere.

Can Android tablets reach feature parity on the iPad while squeezing Apple on price?

Topics: Tablets, Android, Apple, Google, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility

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91 comments
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  • feature parity with iPad will not be enough... Apple's Ecosystem..

    is a huge differentiator and Android still doesn't have a comparable ecosystem even in the smartphone category.. their recent announcements show they realize that this is a hole in their platform that you can drive a mac truck through but this will take years to get going and get mindshare for.. the iTunes Store is already an icon in the consumer's mind.. how long will Google take to get that same mindshare..

    and Steve is doing another keynote in a few weeks.. google is has not caught up yet.. ecosystem is about half the battle.. Google's not anywhere near there yet..
    doctorSpoc
    • "Steve"

      @doctorSpoc

      So, you're on a first-name basis with Steve? Nice. Do me a favor, the next time you see him, tell him I'm tired of missing out on half of the Web with my iPad!

      If any of the "poor mans' iPads" run Flash, I'm dumping my iPad an its "ecosystem".
      tricktytom
      • What should call him?

        Mr. Jobs? Sire? God? :)
        John Zern
      • there is NO Flash for ANY mobile platform right now!!!

        @tricktytom - what are you guys talking about?? it's now 2 and a half years ago that Adobe said they would have Flash for mobile working.. and all they have right now is a buggie, security hole ridden, beta that displays video like a slide show and only works on a handful of sites.. you realize that you are up in arms about Apple not supporting software that doesn't even exist on ANY platform much less iPad.. Apple called Adobe's bluff coming up on 3 years ago and Adobe STILL hasn't manage to produce the goods.. do you guys have any idea what you are talking about or how ridiculous you sound complaining about Apple not supporting non-existent software OMG!!!
        doctorSpoc
      • Flash blows..but it EXISTS!

        @tricktytom
        You're all trying desperately to dig up an argument supporting the lack of Flash on the iPad...YOU CAN'T!

        Look, a large percentage of sites use flash, you can't get around that. So, why not just put the OPTION for flash on the iPAD? That way, you can use it when you need it, and turn it off when you don't.

        Your arguments are childish. "Flash blows"...Really? Thats' what you came up with? Grow up.
        tricktytom
      • Hey, I was talking to "Steve" the other day...

        He always calls me before making any major decisions! :D
        Gandalf The Grey
      • @tricktytom, who cares...

        You wouldn't buy an iPad even if it had Flash on it, anyway.

        This is nothing more than a red herring that you've latched on to. Jobs has said for the time being it's not going to be on there, so why don't you focus instead on one of the bottom feeders being peddled above. I'm sure you'll love the feeble battery life it will suck through in order to run Flash.
        ubiquitous one
      • RE: Android tablet army starts to form

        @tricktytom We know the next version of Android runs flash, so there you go
        Everq
      • RE: Android tablet army starts to form

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      • RE: Android tablet army starts to form

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      • RE: Android tablet army starts to form

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      • RE: Android tablet army starts to form

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    • Forget the "ecosystem"

      @doctorSpoc

      Forget all of the bullshit "ecosystem" nonsense. People want functionality. They want a device that runs ALL of the web, not just the part the Steve Jobs thinks they should see. They want removable storage so that they can move files without a tether to their desktop. They want multitasking so they don't have to close an app to view another.

      In short, if Android can give them these things...they'll go with it...even if it means leaving the "ecopod".
      tricktytom
      • this is the same rubbish people said when they dismissed the iPhone..

        @tricktytom - oh.. the iPhone doesn't have check marks 15 through 25 on its spec sheet therefore it will fail.. you were wrong then and you'll be wrong now.. people don't want functionality the want good user experience of which functionality is only one element.. checkmarks on a spec sheet are trumped by a device that is easy and fun to use.. people on this site have to realize that apple is selling to the mass consumer market and not to the geeks that frequent site like this.. the mass consumer market just simply doesn't care about these things that your talking about..

        and how can flash be a differentiator when it simply doesn't exist on ANY mobile platform yet... NONE.. there is a buggie beta for android and that is it.. and is sucks.. it plays movies like slide shows, crashes left and right and turns you mobile device into a coffee cup warmer.. you guys are hilarious..
        doctorSpoc
      • RE: Android tablet army starts to form

        @tricktytom
        You are right in that people want functionality - and so far there have not been complaints about the iPad's functionality...

        Flash? Really? Dude, Flash blows! So far they have Flash "lite" which is just useful enough to be annoying and a really buggy version of Flash for the Android that is even more annoying than mini-flash. You guys bring up Flash like it's something spectacular and it's really not - and it's actually more of a closed ecosystem and monopoly than you guys claim Apple and iPhone to be...

        Removable storage? With an internal 16GB drive that's really not much of an issue - and that's IF one didn't go for the 32GB model. Sure it would be a nice addition but it's not essential.

        Multitasking - that one is coming with the iPhone OS 4.0... which iPad users will be getting as well.

        In short your arguments are FUD and bunk.
        athynz
      • No, you are wrong

        @tricktytom
        [i]People want functionality.[/i]
        No, geeks want functionality. Others want to be marketed to and want to make sure that they don't have to learn any new programs in order to use their new gadgets. Apple markets better than anyone else and by leveraging their PMP / iTMS monopolies, are able to give consumers a peace of mind that is a barrier to entry for all the other competitors.
        NonZealot
      • I would still prefer a tablet PC: Get the best of both worlds!

        !
        Gandalf The Grey