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Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the we-all-scream-for-ice-cream dept.

Android 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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584 comments

2012 will be the year of the... (5, Funny)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470548)

...first post

This is it! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470574)

This is the year of Linux!

Re:This is it! (5, Funny)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470684)

Desktop Linux!

Re:This is it! (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470900)

Oh, if I only had mod points ^_^

This was my thought exactly... these 'this is the year of *insert personal preference*' get rather repetitive. People seem obsessed with whatever they like being accepted by the majority as the 'right' solution.. I guess it is an extension of the 'I am smart, there is one ideal, so if other people do not agree with me either I am stupid or they are stupid, so it is important that my choices for my use case are universally correct, otherwise my ego hurts' meme.

Re:This is it! (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471216)

Well that, but at least when it's a <1% system it's about getting out of that Catch 22 where nothing supports Linux because it has no market share and it has no market share because nothing supports it. Mac users are a small minority too, but they get a way different treatment because they're just a bit too big to ignore - and are probably more profitable per user, but that's another story. If only a very small minority can't make something work, it's their problem. If businesses start losing significant amounts of money on it, it's their problem.

Re:This is it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470922)

The year of _Windows_ for tablet !!

iPad vs. all Android tablets (4, Insightful)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470554)

Sure, and just as with smartphones, "All Android Phones" will be bigger in the market than the mere iPhone. But look at any individual manufacturer, and that "All Android Phone" share is sliced into so many tiny pieces that Apple dwarfs them. Same with the iPad - Android tablets together may take over 50% of the market... but no individual Android tablet is going to have more than 5%.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (4, Interesting)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470766)

This shouldn't come to a shock to anyone. Mac except FOR A VERY SHORT period. Has always controlled their hardware (in some cases to their demise).

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (2)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471056)

Sorry, but... what has that really done for HP or RIM? What will make things different for Motorola (again), HTC, or Asus? Samsung might be a special case, but I would argue for all the wrong reasons-- purely imitating the iPad!

Options are great, and strong-armed dominance is dangerous... but it is pretty hard to justify the idea that ICS is going to be the catalyst to make Android tablets successful. I'm biased though as a happy owner of an iPad.

Divide and conquer (0)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471070)

You just described the death of Android.

And anyway, nobody buys an iPad for the iPad. They buy an iPad to be locked into an easy to use environment. Think AOL without the modems.
 

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (3, Insightful)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471102)

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.

For many people, more choice is a bad thing [ted.com].

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38471126)

Yes, from the consumer side you are right. However, your OEM of choice needs to stay in business so that they can keep making your product. In order to do that, they need to make enough "4. Profit!" to stay in business. Either they charge a shit load per custom device or they make a product that a shit load of people buy.

All the polls showing iOS vs Android are quaint, but what I want to see is a poll showing iPhone4, iPhone4S, versus each individual Android phone. I would prefer this to be actual in wild not shipped to retailers. We all know what channel stuffing is.

There is currently only 3 iPhones for sale and iOS smartphones constitute like 25% of the market. There are probably close to 80 Androids over at least 5 manufactures (the big 3 Samsung, Moto, HTC, plus the others). HTC is not doing well cause their phones are not coming out on the same release schedule as Firefox.

The point is that Apple is making "4. Profit!" and probably making more of it for every phone sold than each of the Android OEMs are doing. That is the key to success and allows them to survive.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471162)

Too many tablet models means application developers can't rely on as much being present and have to buy more tablets on which to test.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (4, Insightful)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470870)

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)

This way, every developper would make their apps for android as it would run on both platforms, and the validation process would mean that every single iphone app will be 2 weeks late compared to the android version.
Great idea.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471180)

Good point. Plus Java is not as processor or memory efficient as Objective-C. The efficiency difference between them is irrelevant in modern desktop hardware, but it's noticeable on a little ARM device with 1GB of RAM.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470930)

So why didn't Apple institute any of these and stop Android smartphones from outselling iPhones?

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (3, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470936)

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

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470776)

they told this of the iphone for a quite long time now, but the platform is still alive and kicking.

notice that apple revenue from the app store are higher than other manufacturers and google, you have to factor in those to calculate profitability.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (2)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470808)

"As a platform - the important thing - Apple's star is waning"

You misspelled "winning".

I own an Android-based phone; I'm running a custom 2.3 ROM and will upgrade to ICS as soon as it is available (when someone ports a ROM) but Apple's ecosystem and OS are still quite a bit more advanced than Android's. I really like my phone and I enjoy Android but compared to Apple's ecosystem, it's not that great. I had to root and install a custom ROM to make the phone more than barely functional. That's not entirely Google's fault but it is partially the result of the ecosystem Google didn't-quite-create. I know some people prefer the flexibility of Android (I like many things about it; I also run Linux at work and home) but Apple's star isn't waning; Apple is doing as well - even better - than they ever have. Apple defines the market and the other manufacturers mostly copy them (not that that is a bad thing, it's just that Apple is the market leader). Market share is far from everything.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (2, Interesting)

space_jake (687452) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (2)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471098)

I think the grandparent post defines "Apple's star is waning" to mean that their percentage ownership of the entire smart phone and entire tablet market is going to drop. You're defining "Apple's star is waning" to mean that the company is no longer unbelievably profitable, and of course you are correct that Apple is definitely still unbelievably profitable and will probably sell tens or hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads every year for the foreseeable future.

The battle between Android tablets and phones against iPad and iPhone has many rough parallels with the battle between Apple computers and Microsoft Windows in the 1990s. Of course the big difference is that Android is open source and has no license fees from the software vendor (although it's starting to carry a lot of patent licensing fees from other companies) where Windows is proprietary and carries licensing fees. But in both cases Apple picks the exact hardware and pretty rigidly enforces the rules for how the software will perform and how the user interface will work. Windows and Android are both sold on a wide range of hardware, including a fair bit of hardware that has abysmal performance or awful reliability or both, and the user interface is a lot clunkier and the quality of third party applications varies widely.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (4, Insightful)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470874)

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.

As a platform....

1. iOS still accounts for 2/3rd's of Google's mobile searches

http://9to5mac.com/2011/09/21/google-23rds-of-our-mobile-search-comes-from-apples-ios/ [9to5mac.com]

2. The Apple app store generates 4x the revenue of the Android app market....

http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-app-store-2011-12 [businessinsider.com]

3. And Apple generates more profit on the iPhone than the rest of the industry combined.....

http://www.asymco.com/2011/07/29/apple-captured-two-thirds-of-available-mobile-phone-profits-in-q2/ [asymco.com]

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38471034)

Yes, because Apple alraedy sold all of these iPads and iPhones... they should naturally be dominating every category you just mentioned.

The whole point here is that is a thing of the past, and those numbers will be falling going forward.

As a productivity platform... iOS is useless.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470636)

That doesn't matter, fanboi. Just ask Apple's board what they think about going from 98% dominance to 40-50% in just 18 months. They're shitting themselves. Apple will still be the dominant device because they offer no options, just a bump in storage until the next incarnation. And zealots like you will buy += iDevice regardless of what else is available.

98% to half that in a matter of months, that's going to really hurt. Apple will have to offer a range to keep up. They'll need a smaller cheaper device to fend of the masses that are going for nooks and fires (tech will allow it, but Apple's SharperImage "quality self-delusion may prevent that. They'll also need to move over to the standard 16:9 screen ratio at some point. Does any modern company make consumer based screens with 4:3 except Apple?

As Apple's dominance in slabs falls at alarming rates, MS will also join as late comers, no doubt diluting the iPad share further. Especially in the business sector where IT dept buy in bulk from generic box shifters like Dell.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (5, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470856)

That... depends a lot. Do they have 40-50% share of a much larger market? Are they am making more, less, or the same amount per unit? I don't think Apple's board, or anyone else, ever expects to dominate any one niche forever. They don't need to. Apple's profits are rising. They make more per phone (and tablet) than any Android manufacturer and sell more units than any Android manufacturer. Their goal is make money, not dominate markets. They *still* make more profits on their computer division than any other single computer manufacturer, despite only being around 6 or 7 percent of the market share. When compared to "Windows PCs", Macs are a small minority of computers. When compared to "Dell PCs", Macs beat all the other manufacturers in sales and make more per unit. Dominating markets is nice, but it's not likely to last. Being a huge player in a much larger market makes just as much money and can last a good long while.

Look at phones. For a while iPhone dominated the smartphone category. Then Android joined the fray. People started buying Android phones too. Eventually more people bought Android phones than iPhones, but here's the thing... More people were buying iPhones than ever before. Every ad for an iPhone is, in a way, and ad for an Android phone. Every ad for an Android phone is, in a way, an ad for an iPhone. Ads for both make people want smartphones, and that's good for everybody. Would you rather have the whole 12 inch diameter pie, or a quarter of a pie the size of a dining room table?

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (2)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470944)

Do they have 40-50% share of a much larger market?

That is the important question. For the most part, yes. They have lost the bragging rights of '98%', but they are still laughing all the way to the bank, and in the end that is what their shareholders care about.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (4, Insightful)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470892)

That doesn't matter, fanboi. Just ask Apple's board what they think about going from 98% dominance to 40-50% in just 18 months.

Last time I checked, the Apple board is probably concerned with revenues, profits, and ":increasing shareholder value".

I'm sure they are not to upset that the most successful non-Apple tablets are sold at a loss....

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470918)

Apple has become the most profitable tech company in the world doing basically the opposite of what you wrote. I think you are probably extremely wrong.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470686)

And Android device makers are going to make tens of dollars on each unit while Apple makes hundreds.

I really hope 2012 IS the "year of Android tablets" so that after that we can get on to something else.

Honestly I haven't yet seen a device that's compelling to most end users the way the Apple products are. YES you can do everything with an Android device, but it's the same way you can do everything with Ubuntu Linux on a desktop instead of MacOS or Windows. It's great for us techies, but can you really get your parents to to use one every day?

It's not about the device hardware, It's about the software and the user experience, and at the moment Android devices are just not there yet (well, they are there, but "there" is basically 1995), and the market is way too fragmented without sufficient standardization, and google is not driving things in the correct direction with Android at this point (IMHO).

Google needs to stop assuming they know everything and step back and look at what makes iOS successful, and it's *not* nerdy technical innovation every few months that's incompatible with the previous version. They need to build and own a long-term infrastructure ecosystem that's based on the user experience if they ever want to have a chance at competing with Apple. Currently Google lacks the ability to stick to something for more than a year at a time, and their interests do not actually seem to be driven by end-user happiness.

I predict a year of unfulfilled Android tablet promises.

G.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (2)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470742)

YES you can do everything with an Android device, but it's the same way you can do everything with Ubuntu Linux on a desktop instead of MacOS or Windows. It's great for us techies, but can you really get your parents to to use one every day?

Yes... that is, until Unity came out. So much for that...

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470806)

And Android device makers are going to make tens of dollars on each unit while Apple makes hundreds.

I love how you tout an extremely high profit margin as a desirable feature!

It's about the software and the user experience, and at the moment Android devices are just not there yet (well, they are there, but "there" is basically 1995), and the market is way too fragmented without sufficient standardization, and google is not driving things in the correct direction with Android at this point (IMHO).

Someone hasn't been in a non-apple store since 1995, it seems .. The Galaxy S II outshines the iPhone at almost every angle. Same goes for the other Samsung phones and tablets (eg the galaxy nexus or tab series), and in a lesser degree for HTC and LG as they are offering very nice phones for half what Apple's asking. Apparently, price is a very important factor for a consumer when choosing a phone.

Google needs to stop assuming they know everything and step back and look at what makes iOS successful, and it's *not* nerdy technical innovation every few months that's incompatible with the previous version. They need to build and own a long-term infrastructure ecosystem that's based on the user experience if they ever want to have a chance at competing with Apple. Currently Google lacks the ability to stick to something for more than a year at a time, and their interests do not actually seem to be driven by end-user happiness. I predict a year of unfulfilled Android tablet promises.

Google doesn't need to do jackshit and they are already winning the lion's share of the market. Let's see in 12 months, shall we? I predict Apple shares to be under 250, unless there is massive inflation on the USD.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470952)

I love how you tout an extremely high profit margin as a desirable feature!

It is a desirable feature. You've been to too many Occupy rallies, where (ironically) they use these Apple products. Profit means they can reinvest and create new, desirable products, and that the company that makes the desirable products will continue to exist. It also opens the door for competition. Competition fails when there is no profits. If anything, Amazon's ability to lose money on each Kindle Fire is less desirable, as they can make up the profit with sales of media, but other hardware only companies can't compete.

High profit margins are only undesirable in industries where there is a monopoly, such as public utilities. With Apple products, you always have the option of not owning them, there are plenty of alternatives.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470966)

It's a feature for Apple, and you better believe Samsung and Asus wish they were making the same.

Basically, you are stupid. You don't understand the market nearly as well as Apple does, and because you don't understand it, you think they must somehow be brainwashing people into buying their hardware. Just because Apple may be better at marketing does not mean that Android manufacturers are not trying. They just suck.

In every way that matters to Samsung and Apple, the Galaxy S II does not outshine the iPhone. It doesn't sell as many and it doesn't make Samsung as much money per unit as the iPhone does for Apple.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38471140)

Basically, you are stupid

Ad hominem. Nice, stay classy.

Samsung as much money per unit as the iPhone does for Apple.

I'll never understand why you, as a consumer, would ever *want* their profit margin to be high. What you're saying is that their products could be less expensive and thus more competitive, but it's not, and that's a good thing.

Sig:

Islam is a religion of murder and hatred.

Tribalism much? Psst, your ignorance is showing.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (3, Informative)

markkezner (1209776) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470724)

This is simply false. Samsung is easily in the same class as Apple by themselves with respect to Android phones.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (3, Interesting)

SeanAD (743296) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470780)

Hmm...you make it sound almost as if Apple has a monopoly.....

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470908)

Yes and using that logic Macbooks are the most popular laptop. What does that "mean" exactly? What's your point?

Re:iPad vs. all Android tablets (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471006)

Nobody cares except Apple stockholders, and the loss of dominance probably pisses them off more than anything.

Besides, Walmart dwarfs every other individual retailer, and yet you can still shop elsewhere. All you're saying is that Apple is the Walmart of smartphones and tablets.

Kindle Fire (5, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470570)

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.

Re:Kindle Fire (1)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470604)

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.

In the family, we're avid readers, and as a group we already own three Amazon kindles. But my daughter asked for a Kindle Fire, she wants to be able to see videoclips and such. as much as the Ipad is a more polished platform, the price/accessibility offer of the Fire, and the eventual competition that will turn up, is too compelling.

Re:Kindle Fire (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470710)

She'll probably hate you once she realizes every movie & videoclip is going to be full of stutter.

http://www.amazon.com/forum/kindle?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1D7SY3BVSESG&cdThread=Tx2504DXQRXEAQ3 [amazon.com]

Re:Kindle Fire (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470752)

I use my Fire almost every night to watch 40-60 minutes of video and have since it was first delivered. I've never had it stutter, and my wifi connection is not very good. I've had it complain that it can't connect (my wifi issue, not a Fire issue) but the video was still smooth I'm guessing the new update will help who have the problem, or the problem was their internet connection was saturated. A full reboot also helps, to make sure other programs are actually CLOSED, and not just pushed into the background. (actually closing programs on the Fire is sometimes difficult)

Re:Kindle Fire (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470712)

I was one of the pre-orderers on the Fire. It has its limitations, to be sure, but I love it. I have a prime account, and love watching movies or tv shows in bed with earbuds while the wife sleeps, or while she is hogging the TV. Or just reading a book, or checking FB or email, /., news, etc. I've never owned a smart phone for many reasons: too much money for bad internet access and too small a screen. But I love my small tablet. Maybe some day a large tablet will make sense, but for now, the Fire fits the bill better than the iPad for my uses. Oh, and costs less than half. I can't possibly be the only one who thinks this way.

I'm also aware that a year from now, I may want something different, and very likely I will be able to get $100 for my Fire. This depreciation is like renting it for $8 a month. I can afford that.

Re:Kindle Fire (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471024)

Why in the world do you think that you'll be able to get 50% of the original price in a year? That's naively optimistic.

Re:Kindle Fire (3, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470656)

I have to agree, especially in this economy, people who need a functional device for 200 or less is a growing barely tapped market. Much like why the netbook market suddenly plummeted when most stores stopped carrying the $200 models and shifted all of their focus onto the $400-500 models. Companies tried to claim this was due to the ipad, but at least from what I saw, the vast majority of people I saw buying netbooks, were people who could not afford a laptop, but wanted something cheap and simple that they could take notes, check e-mail and update facebook on. Now that could be regional, I live in the south where we have far more people who are hesitant on technology then we do people who have tons of money and always want the latest and greatest.

Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet (5, Funny)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470572)

Because the Mayan tablets said so? No wonder archaeologists got it wrong. It's the end of the handheld world as we knew it.

Re:Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet (4, Interesting)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470628)

ROFL!

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!

Re:Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470830)

The only people that care about the platform and price are the techies. The iWhatever carries some status that Droid will never match.

  What do all the cool kids have? And by cool I mean the popular kids, not the cool geeks of slashdot. Guess what it, starts with an "i".

If the conversation starts with, "my thingy is now just as good as your thingy and mine is cheaper." well you've already lost.

Re:Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet (2)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470976)

Given how many people I see preening over their Droid phones, ranting about how they are SO much better then Apple products and how they are not sheep, I would say there is just as much, if not more, 'status' involved in going Droid. Just because it is 'geek cred' doesn't make it any less so.

Re:Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470912)

This is why developers flock to Apple. Apple has done the hard work of gathering the suckers of the world together so they can be quickly separated from their money.

Re:Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471224)

So using / having an Apple product makes you a sucker? In what kind of psychosis do you live?

Or is it everyone who owns / spends / earns more money than you, who is a sucker?

Or is it just so that you always buy the cheapest: computer, tablet, phone, car, house ... food?

I spare myself to ask you about your sexual mates ...

"The Year Of" (3, Insightful)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470592)

Every time some tech columnist makes some glorious prediction that "[YEAR] Will Be The Year Of [TECH]", I roll my eyes.

Re:"The Year Of" (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470744)

What are you talking about? Everywhere I look I see Linux running on desktops.

-- Posted from my Windows PC

Re:"The Year Of" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470828)

2012 Will Be The Year Of Richard Stallman Losing His Virginity

Re:"The Year Of" (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470836)

If you swirl some more drink over ice and consume, your eyes will roll all by themselves. And the prognostication articles will be more entertaining.

Wishful thinking! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470594)

Maybe just because the interface is more coherent with itself, the iPad will prevail.
As an example, the youTube app for the iPad zooms from and to full screen by pinching the video with your fingers. In Android this just does not work, even though it does with other apps like picture viewers. A tablet is a very weird device and details like this are the ones that make people hop in or pull back.

I'll believe it when I see it. (2)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470610)

This is just like the "20XX is the year of the Linux Desktop".

I will wait for the end of 2012 before believing the claim.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470802)

So you are implying that the goodness of Linux will mean it will be raptured leaving a hell like world with only Mac and PC desktops.
or the other way around?

 

Year of the Patent Lawyer (4, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470616)

And all sides will fire off patent lawsuits over trivial features like form filling and email forming. The lawyers will get rich the market will be blocked and confused.

All hail patents the great pusher of innovation, NOT.

Nope (3, Insightful)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470624)

It that's going to happen it will become the year of the Apple lawsuits.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470804)

Or the year of the great M$ windfall since we all know who really invented the important IP behind Android.

"at least 1/3 Android, maybe more" (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470630)

Hmm... Is 1/3 market share much to cheer (or write) about? I guess "Year of the Android" tablet makes a better headline than "Android tablets will make unspectacular gains in 2012".

Then again maybe 1/3 market share IS a spectacular gain for Android in the tablet market.

Quality up? (2)

gwking (869658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470638)

From TFA: "There are many companies making Android devices and the magic of competition will force them to drive prices down and quality up."

Drive prices down? Yup!

Quality up? Uhm... what? Just like it's done with the current crop of Android phones where there is tons and tons of crap and a few really good ones (Galaxy S2, Nexus, etc)?

I clicked on this thinking the guy might have some insight on why Android tablets were about to make a big jump forward, but all this guy is missing is pom poms and a miniskirt..

More that the overall market will grow (5, Insightful)

enjar (249223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470648)

The article seems to presume that there is a static size for the amount of people who buy tablets. There isn't. As lower-cost entries enter the market, people who previously could not afford one will be able to buy one. So the market will grow, but it's also likely that Apple's overall sales will grow as the market grows. So, sure, Apple's "market share" may shrink, but it's not like Apple's going to make less money than they did before.

Also, there seems to be an assumption that people buy a tablet sorely based on cost. That is certainly part of how people buy something, but there are also metrics of quality, ease of use and also what you've got already. If you already have an iProduct, I'll bet people are a lot more attracted to the idea they can plug it into the iTunes that's already set up and have it work. Learning something new probably isn't a big driver, even if they save a hundred bucks. Apple could also drop prices on the iPad 2 when the 3 comes out, just as they have done with the iPhone when new generations have arrived, in order to compete with the lower end of the market.

Re:More that the overall market will grow (1)

deathguppie (768263) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471174)

You are assuming that the tablet market will grow. Just a few short years ago we were talking about the growing netbook market. Personally I couldn't help but think that a tablet would be a better solution to the hole filled by netbooks, I still think that. However the overall market for either netbooks or tablets (after the newness wears off) is still finite. Until tablets get below $100 or something extremely affordable. Its just not that necessary for most people. One day there will be printed circuits that they will use to make magazines with. You'll buy them and then recycle it before the circuits degrade. People will then wonder why anyone would ever have paid $600 for an Ipad.

This biggest advantage... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470658)

TFA reads...

"The biggest advantage for Android over iOS is that there is only one company making iOS phones and tablets, and they don't make a lot of models. There are many companies making Android devices and the magic of competition will force them to drive prices down and quality up."

I think it should more properly read:

"The biggest advantage for iOS over Android is that there is only one company making iOS phones and tablets, and they don't make a lot of models. There are many companies making Android devices and the magic of competition will force them to drive prices down at the expense of quality."

But! But! But! (1)

turb (5673) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470672)

I thought 2012 was the year of the Linux Desktop!

For sure.

Really!

Anytime now.

Please?

Isn't that what everyone said *last* year? (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470674)

This has been predicted over and over again - pretty much since the launch of the original iPad.

It was always "Oh, the iPad was released for $500 less than everyone was guessing, but it's still way overprice! Just you wait for the cheaper, better, faster Android tablets.... any day now.... next month.... just a few more months! The Xoom is coming and it will destroy the iPad, I mean it will have Flash and an SD card slot, and there's no way it will cost more than an iPad and ship with both of those 'key' features broken... Oh, the iPad 2 is out now... well, what did you expect, honeycomb was never designed for tablets properly, even though we have been crowing about how it was going to be the answer to the 'inferior' iPad... just you wait for Ice Cream Sandwich...."

In short, I've heard it all before. The Eee Pad Transformer is good I guess, and at $400 is cheaper than the iPad but so far not much headway. I really hope there are a few really competitive Android tablets to rival the iPad as there have been handsets to rival the iPhone - the competition is good for everyone. So far though, not seeing it.

Wishful thinking from Apple naysayers (4, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470688)

that have been saying this kind of stuff for years. iPod is lame. iPhone is a useless device. Nobody in their right mind will buy iPad. iPod's price will drive people to competitors. iPhone's price will make in untenable as a phone. iPad is priced more than a laptop, only idiots will pay for it.

Blah, blah, blah. Once a week someone predicts that Apple has finally reached its apex and it's all downhill from here, as the products lack features, are too expensive, the garden is walled, and new competitors X, Y, and Z have finally figured it out and this will be their week|month|year.

So far, this has always been empirically demonstrated to be so much crap by the time the next week|month|year has arrived. Of course, at some point Apple WILL fail, just like all companies and indeed all things in the universe eventually disintegrate, and because at least once a week someone predicts that this will happen this week, at some point someone will be right.

But when that happens, it won't be because of any insight—just because the pundits have made sure to predict the failure of Apple during EVERY week|month|year cycle. And I seriously doubt this is the time, having just been at the local office supply chain store looking at Android tablets yesterday.

Re:Wishful thinking from Apple naysayers (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470788)

It depends on who makes the predicition, but I do believe 2012 will be in favor of Android devices. The problem has been a lack of competitive products to compare with Apple. Now that there is something cheaper and better than an Apple iPad or Phone, many users will give Android a try. Some of the things Android has going for it that Apple lacks are: More open source platform - easier for developers to build apps. Example is Emulators, no emulators availbe for Apple products because of strict guideline from Apple. Android is more flexible, you can change things up and personalize you device, and the cost being a major factor for many people. I purchased an iPad for my wife early this year because there wasn't much else, but if I had to make that choice again next year - I would buy an Android tablet instead.

Re:Wishful thinking from Apple naysayers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470896)

"Some of the things Android has going for it that Apple lacks are: More open source platform - easier for developers to build apps. Example is Emulators, no emulators availbe for Apple products because of strict guideline from Apple. Android is more flexible, you can change things up and personalize you device, and the cost being a major factor for many people."

And those things can also be negatives. The more freedom and flexibility you give developers (and users), the more likely they'll screw something up.

Re:Wishful thinking from Apple naysayers (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471142)

What Android device is both cheaper and better than the equivalent iOS device?

Maybe...but (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470704)

Maybe it will, but I have both an Android phone and an iPhone (one is for my work-related calls, the other is for my personal calls) and I use them both pretty much. The apps on my iPhone just works -better-. They're more responsive, they have a more unified "feel" as to how I work in them etc.

As a programmer I appreciate how easy it is to develop apps for the Android phone and I really do not like the walled garden approach, but I have to grudgingly admit that _IT WORKS_.

And why wouldn't it work? If you know the specs of the hardware you're coding for you can do a much better app than if you just code for a random android phone (where some of them are really slow and annoying and some are rocket-spaceships).

My prediction is that android will steal some of the market, because the iPad is just so damned expensive. But the iPad will still be the "best". Because in the end, we use the tablets to run our apps. The tablet which runs the most apps the best will win. Based on what I've seen on the phone side, my money is on Apple. :/

People want iPads, not tablets (2)

Makarakalax (658810) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470758)

People want iPads, not tablets. People don't even know what "tablets" are. Apple have defined a new market, most people buying iPads aren't really sure why they want them yet. It will be impossible for the competition to win over mindshare until they have something *better* than the iPad has. Price will not convince many because as said, people don't want tablets, they want iPads.

This will probably change. But it will take a few years yet IMO. Think about how long it took for people to know why they wanted a PC. This is different (people understand why they want a computer nowadays), but it will still take time.

Re:People want iPads, not tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38471156)

It will be impossible for the competition to win over mindshare until they have something *better* than the iPad has.

That's the reason I've been holding off on getting and android tablet up to now. However, I think that now has changed. The Asus Prime Transformer has won me over. It beat the iPad2 in almost every way. Better camera, better screen, better cpu performance, has microSD card slot, capable of playing full bitrate bluray rips. Plus the keyboard dock seems really nice. The iPad still does a bit better in a few areas...better 3d performance and slightly better battery life (though if you use the dock, then the Asus wins, but that's really apples vs oranges). But it's close enough that I personally consider the Asus to be a much better tablet. The only thing it's really missing is a 3G model, so for some people that will be an absolute deal-breaker, but it not an issue for me (not interested in paying a for data plan for a tablet).

Of course, applications are a totally different issue, and thats pretty much impossible to say one is better than the other. Very different arrangements, and some people will like one, some will like the other.

Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470864)

Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet? Because it will die!

Care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38470888)

No one cares. Apple will keep innovate and sell with a healthy profit. And those android tablet makers will keep flooding the market with mediocre.

There is always a market for cheep stuff and quality stuff. Everyone wins, but Apple the most :)

We will see after the first month in 2012 how the cards get shuffled.

Don't Jinx it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38471076)

Hopefully you didn't jinx the android tablet in 2012. Each time I see an article like this where _____________ will take off in year _________ then it doesn't seem to happen. I've seen articles like this on slashdot for linux and various other computer tech.

Having done android development, I can tell you... (4, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471092)

... 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.

Screams of Android fanboy (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471172)

Your premise is the iPad has dominated the high-end tablet market and that is about to change. You justify this by comparing the tablet market to the smartphone market.

Here is the problem: Android marketshare is due to the number of low-end Android smartphones on the market, not the high-end ones. In 2011 the top 3 selling smartphones in the US will be the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. There are very few 'luxury' Android phones and those don't sell extremely well.

Well duh (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471204)

Android will do the same for tablets what it did for smart phones. There will be tablets in all shapes, sizes, form factors, specifications and budgets.
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