back to article Google's Android 'let down' sinks iPad rivals - IDC

UK punters' love affair with the iPad shows no sign of abating after figures revealed Apple accounted for nearly four out of five fondleslabs sold into channels last quarter. More than 1.2 million tablets were flogged to disties, retailers and vendors' stores in Q4, up 91 per cent year-on-year, with iOS accounting for 79 per …


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  1. twaffler

    Peole don't say tablet - they say iPad

    Deeply unconvinced by this analysis, I'd love to see what data it's actually based on because it seems flimsy at best. In my experience the quality or curation of the app market is a long way from the top of the average consumer's priority list. Quantity and availability yes, but that's not the same thing.

    I would suggest a far bigger issue for the competition is that Apple have been able to define the market segment in the mind of the general buying public.

    Just like people don't say "MP3 player" but instead say "iPod" they don't say "tablet" they say "iPad".

    The non-techie person in the street asks for an iPad because in their mind that's what a tablet is, and that's what they get.

    That's hellish difficult to overturn, especially once you take Apple's economies of scale into account.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: Peole don't say tablet - they say iPad

      If you want iOS on a tablet you can only buy from Apple and have a choice of Wifi/3G and a few capacities.

      If you want Android on a tablet you have a choice of about 200 devices and all manner of shapes, sizes, form factors and so on.

      Choice can be good, but when there's too much choice and you have the money you just buy the one you know you won't be disappointed with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's a vaccum, not a Hoover!

        It's sad to say, but it's true.

        Jo Public only has the ability to use dumbed down; damned U G L Y one size fits all devices! Those of us with a clue are being dragged down with the rest of them.

        Soon there will be no choices, because choice will no longer be what the majority want. Sad Facebook updating, wittering, brain dead wankers will fu k it for all of us.

        I despair!

        1. dotdavid

          Re: It's a vaccum, not a Hoover!

          Technically it's a "vacuum *cleaner*" ;-)

          1. Steve Knox

            RE: Technically it's a "vacuum *cleaner*"

            Well, that makes no sense. How can you clean a vacuum? By definition, there's nothing there to clean!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: It's a vaccum, not a Hoover!

            Technically, it's transporting (and collecting) unwanted solid and semi-solid particles (a.k.a. "dirt") through the use of force-directed air flow, using a pressure pump operating in reverse (a.k.a. suction).


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Peole don't say tablet - they say iPad

      You don't like the results of the survey so say the figures are Flimsy

      You Android fans live in a dream world. Even one of Samsungs higher ups said they weren't doing well.

      Mean while in the real world, people are buying iPads and next to no none is buying android tablets. I know Android fans don't like facts so I'll get at torrent of down votes

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Rob

        @ AC Re: Peole don't say tablet - they say iPad

        I don't think you read the original post correctly. I read it as not liking the fact that the surveys main premise for consumers not buying more Android pads was because of the App market maturity. But thinks the main reason Apple sell more iPads (note the poster doesn't actually believe Apple haven't got the market share), because Apple have rather shrewdly been able to define the language and expectation for the tablet market before Android could even get in the starting blocks.

        (Don't worry I don't think anyone spotted that in your haste to have a go at someone else you ended up looking too much like a fanbois yourself.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ AC Peole don't say tablet - they say iPad

          Fanboi you say? Nah. That's you treating your opinion as a fact. Just because someone offers a differing view doesn't mean they're a fanboi, except in your black and white world

      3. twaffler

        Re: Peole don't say tablet - they say iPad

        Actually I've had an iPhone 3G, a 4 and both an iPad 1 and 2. I have also had a Galaxy S and Galaxy S 2, and an Asus Transformer. Currently have no tablet but very interested in iPad3 and my current phone is Windows Mobile 7.5.

        I'm about as platform agnostic as they come, I just like nice tech.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Peole don't say tablet - they say iPad

      There's a nice write up about it here

    4. GeorgeTuk

      Re: Peole don't say tablet - they say iPad

      I agree with you on those points.

      Are you telling me people test out the apps on both and buy the one with the highest quality? Of course not.

      They buy what people are using on the TV (think of Jake on Beeb F1 that has to be best placement ever for their market!), on the adverts and in the stores.

      Plus you are right with the name as well.

  2. Glenn Amspaugh


    Everyone knows well that it's a well known fact that Apple only sells based on it's fancy marketing and is in fact flagging obsolete tech that costs four times as much as modern hardware to know nothing hipsters who all wear handle-bar mustaches (even the women) and ride penny-farthing bikes while sipping fancy coffee from StarBucks.

    Ok, now that that's out of the way, why can't anyone else make a decent tablet experience? I mean, the hardware's there, the software, with a bit of editing, can be there, so what's stopping everyone?It's very odd.

    1. Rob Daglish

      Re: consensus

      Hmm. I have to confess a bit of bias here. I bought an iPad on release day (not as part of the madding crowd, but I happened to be near an apple shop anyways, and I wasn't going to drive two hours to get back to it another time)

      I've really enjoyed using the iPad over the last few years, and it's still going strong now, and I still enjoy using it (when I can, her who must be obeyed has acquired it). I've bought countless Android tablets in that time to try and replace it, and none of them have really been capable of making me sit up and go "Yes, I want to spend time with this tablet" - and it's not like I've bought only cheap ones - I've had a Galaxy Tab (it was OK), Viewsonics (for the price, fairly good), Motorolas (Please, not again) Acers (not bad, but I'd rather have their W500 than the A500), some cheap un-named thing off eBay, and ended up selling them on in fairly short order.

      Hardware wise, they've all been OK. Software wise, Android has potential, but for me, not being able to use a proxy server is a real issue and one google don't seem to be addressing, but the two seem to have been thrown together at the last moment by people who haven't actually talked to each other at all during the development process, which has been disappointing.

      My latest attempt at a non-Apple tablet is the BlackBerry playbook - I didn't buy it until V2 of the OS was out, and it is a lovely little tablet with a cracking screen, a good browser, understands proxy servers, and generally plays very nicely. If I had to gripe, I'd like a longer battery life, and I'd turn off some of the bezel gestures ASAP, but I can see myself using it in 12 months time, unlike the Android ones. If anything though, it's crippled by a lack of decent apps - although the ones that there are tend to work well, unlike Android Marketplace where there might be 15 apps which are cr*p to the one useable one...

      So maybe someone did come up with a usable alternative, but no one noticed it amongst the hordes of dross on the market?

      1. Paul_Murphy

        Playbook prices

        ye gods:

        US prices:

        16Gb - $199

        32Gb - $245

        64Gb - $299

        Uk prices

        16Gb - £399

        32Gb - £479

        64Gb - £559

        Rip-off doesn't do it justice - $299 = £189, not £559


        1. Jay Zelos

          Re: Playbook prices

          It's being sold in the uk for far less. £250 for the 64, £200 for the 32 and £170 for the 16GB models. The carphone warehouse stock them. Bizzarely when I got mine a few weeks ago, they still had the old prices on display. I had to ask to confirm the new pricing was in effect.

          I'd agree with the comments about it being cracking bit of hardware. Now they finally have an email client its a lot more usable. There are a few niggles, for example not being able to change the email address on an account (create new, delete old) is a pain when google are chaning from to The app downloader can only download one at a time, dosn't inform you the others are queued and will quit half way through if closed (no warning or background working). And you can't turn off notifications completly, glow, led or both. But in general terms, its great for day to day use and far cheaper then an iPad.

          If they can encourage developers* to write a decent colletion of apps it could be a contender...

          (*thats why i have one)

    2. aThingOrTwo

      Re: consensus

      Software isn't something you fix with "a bit of editing". Sure a simple application can be made quickly (helped largely by frameworks), but something as complex as iOS is seriously hard work.

      Good software takes hours and hours to write. Even longer to refine and optimise. And then you have to hope that someone else actually wants to use it.

      As hard as this might be for you to stomach, Apple is excellent at software. Apple have clear ideas about how software should work which might not agree with yours, but to say you can get to iOS style product with a "bit of editing" is maddeningly naïve.

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    It's Linux, all over again

    In the red corner we have a product that is tightly controlled, restricted and expensive.

    In the blue corner we have a multiplicity of suppliers, apps available from everywhere and an emphasis on "it's not from 'The Man'"

    While there won't be a knockout blow, and the first round or two went to the freetreads (after they turned up, late) the fight seems to be going in favour of the packaged/glossy/easy-to-use product. That people are willing, or maybe even desperate, to choose ease of use over getting their hands dirty - and to pay for the privilege - should come as no surprise to anyone who's seen the previous O/S wars.

    Those who don't learn from the mistakes of history ....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's Linux, all over again

      But the core of this article, which I agree, is that the iPad is not even expensive compared to the competition. That's why it's so successful.

    2. O RLY

      Re: It's Linux, all over again

      And unlike Linux, Android is actually from The Man. The Man with our search histories, pictures of our gaffs (and WIFI SSIDs and maybe some slurped data while they were there), and many of our emails. Sure, the "Don't be Evil" crowd is a different Man than Bill G's microsofties or Steve J's fruity minion army, but Google is definitely The Man.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: It's Linux, all over again

      In the red corner there is the iPad.

      In the blue corner there are slabs that are either

      o Cheaper than the iPad and not as good as it

      o The same price as the iPad and not as good

      o More expensive than the iPad and not as good

      o The Asus E-transformer

      When you consider that, the iPad is not expensive. That's why it is doing so well in the fondleslab market. For some people, the cheaper and not as good slabs will be good enough, or they may prefer the Asus offering's ability to transform into a mini-laptop; for everyone else, there is the iPad.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Based on my tiny sample it sounds dodgy. I know 6 tablet owners, 2 of whom have iSlabs, 4 of whom, including me, have AndroidSlabs.

    If that doesn't extrapolate accurately across the whole of the UK, or indeed, humanity, I don't know what does. Well, hair products advertised on TV with a sample of 80 or so maybe.

  5. NoneSuch Silver badge


    I go for quality over quantity.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 16:24

    I have a Galaxy tab, the gf has a XOOM. We both have Android phones and of my 5 siblings only my sister has an iPhone. When her restrictive contract runs out she is dumping that. So I am with you mate.

    Of course, 53% of all statistics are made up on the spot. :-)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a long race

    Google (and the myriad OEMs) won't be abandoning Android soon, just because it hasn't sold as much as iPad.

    Neither will Apple will sit complacently while Android Tablet manufacturers nip at its heels.

    The first Android tablets, using phone-OS'es were indeed nowhere near competitive.

    Honeycomb tablets were useable enough but had teething issues, were not up to iPad levels of performance.

    Latest batch of Ice Cream Sandwich devices, coupled with Tegra 3 class (or newer OMAPs or Krait's or whatever) are almost there, performance-wise and bugs are mostly ironed out. Build quality on the whole seems to have improved too.

    Anyway. Android on Tablets is not there yet, but the gap is closing.

  8. Jim Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    Android -pah!

    Having got an Android phone in my Xmas parcels, I've spent far too much time messing about with Android. Multi-user, multi-tasking unix it may be, but the implementation is a fail - aided by the phone companies who want phones that they control.

    For all the issues some have with Apple, the product range is reliable and doesn't mess you around.

    My next task is to root Android. Says it all - fail :(

  9. Mark2410

    its the screen

    i bought an ipad for one reason, the 4:3 screen. if android tablet makers stopped insisting the only fcuking thing anyone wants one for is to watch video and making them all widescreen then maybe they might actually sell one or two!!!!

  10. BitDr

    A very satisfied Xoom and Nexus 1 owner

    I've had a Nexus 1 for almost 2 years, my Xoom will be a year old this month. I use them mostly as business tools, but the Xoom is also used for fun, renting movies from Google, etc. Neither of these devices have given me any difficulty, both work as smoothly today as they did when purchased. The Xoom replaced a netbook and frequently gets used to remote in to servers I manage. When on the road the Nexus One serves as an access point for the tablet. It all works very, giving no reason to replace either of them.

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