Will Android 3.0 Tablets beat the iPad? It is widely accepted that the Consumer Electronics Show of 2011 was a show for one player and that was Android 3.0.
Last year was iPad’s reign where Apple managed to create a market for tablet pcs out of nowhere and dominate it with the iPad. Will this domination change in 2011? Are Android 3.0 tablets ready to get the crown from Apple? We believe that it’s too early to answer these questions securely.
To begin with, we have not yet seen an android 3.0 tablet in the market, what we have seen so far is videos demonstrating the features of Honeycomb and nothing else. Yes, both Honeycomb and some of the tables look great and promising but it’s really too early to tell if the consumers will forget their first love and move to android for their tablet PC needs.
On the other hand, Apple managed to keep their cards hidden and we do not know how many aces they have on their sleeve for the next version of IPad. During the days of CES 2011 they kept quiet leaving Android fans enjoy their 5 days of glory.
So, where does the tablet market heading, to Apple or Google? The only way to predict the future of the tablet market is to base our assumptions on facts:
Fact 1: One Device VS a lot of devices
The ipad is only one device while Android 3.0 will run on a number of devices from trusted hardware manufacturers such as Motorola, Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba and many more. This fact alone creates an advantage for Android 3.0 which can satisfy the taste of a wide variety of users both in hardware specs (7 inch – 10 inch) but also price.
Having said that, the possible iPad killers until now are: Acer Iconia Tab A500, ASUS Eee Pads, Motorola XOOM and Toshiba’s unamed tablet. From those 4 companies, Motorola with the XOOM is going to be the major competitor of Apple. Motorola considers iPad to be just a big iPhone and with the presentation of XOOM they proved that indeed their android tablet is not just a big droid. It is a sexier and fresh approach to tablet computing and this will have a positive effect on the general public.
Fact 2: Tablet Software
The Apple app store has 300,000+ applications ready to run on the iPad while the android market is still behind especially when we talk about applications for Android 3.0 tablets. The majority of the android market apps are for phones only and it will take some time for developers to optimize their applications for android 3.0 and tablet usage. During that period is the time that Apple has to go a step further otherwise the android market will catch up and once it does it will be too late for Apple to make a move.
Fact 3: Market domination
Recent history suggests that no company owns a market. If we go a year or so backwards we will find the iPhone dominating the smartphone market and Android scoring less than 10% share. One year later Android stole the pole position from Apple and there is still room for expanding this further.
Apple may now hold the 80% of the tablet market but the millions of possible tablets users have not yet decided who is going to win. Some may argue that people are waiting both companies to make their move and then decide which direction to follow and this is true in a large extent.
Fact 4: Customer loyalty
Apple has loyal customers. It is a fact that everything that Apple produces sells millions from the first days and the majority of Apple users do not betray Apple for other products. Nobody though can be certain that this will continue for tablets. Google seems to be very serious about the future of Android and when the big search giant wants something it has all the means and resources to get it.
To wrap up, until the full release of Honeycomb and the floating of the market with Android 3.0 tablets, Apple has nothing to worry about. After April 2011 we believe the balance will change and android tablets will challenge the IPad’s in a battle that will eventually and gradually win.
Guest author Alex Chris is a technology enthusiast and writes at the BestAndroidTablet. Whether you are an Apple IPad or Android fun it is certain that the coming months will be very exciting and decisive for the future of the tablet market.