back to article Google's stats show few Android tablets in use

Android may have topped Apple's iOS in terms of overall global smartphone sales, but if the latest figures from Google are to be believed, it certainly isn't winning many converts among tablet users – that is, if you ignore Amazon's customers, as the Chocolate Factory's numbers do. From Google's perspective, the number of …

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  1. Wokstation

    I bought this tablet a couple of months ago, and of course did due-diligence searching rather than say "want shiny". One of my criteria was that it must support the Google's store (having found GetJar rather lacking on my phone), and found myself having to discount a lot of kit (mainly cheaper brands) because they weren't able to access Play, which obviously can't be counted by Google.

    TLDR: Google's stats are hardly authoritative because they don't count the cheap slabs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Closet

      Interesting statistics, that means although over 80% of readers on El Reg who like to scorn downvote and slate anything Apple appear to be CLOSET fanbois.

      Do they hide in toilets, under beds or in garden shed using them?

      1. DN4
        FAIL

        Re: Closet

        Only of 100% of El Reg readers own a fondleslab. Where you got this assumption from?

        1. jonathanb Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Closet

          I did a survey of all the El Reg subscribers I know personally, and found that 100% of them have an Apple fondleslab, A Samsung Galaxy S, a MacBook Pro, a Windows desktop, an OpenSuse server and a Windows server.

          The sample size is 1, which is more than sufficient to get an accurate profile of the El Reg readership as a whole.

          1. Peter Johnstone
            Joke

            Re: Closet

            I did the same survey and found that 100% of them have a Motorola Xoom, a Macbook pro with windows 7 installed on bootcamp and Amiga OS 3.1 running in e-uae, a Windows XP desktop thats so old it barely runs and doesn't get used much that also dual boots into Fedora linux when the mood takes me, a Windows 7 media centre PC that gets used even less as it's just as old as the desktop pc, no mobile phone so that the wife doesn't phone me every time a thought crosses her mind, a Toshiba laptop that the kids have inherited. Loads of ancient kit piling up in a cupboard, but not enough to build a working pc of any description.

            This would suggest that 200% of the EL Reg readership own a Macbook pro!

      2. Ben Rosenthal
        Holmes

        Re: Closet

        Well either you've busted a shady internet forum hivemind conspiracy......... or the people who comment on here are a tiny minority of the tech buying public.

      3. JDX Gold badge

        CLOSET fanbois.

        Dude you need to take a intro to statistics course ;)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: CLOSET fanbois.

          I think El Reg also need a statistics course as this story appears to be saying that Android Tablets are selling very poorly.

          However, as Android devices are currently activating at 1.3 Million a day and are by far the biggest mobile OS the figures shown only represent a percentage of a large number.

          You could perhaps take a figure of about 7% of Android devices are tablets from the statistics Large & x-Large screen size at MDPI. If the activations are averaged to 1million a day then there are approximately 25million Android tablets a year being activated.

          However those assumptions are as statistically worthless as the story itself as the assumptions create error bars that makes the information garbage.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Due diligence

      Searching... You self important plonker.

      1. Wokstation
        Trollface

        Re: Due diligence

        Self important? Nah, just know how important the money I have is.

        Plonker? Guilty as charged!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is for several reasons

    One: many Android tablets are rubbish. (Will your original Galaxy Tab with a still-quite-good-screen even get even Google's last version of Android, ICS, in a supported build? It hasn't even got the one before that!) This is being solved with the Nexus 7, though, even if it annoys many makers of said rubbish tablets.

    Next: lack of USP. This is the maddening one. Google seem to have no plan for tablet Android besides 'iPad, more open, more powerful software environment, cheaper'. And that's not bad but there are lots of great ideas coming up in the Android community (split-screen app model with cut and paste between them), haptic feedback, stylus integration a la Galaxy Note 10.1, gesture palettes on the sides of the tablet right where your fingers are) that are dying because Google won't commit to them. Missed opportunity. Plays right into the above stereotype.

    Finally: apps not optimised for tablets. I don't know what Google's plan here is besides wait. That may not be enough given competition from Windows 8.

    Google's advantage is that Apple are control freaks. Their problem is that they can't seem to find a way to offer something definitively better, just something that gives you more room to tinker.

    1. Robot

      Re: This is for several reasons

      Sorry, what is USP?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is for several reasons

        Unique selling point or proposition. Something you offer but nobody else.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: This is for several reasons

          "I can hold it in my hand" is a pretty compelling USP.

          I originally got a 7" Samsung tablet to give to my kid but the wife took it instead. She replaced her iPad with it. It's big enough for her requirements plus it is more portable. It's good enough while being small and cheap.

          She dumped her iPhone for an S3 too. Got tired of waiting for the iPhone 5.

          A 7" tablet is cheap enough to be an impulse buy, an Apple tablet not so much.

      2. tirk
        Coat

        Sorry, what is USP?

        I suspect it's a USB port, but one of the pins is bent.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Mending - great ideas dying

      Why would the Android OEMs want Google to include all their great ideas within Android itself? If everything they do is folded into Android so all licensees have equal access to it, then there is no reason to buy Samsung over HTC or LG over Sony.

      The OEMs want to be able to differentiate so customers have a reason to buy THEIR tablet over the competition's, if Google steals all their ideas then they are reduced to competing with each other on hardware alone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Mending - great ideas dying

        " if Google steals all their ideas then they are reduced to competing with each other on hardware alone."

        You mean like they would be with Windows Phone (if anyone was interested)?

        Apple's closed ecosystem does give them some advantages (and their customers some disadvantages).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's only the tech minded

      That are bothered with update to their phones, accounting for perhaps 5% of the population. ICS, JB, GINGERBREAD... The rest really don't care at all.

      The other 95% don't care in the slightest.

      The 5% are however a very vocal minority, a bit like the Lib Dems used to be. Small dogs always like to bark the loudest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's only the tech minded

        Not entirely. I regularly hear and read discussions along the lines of "Android is better because Android tablets have SD slots, run Flash, have high res screens, have xyz feature, and only cost £100".

        Sadly, these are the people who are disappointed when they get one, because they understand "Android" to be a single system and don't realise that those benefits they've read about are split across 4 different devices. When they read about new features being added to Android, or new apps being released, they assume that that can have them too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: It's only the tech minded

          He said about tech people. The average user (in UK) doesn't even know they are running Android or what it is. They used to refer to Android as an "HTC" but now more often it's a "Samsung".

          If you go to most of the major phone websites - CarphoneWarehouse or Phones4u, you would struggle to find out that the S3 runs Android.

          Unlike seemingly, the US, the UK does not promote the operating system.

          1. jonathanb Silver badge

            Re: It's only the tech minded

            When people see my Samsung phone, they recognise it as "a Google Phone". They understand that the apps and other stuff can be purchased from the Google Play store rather than the iTunes store, and that manufacturers other than Samsung make phones like that.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's only the tech minded

          Sounds like you know nothing about Android, as even if you don't have ICS yet, or Jellybean, you can still use the latest apps just fine...

          1. jeffdyer

            Re: It's only the tech minded

            surely this is wrong as there are minimum os levels in android and new features may appear in new versions of the os that three latest apps may use meaning they won't work on older os versions?

    4. Pete 2 Silver badge

      The curse of the free

      > Next: lack of USP.

      That's exactly the reason (well, one of the reasons) why Linux never really grabbed the world by the nuts and dominated the desktop. Any app that becomes successful on a "free" platform will inevitably follow the money and be ported to the mass-appeal systems. However, apps, or real big-boys software, that becomes popular (i.e. profitable) on mainstream, proprietary systems like Windows or iOS have little incentive to dilute the brand, and increase the support overheads by releasing a version that only a small percentage of users will buy or download at zero cost on Linux or Android.

      Unless there's some unique feature in Android that can't be ported or replicated on the majority platforms, there will never be a USP for it. However the unique features on closed platforms will ensure that some killer apps they can run will be impossible for the free systems to replicate.

      But in reality Windows and Apple's real USP was their marketing, packaging and "it just works" integration. Things that the fragmented Linux and Android app. spaces can never achieve.

      1. Mark .

        Re: The curse of the free

        They may have marketed it that way, but I disagree it's fair to place Android in the same category of Linux[*]. Android Just Works at least as well as IOS, and I've seen people having problems with simple things on IOS. I'm like "But surely you just ..." and then realise this probably doesn't work on an Apple device.

        And Android hasn't failed, it's the overwhelmingly dominant mobile OS, with smartphone share approaching 70%, whilst Iphone struggles at 16% and falling. It has succeeded, and it's Apple who desperately need a USP to do better. So there's no problem with Android and usability here - people are fine with it. Whatever problem on non-phone devices must have a different explanation.

        [*] GNU/Linux, for the pedants who'll tell me that Android is Linux. Indeed, your post suggests we can lump Android with GNU/Linux just because they're the same kernel, which doesn't make sense at all.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: The curse of the free

        Things don't "just work" on Windows. People buy Windows because it's been the dominant platform since you had to do your own memory management by hand. Technological considerations aren't really a factor at all. DOS or Windows is what got bundled with PCs. IBM had trouble coping and Be couldn't even give their OS away.

        It's idiotic to try and lump in Macs with Windows. Macs have always been an also-ran. They are this now and they were this when they were unable to compete against MS-DOS.

        By the time Linux came around, MS-DOS was already deeply entrenched.

        Apple hasn't had nearly the same amount of lead time. Their advantage is much smaller and apps are generally cheap. The gap between Android and PhoneOS is much smaller than it ever was for WinDOS and any of it's rivals. Android as a successful phone platform will ensure that this gap only shrinks.

    5. MrXavia
      Thumb Down

      Re: This is for several reasons

      Google only has itself to blame for bad tablet sales...

      The only reason I did not buy 2 Google Nexus 7's the day of release, was the lack of an SD card slot!

      I am waiting for the other manufacturers to catch up and release a competing device WITH SD...

      When I travel I don't have access to the Internet, and when I do, it is slow, so cloud storage is not viable, even when home my speeds are not good enough to store all my media on the cloud!

      1. TheProf Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: This is for several reasons

        I had the same trouble with McLaren and their 12C. Only 2 cup holders? No sale!

        1. Philip Lewis
          Coat

          Re: This is for several reasons

          My McLaren 16C doesn't even have 1 cup holder!

          Mind you, I am usually too busy pedaling to notice. :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is for several reasons

        @MrXavia http://www.zdnet.com/no-microsd-card-slot-on-the-nexus-7-no-problem-7000001307/

        Works perfectly, did it on the N7. When you connect the thumb drive, it even creates the /sdcard folder for you so any apps don't know any different.

      3. Mark .

        Re: This is for several reasons

        Do Ipads have SD card slots? Don't get me wrong, I dislike it when devices don't include them, but that can't be the reason for Android doing less well on tablets. Especially since plenty of tablets do have SD card slots. (Sure the Google tablet doesn't, but neither do the Google phones, and Android is doing amazingly well on phones.)

      4. Peter Johnstone

        Re: This is for several reasons

        When is an SD card slot no as SD card slot? When its on a motorola xoom.

        Let me explain. The motorola xoom comes with an sd card slot which doesn't work with android 3.0, the version of android that it is shipped with. It does work after updating to android 3.1, but stops working after updating to ICS.

        Having no SD card slot might actually be better; at least you know that it's never going to work!?

        I do use my tablet daily and find it really useful, but the above, combined with the lack of usb changing, and motorola's insane update release schedule (Europe gets ICS 6 months after the US) makes me almost wish I'd spent the extra few quid and got the iPad.

    6. JDX Gold badge

      Google's advantage is that Apple are control freaks

      This is also Apple's advantage.

    7. This post has been deleted by its author

    8. SuccessCase

      Re: This is for several reasons

      Actually Android tablet's does have a USP, but IMHO the problem is the remaining use-cases that aren't addressed already by the iPad mean tend to result in something akin to Homer's car (look it up if you haven't seen the Simpson's episode where Homer designs a car for manufacture).

      Now the thing is, if Homer's car were real, I would actually really really want one.

      I just wouldn't want to admit to it.

      1. Peter Johnstone
        Joke

        Re: This is for several reasons

        "Now the thing is, if Homer's car were real, I would actually really really want one.

        I just wouldn't want to admit to it."

        You just did!

    9. Mark .

      Re: This is for several reasons

      I agree that it's a shame there are missed opportunities, but Apple don't have a USP either - I think the bigger problem is that people simply aren't aware of the higher end or larger Android tablets. It's depressing to see people who love their Android smartphones, and like Android, and chose it over Apple (and it isn't simply a case of buying something cheaper) then thinking that the only choice for tablets is an Ipad. Part of the problem is that the only tablets that have previously been publicised are either cheap deals on crappy low end unknown-brand tablets, or the Kindle Fire which is only available in some markets, and can't access Google Play. Hopefully the Nexus 7 will change awareness, though that's still not a 7". Maybe Samsung with have better luck with the "Note" brandname (making it appear a 10" version of their successful phone).

      "apps not optimised for tablets."

      What does this mean though? Given phones now have HD resolutions, it's not clear why there's a difficulty. There's also a wide range of sizes, from 3" to 10", with everything in between, so it's not like you can solve this with just two versions. Yes it's true there's more scope for better UIs - e.g., at 10", why not have a full windowing environment rather than having to have all applications run full screen. But again, Apple don't have this either, with it being only Samsung to advance things with split screens. (Whilst I'm glad to see this progress by Samsung and MS, it does amuse me - like we're meant to be impressed by a tiled window manager that was done by computers years ago - maybe TouchWiz 5 and Windows 9 will also add overlapping windows...)

  3. P. Lee

    Major purchase

    The problem is that these things are expensive and with expense comes risk-aversion - so fewer purchases for the non-market leader.

    Then there is the problem that cheaper tablets self-select to those with less money who are more likely to go for a laptop instead. And also there is a bit of cheapness in the build quality which Apple wouldn't countenance - so they don't look as good either.

    I want an x86/arm laptop hybrid with detachable screen. A tablet is too limited to spend that much on a good screen and battery.

  4. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Holmes

    Androd App Market?

    Its bigger than Google, right? I mean the whole point of Android being open rather than a walled garden ala iOS is that multiple stores are possible. These statistics might be more of a condemnation of Google's store rather than of the platform itself.

    If you want to know how well Android tablets are selling, ask the tablet manufacturers and retailers.

  5. Roger Stenning
    Unhappy

    The main problem for fondleslabs...

    ...is the paucity of meaningful biz apps, such as a decent office suite. Now, if OpenOffice were to be ported to Android, there might be a fair few more supplicants to the fondleslab world, but until then, and with the VERY limited offerings from Google Drive and Polaris Office, I can't see anyone really taking a fondleslab seriously for business purposes - and that's where they need to aim it, in order to make it sell in any meaningful numbers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Microsoft playing silly buggers again

      They have a running version of Office for iOS. People have seen it, opened it, played with it. They just won't release it because they think holding it back will sell Windows 8 on tablets. I suspect they're right that Office for iPad would leave Windows 8 completely lacking in any reason to prefer it, but am still annoyed by their playing games like this. Still, at least it means a native Cocoa codebase for Word and Excel should be ready to ship with Office for Mac 2014.

    2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: The main problem for fondleslabs...

      Quick Office is pretty good. I use it all the time for writing, even on my phone. Does all the basic office productivity stuff and I doubt most people would need more than that on their slab. I believe Goog own it now but it was good even before they got their paws on it. The only downside I've found is that it doesn't support opendocument, which is a bit of a drawback, but one I'm willing to live with if it lets me write.

      And OpenOffice or LibreOffice (can't remember which) is being ported to android as we speak. So there you go.

      All it takes is a little searching.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Quick Office is pretty good."

        How long do you think that will last now it's Google-owned? There's a reason there's no SD slot on the Nexus...

        " OpenOffice or LibreOffice (can't remember which) is being ported to android as we speak"

        Hmmm. Probably good news. Not quite the QuickOffice replacement we might hope for, but then again with a dual or quad-core processor, half a gig of RAM or more and semi-unlimited filesystem on any decent tablet, maybe compactness and ultimate performance (and battery life??????) no longer matter much?

        Interesting times.

  6. Frumious Bandersnatch

    kinda scary data collection

    We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical We control the diagonal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We will control

      The curves Apple hasn't patented?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google store undercounting

    I doubt if slabs from China can reach the Google store, even though there are gazillions of tablets being produced with dual core and quad core.

    1. stick it to the man

      Re: Google store undercounting

      A lot of these clones are modded to spoof the store by presenting themselves as other devices (eg GT-I9100) - I know mine are. Google "build prop" for more info

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Google store undercounting

        My Onda Tablet I just renamed some bits in some of the configuration files to allow more access, but meant faking the screen size. So its people like me screwing up their results :S

  8. heynownow
    Alien

    Isnt this a sign

    Tablet manufacturers (esp Samsung & Sony) should really now pay more attention to Open WebOS. Android was always lacking as a tablet platform, but not WebOS. Sad it didnt have the traction, and HP did far too little, too late. The open source avatar could see the mass adoption rates if it's only given a chance.

    1. StareClips.com
      Facepalm

      Re: Isnt this a sign

      So, you're saying Samsung and Sony should pay attention to an OS that has gained even less traction than Android? Odd decision.

      Executive #1: Ugh, our tablets only seem to be running on the #2 tablet OS.

      Executive #2: I know, let's switch to the #3 tablet OS.

      Executive #1: Brilliant!

      1. Peter Johnstone

        Re: Isnt this a sign

        I think that you're missing the point that heynownow is trying to make; that in his opinion Open WebOS is a decent OS that might be more popular if more companies shipped products that ran it.

        1. Craigness

          Re: Isnt this a sign

          If the only thing that Android lacks is consistency then having multiple providers of WebOS devices would not make webOS a more desirable option. But inconsistency s not a problem on Android and WebOS on tablets is not a joyful experience. It feels empty and uninviting, and that's not because of a lack of apps.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isnt this a sign

      LOL

      I know people who worked at HP, brought Web OS tablets internally for a dirt cheap price, then plonked android on it...

      People inside HP hated Web OS and were glad it died...

      1. Ancient Oracle funkie

        Re: Isnt this a sign @AC 08:37

        Well, I work at HP and bought a WebOS tablet for a dirt cheap price. Have I plonked Android on it? Not yet but intend to do so. Is that because I hate WebOS? Nope! I find WebOS rather good actually. So why go to Android? Apps!

        Another reason for going Android might be people prefer the same experience on phone & tablet.

    3. Craigness

      Re: Isnt this a sign

      What does android lack as a tablet platform? I use mine for everything apart from work, Google docs and the YouTube content which is restricted on mobile devices. But I wouldn't expect to do those things on any tablet.

      1. Armando 123

        Re: Isnt this a sign

        "What does android lack as a tablet platform?"

        Consistency? I heard an interview with the guy who owns the company that is bringing back Baldur's Gate. He gushed about the user experience on the iPad. When the interviewer mentioned Android, the guy wasn't so excited. He said that the variety of screen sizes, chips, video, OS versions, etc, made testing and development slower and more painful (and therefore more expensive). With the iPad, you know every officially supported combination that's out there, you can get that information from one source, and this makes things quicker and simpler (and therefore cheaper) to develop and test.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Re: Isnt this a sign

          > the guy wasn't so excited.

          Well then he is a dick.

          What he's really saying is that he will support only one particular make and model of tablet rather than iOS tablets vs Android per se.

          Heaven help him if they have to develop a version for PC where you can even change the resolution and screen size on the same device. Hundreds of potentially different monitors, possibly thousands of different makes and models of graphic cards, a multitude of CPUs, mice, keyboards, sound devices, motherboard chipsets...

          How ever would they cope?

        2. Craigness

          Re: Isnt this a sign

          There are thousands of games for android. Those who can do, those who can't do interviews about fragmentation.

          Android lacks nothing as a tablet OS but webOS was horrible. I loved it on the phone (never bought it because the developers weren't on board) but on the tablet it just felt empty. It needs widgets or something.

    4. Anonymous C0ward

      My HP TouchPad doesn't even have webOS any more

      after much fiddling with bits of webOS Doctor and LVM the other day.

  9. StareClips.com
    Meh

    Weird Title

    So, the title should have been renamed, "GOOGLE'S STATS SHOW FEW ANDROID TABLETS IN USE, AMAZON'S STARTS SHOW A LOT OF ANDROID TABLETS IN USE".

    Yawn.

  10. Alex Walsh
    FAIL

    percentages...

    Back in February Google said that 850,000 Android smartphone were being activated daily. Add that to the installed userbase existing at that time, and a small percentage of a hugely massive number sounds like quite a large number of tablets actually out there in the wild to me.

  11. tony72
    WTF?

    Eh?

    This article seems to be about the proportion of Android devices that are tablets versus smartphones. But everybody on the planet has a phone, mostly smartphones these days. Still only a small number of people have a tablet of any sort. A quick Google reveals that only 7% of UK males and 5% of women own a tablet (#1). At my workplace, about 1 in 5 has a tablet, and outside of a tech company I expect the figures are much lower. So you would expect the ratio of Android tablets to Android phones to be low, even if all tablets were Android (as it goes, at work they're about 2/3 ipads to 1/3 Android). Or am I missing something? The figures say almost 1 in 10 Android devices is a tablet, and given that they're not counting Kindle Fires or cheap non-Play tablets, I think that actually sounds quite good, all things considered.

    http://www.economistgroup.com/leanback/lean-back-reading/who-are-tablet-owners-in-the-u-k-and-the-u-s/

    1. Great Bu

      Re: Eh?

      Excactly - what percentage of iOS devices have a screen size of greater than 7 inches ? I would guess it's not far off the android distribution.

      Plenty of 'phone owners, only a few who also want a gropetile*.

      *TM

    2. Arctic fox

      @tony72 Re:"A quick Google reveals that only 7% of UK males and 5% of women own a tablet"

      It may be a touch off topic for me to respond specifically to that point but I feel that it is an important one in the larger context. The tablet market (as you point out) is in fact still tiny in comparison to the conventional pc market as a whole. It is not remotely mass-market (yet) in comparison to ordinary boxes. The hardware has only recently (comparatively speaking) begun to catch up with the dream of the "full-song-with-choruses" pc in your pocket. However, with what we can see in prospect as far as the new chips are concerned with regard to the battery life/processing power equation (plus SSD prices heading south) then 2013 may prove to be very interesting. I certainly think that it is highly likely that the tablet market is going to look very different in 2 - 3 years time than it does today - it has not yet really begun to take off.

  12. Ossi

    Google don't help themselves

    My first tablet was an android, but I pretty quickly went out and bought an iPad. Why? First of all, Google makes it b*st*rd hard to find tablet apps as, unlike Apple, it doesn't seem to put them in a separate category in their store (or at least it didn't). The fact that people couldn't find tablet apps (from a company that made its money in search!) probably didn't encourage developers. Secondly, Android is just fiddly and less intuitive to use. Despite being a touchscreen OS, Android isn't particularly gesture-based, and it isn't particularly intuitive. Try handing each tablet to a 70 year old. Oh, and I'm with Apple in thinking that 4:3 screens are better for tablets.

    PS Not a fanboy - I bought the Android *first*.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google don't help themselves

      Personally I think A4 paper is the right dimensions, not 4:3, since everyone is used to paper, and with Wacom quality pens on the new Note, Samsung have got the right idea, but the wrong building material, seriously would it be HARD to stick a carbon fibre back on the thing?

      and I have to say I prefer Android for its settings over iOS, iOS is a locked down BITCH, I am always finding things not exposed in the settings that should be, and things missing that I would expect...

      and when it comes to usability, I take my 2 children as examples, and my 2 year old to start with.. he has access to both iOS and Android, and he & his brother generally fight over the Android device rather than the iOS device...

    2. Craigness

      Re: Google don't help themselves

      I can find tablet apps and i use the same app store you did. There's no separate category because the apps are supposed to be designed for android, not a form factor. I'll give you a clue: all the apps are "tablet apps".

      1. FutureShock999

        One app for both IS the problem

        I think you've just hit the nail on the head - a large number of iOS apps have differing versions for the iPhone and the iPad. This allows the iPad version to sport sometimes an entirely different user interface, that takes advantage of the larger (not higher resolution) screen, or simplifies the interface for a small screened phone touchscreen. Android's store doesn't support this distinction, so most devs develop for a generic device and don't tune the interface for different screen sizes - which is suboptimal from a user experience point of view.

        1. Mark .

          Re: One app for both IS the problem

          So what's going to happen if Apple release a 4" Iphone and a 7-8" Ipad Mini? Do all those app developers now have to redesign so they have *4* versions of every app? What a nightmare. Are you going to admit it will be a pain, as these new devices won't be able to properly run all the existing apps? Meanwhile, Android devices are written to scale - which is something that any competent UI programmer can do.

          There is no "both" here - we have a full range of devices from 3" to 10" (or potentially larger). I'd much rather have the freedom of choice, and the only "both" is in Apple's limited product range - which will go out the window, if they ever release any additional devices, or change the sizes.

          What taking advantage is there anyway? Ipads still run everything full screen. If I want a 10" device with a real OS optimised for a decent sized screen, I use my Samsung netbook. I can think of some ways that phone UIs could be optimised for larger screens, e.g., split-screens, but it's Samsung and MS doing that innovation, not Apple.

          Also when Apple or fans advertise "app" numbers, they tend not to ignore all the Iphone ones. (And it occurs to me, if there are two versions of many apps, that suggests the numbers are going to be inflated anyway.)

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Google don't help themselves

        Except they are not. You can fit a lot more on a 10" screen than on a 3" screen even if they both have the same number of pixels. iPad apps don't display an iPhone like interface in giant letters. Android apps may well do.

        1. Craigness

          Re: Google don't help themselves

          I'd rather have an app scale up to tablet size than not be allowed to use it on my tablet. But it's not neccesary because from the start google has helped developers deploy suitable layouts for all screen sizes within a single app. "Google don't help themselves" makes no sense at all in this context.

    3. Mark .

      Re: Google don't help themselves

      "First of all, Google makes it b*st*rd hard to find tablet apps as, unlike Apple, it doesn't seem to put them in a separate category in their store (or at least it didn't)."

      *boggle* What's a "tablet app"? Sorry, I don't see why an application is different just depending on whether the device is also a phone or not (since these days, that's the only difference between tablets and smartphones). It's the same platform. Your tablet may be a different size, but there's loads of sizes of both phones and tablets. With a continuum from 3" and 10", how many versions of my app do you think I should make, and how many categories should there be? Or maybe I should just make one that works on both.

      You don't need a "tablet" version of my Android apps, because they work fine on any size. Maybe IOS can't cope with that, which is why you need categories - but that's not the case. Just download standard Android apps and enjoy it (plus if anything, you're more likely to run into problems if a phone is too small; making it bigger doesn't cause problems).

      "Android isn't particularly gesture-based, and it isn't particularly intuitive. Try handing each tablet to a 70 year old."

      What's a gesture? Yes, I'm sure someone unfamiliar with tablets is going to do fine with complex "gestures". I love this myth that Ipads are for elderly people - sorry, none of the people I see with Ipads are 70 year olds, they're all geeks or otherwise computer literate people, who already own PCs, laptops and smartphones, and often they're either Apple fanatics, or people who are completely unaware you can get other makes of tablets (since they receive virtually no media coverage, unlike Ipads which got loads even from before they were announced, and are available in far fewer shops).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google don't help themselves

        "*boggle* What's a "tablet app""

        It's an app that's been optimised for use on a tablet, using the extra screen space for something useful.

        Android developers know that this doesn't have to mean a different Application, you just do a different layout for the larger screen device but you should advertise the fact that's it been optimised.

        The Google play store does now have a tablet section.

  13. Christopher Rogers
    Megaphone

    I own an android tablet and it's just average.

    Its an Acer Iconia A500. It does the business. However, since android on tablets is sh1t, i'm going to wait for Windows 8 and then replace it.

    I really wanted Android to be awesome, but its not. I currently have 2 experiences of using it, one on my phone and one on the tablet. The phone is better (HTC Sensation XE), the tablet is distinctly underwhelming.

    Its no surprise the Android tablet market is not running the show. It just not alot of fun to use and there is no real productivity tools so business use is out.

    So back to M$ cos f*ck Apple.

    1. Peter Johnstone

      Re: I own an android tablet and it's just average.

      Much as I loathe the Windows 8 preview on the desktop, I think that it will be pretty good on a tablet, and being a M$ product I'm sure that the apps will come.

      As an earlier poster noted, it can be the apps that make the difference between the success and failure of a tablet OS. iOS and Android have stacks of apps. Blackberry is struggling as a tablet platform due to the lack of apps. I actually like the Playbook as a tablet otherwise (My wife has one).

      My outlook is not as straiight-forward as yours, as I've just switched from Windows to Apple on the desktop OS front partly due to my loathing of Windows 8 on the desktop and getting fed up of the slowdown that comes with windows after a few updates. Wouldn't touch an ipad though due to Apple's policies towards developers on that platform and the patent nonsense that's going on, so have an Android tablet (motorola xoom). Might end up with a windows phone though.

  14. fourThirty
    Alert

    At a risk of tipping the apple cart, browsing the web isn't the only use for a tablet.

    Data can be moved on and off of most Android tablets using the Micro SD ports, I have a 7" Android tab which is solely used as an e-book reader. It's never online, but it's definitely being used!

    As Android is more open, people are able to do more innovative things with the hardware besides simply browsing.

  15. jb99

    silly article

    I'd see this as a good showing for tablets.

    The market is much smaller. For example my parents and my sister both have android phones but neither of them will ever own any kind of tablet, they simply have no use for one. Plus every member of a house will have a phone but rarely will they all own a tablet, most likely one for everyone.

    So if the total number of android devices that are tablets ever exceeds 20% I'll be amazed. And as decent tablets have only been available for a few months, and the nexus 7 much shorter time, compared with years for phones I think this is a good showing

    1. HMB

      Re: silly article (Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics)

      You too noticed that the stats were being abused, I salute you! Well done Sir.

      No... don't analyse the market for tablets by comparing like for like (market share and sales for tablets). Instead, take the market for *another product* and talk about how little tablets they sell compared to phones THEN chalk it up to a failure of their tablets.

      Can I put this jumper on you?

      What next? Are we going to look at Microsoft and say, well, they license a lot more PCs than phones, that means people want laptop / desktop computers instead of mobile phones.

      "HELLO!? I can't talk on my laptop at the moment... YEAH... I'm on a train..."

      I'm stunned how many people have got all worked up about this without noticing the glaring problem with the article.

  16. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Users too busy reading books?

    LTJNH*

    Lots of Text Just Not Here.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many reasons, but ultimately the software has something to do with it. Look at iPlayer for instance, the iOS version is the first to get the ability to download programmes and watch offline (ie. not streaming).

    Plus I think people do want 10" tablets if they're using them in the living room. A few people will moan and say they want a smaller tablet for carrying on a train etc, but they're just a vocal minority who probably don't even own a tablet.

    1. Mark .

      Yes, it does depress me that companies cater for the minority of Apple users, and not the far larger number of people using more popular platforms - Android on mobile, Windows on 10" or larger. Even today, with Android at nearly 70% share, and Iphone around 16%, I still see adverts advertising "Get this on your Iphone" (or "even on your eyyyyyephone" as the Sky adverts tell me - sorry, like most people, I don't have one).

      I remember a few years ago, the BBC got a lot of flak for supporting only Windows, and ignoring the 10% of Apple and Linux users. And it was right that they were criticised. Yet I'm disappointed at the lack of criticism when for mobile, they or other companies favour the 16% of Apple users, before anyone else - be it the dominant platform (Symbian and now Android), or others such as BlackBerry, Bada and WP.

      1. Steve Todd Silver badge

        It's probably to do

        With the cost of development compared to the income from the app.

        iOS is cheaper to develop for simply because you need less devices to test on. At the same time developers make more money from the Apple App Store (both in sales and advertising), partly because Apple owners buy more apps and partly because they are prepared to spend money (which seems to be an issue for Android owners).

        It's pretty simple from the above why a company would want to start with an iOS version of an app and then move it to Android if they feel like it later.

  18. auburnman
    Meh

    My tablet

    Came with a browser, youtube and Facebook apps. It also shows my pictures and movies with the software it came with just fine; I don't know about other folks but that's 70%+ of what I wanted the tablet for. It doesn't really leave the house (yet) so games don't get much of a look in as they're competing with the PS3 and PC. All this combined with the difficulty of discovering new stuff means I very rarely bother with the market unless I have a specific need like an eBook reader or Wifi file transfer (and even then the Tab probably had those, I just wanted a specific app I had used before) or a specific app recommended by a friend or trusted site.

    Anyway, my point is my tablet already does all this cool stuff and I use it loads. To say few tablets are in use based on the figures of Androids on the store is daft.

  19. Avatar of They
    Thumb Down

    Google play is rubbish.

    Problem with Google is google.

    The OS is still in it's infancy. I had my transformer prime away from the internet for a week in July and very quickly it becomes unstable, in less than a day updates were required to make it run, three (file explorer, mobo player, docs to go full) apps broke including the office apps and needed reinstalling. So as a business tool it just isn't there, or remotely stable enough to warrant replacing laptops. Whether app writers haven't updated to 4.0 or whether the OS just can't live without touching Google servers, either way my eee PC of four years is still the favoured choice for functional work.

    I have to have 2 office apps installed (so they work) but to copy and paste between documents, you can't copy and paste from 2 docs inside dosc to go for example.

    Android 4 doesn't do sound via usb so you can't do any of the add ons or peripherals that Ipads have, or that I have for my eeePC. As a result my Transformer Prime is limited to crap speakers (stereo speakers on the same side of the machine is not stereo). Google turned off the feature but the code is there and they are ignoring the 100s of people pleading on their bug / feature list.

    Most of the lower spec systems don't do google play at all. you have to really be keen to install it on some.

    15 minutes refund period is a joke when you consider half the rubbish that is in there. And market forces are not a good a good way to run a business of that sort. I have been scammed a few times buying fake apps and so don't trust anything on there now.

    Most apps are just money grabbing exercises and I have stopped looking, One game (can't remember which but it is a recent) is commented as needing £300 if you buy all game purchases, and strike fleet omega is around £200. Anything from Glu mobile is a scam for cash and that is the norm, so who would seriously go looking for apps for any length of time.

    Quite a lot of apps now have started grabbing phone details, privacy is a joke. Why else would elemental need to know your phone details? It is sodoku, what reason would it need contacts and phone details? The whole thing is fishier than Whitby.

    Too many devices don't work with apps from google play, too many devices are listed as problems in app comments. Newer ones are not supported yet and apps quite frequently no longer support the older ones because dev's move on. (HTC desire is no longer supported for example in some apps that I have)

    I like my transformer prime (Despite it being crap away from the internet) and hate all things Apple, but as a fondle slab I only use google play rarely to update my apps, I haven't got a new one in months because the whole site is filled with junk and viruses that just want your money or personal details. And my foray into the Amazon site is that it is slow and clunky and not very easy to navigate, so it is easy to see why Apple still leads by a mile.

    1. prefect42

      Re: Google play is rubbish.

      What? You say applications randomly stop working and need reinstalling after a few days? Get a warranty replacement, that's just not normal. At the very least you can clear the settings for an application separately from reinstalling it.

      Sound via USB an issue? Why aren't you just using bluetooth A2DP? Surely you can use the 3.5mm jack at the least, so you're really not limited to the internal speakers. Bluetooth is just a more elegant solution than any wired option for a tablet.

      As for play being full of junk, you're probably right, but you're free to not install things you don't like the look of.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google play is rubbish.

      If Docs to Go stops working after a few days offline your tablet is faulty. I use DtG on a Prime and have done since I bought it over six months ago. Never had a single problem and regularly use it offline. And what exactly do you mean by "broke"? If you use Mobo or any other app offline it simply means you can't update it when and if an update is released. Apps don't just stop working for no reason.

    3. dajames Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Google play is rubbish.

      Problem with Google is google.

      I must say, I'd expect a company that built its fortune on searching to allow a degree of filtering when searching through their application shop store (yes, it's not a shop as only some of what it provides is for sale). If I want to filter out paid apps, or apps that advertise, or apps with an average rating of less than 4 stars for the current version, or apps that are crippled or time-limited, then I should be able to do so.

      Similarly, if I want to filter out apps that require internet access, or apps that can read my personal details, or apps that can access my location, then I should be able to do so.

      I can understand that app writers might not want me to be able to ignore their wares in this way -- but who is Google Play for? Them or me? I think that's something that Google need to think harder about.

      Sherlock, because it may be a two-pipe problem.

    4. Peter Johnstone

      Re: Google play is rubbish.

      I agree, google play is rubbish.

      On my tablet (Motorola xoom, ICS) when you open it it displays a blank screen. close it and open it again and it works. WTF!?

      Most apps on any platform either work or don't work or might have the occasional intermittent problem, but work only on every second launch, what's going on?

  20. MagicBoy
    FAIL

    A bit of contect.

    Wooooo - percentages. Doesn't really mean much without a baseline number of devices to refer it back to. I've got a hunch there are massive of cheap smartphones in there somewhere.skewing the statistics.

  21. mark l 2 Silver badge

    So google's stats won't count the 1000s of low cost no name brand Android tablets from China then as they don't use the Google Play store as they haven't been given the Google stamp of approval or whatever they call it. Go on ebay and type in Android tablet and you will probably find more no name china ones for sale than for ones from the big brands.

    Thats not to say they are all good, at lot of them have resistive screens, slow cpus and Android 2.2. But they are getting better, you can some pretty good hardware for about a £100 with Android 4 and reasonable CPU/GPU and memory, HDMI outputs etc, build quality can be a bit hit and miss but for £100 you can grumble.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOL

    found out today you can't edit word documents on Apple tablets. How shit is that.

    My Android smartphone (Xperia S) and Android tablet (Nexus 7) both do this with ease.

    #Fail

    1. Steve Todd Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: LOL

      There's an app for that, now toddle off like a good little fandroid.

      1. Mike Flex
        Gimp

        Re: LOL

        > There's an app for that, now toddle off like a good little fandroid.

        There are lots of apps for ipads, often chargeable, for things you might have expected to be built in.

        Want to edit the world's most widely used wordprocessor format? - Needs a chargeable app.

        Want to connect to a networked file share (especially on a tablet with no USB or SD slots)? - Needs a chargeable app.

        Want to print to an existing networked printer, without buying a new airprint printer? - Needs a chargeable app.

        Want to relax with a little basic Solitaire? - Needs an app, chargeable if you don't want ads.

        See the pattern?

        1. Steve Todd Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: LOL

          You've never bought a Windows PC? Guess what, it doesn't edit Word documents by default (unless it comes with a crappy trial version of Office that will stop working). Does that make Windows bad?

          Office compatibility isn't normally the reason why people want a tablet, so Apple settled for leaving that to 3rd parties.

          Network shares? Don't need them, got Dropbox for that, and it's free.

          Printing to a networked printer? HP printers require no software at all. Other manufacturers have to produce their own apps (which are mostly free, Samsung's certainly is) as HP seem to have a patent on that protocol, or you can just enable printer sharing on a desktop Mac, again for free.

          Android free apps don't have adverts in them too? You're pulling my plonker.

          1. Mike Flex

            Re: LOL

            > You've never bought a Windows PC? Guess what, it doesn't edit Word documents by default (unless it comes with a crappy trial version of Office that will stop working).

            Even a "crappy trial version of Office" means that a Windows box can edit Word docs out of the box. So can Microsoft Works. Or Open/Libre Office will do so for free.

            > Office compatibility isn't normally the reason why people want a tablet,

            Really? Handy for email on my better half's ipad.

            > Network shares? Don't need them...

            Well, that's nice for you. For those of us who have files on other platforms it would be handy to be able to access them.

            > Printing to a networked printer? HP printers require no software at all.

            If you don't mind having to use the web browser or mail tool built into their print tool. WTF?

            > or you can just enable printer sharing on a desktop Mac, again for free.

            Great. Where can I get these free desktop Macs?

            So I can save the cost of buying a print app for the ipad by buying a Mac. Bit of a false economy if you don't have a Mac to start with. (I don't.)

            > Android free apps don't have adverts in them too?

            Did I claim otherwise? Windows manages to have a Solitaire game bundled in. As I keep being told by fanbois that Apple is better, where is the bundled Solitaire on an ipad?

            1. Steve Todd Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: LOL

              >Even a "crappy trial version of Office" means that a Windows box can edit Word docs out of the box.

              It's not a default item that is shipped with Windows, some OEMs do, some don't, and it will stop working. That's hardly a major plus point.

              >Really? Handy for email on my better half's ipad.

              What are you on about? Out of the box iOS can speak directly to Exchange mail servers. It will also speak to POP and IMAP servers so most normal people's need for email is covered nicely.

              >Well, that's nice for you. For those of us who have files on other platforms it would be handy to be able to access them.

              So you've narrowed the use case down to f*ckwits who can't be bothered to copy a file from one folder to another on their desktop machine and are now complaining that they have to spend a couple of quid on an app instead?

              >If you don't mind having to use the web browser or mail tool built into their print tool. WTF?

              You've honestly never used AirPrint have you? HP printers appear as selectable printers direct from within iOS apps. Tell the app to print and out it comes, no emails to be sent, web browsers to be used, drivers to be installed or anything.

              >> or you can just enable printer sharing on a desktop Mac, again for free.

              >Great. Where can I get these free desktop Macs?

              If you're a Mac user then you already have one. If you're a Windows user you can do your own homework and find an AirPrint server for that (and yes, they do exists).

              >Windows manages to have a Solitaire game bundled in. As I keep being told by fanbois that Apple is better, where is the bundled Solitaire on an ipad?

              So your argument comes down to "any machine that comes without bundled Office and Solitaire is useless", that's a pretty narrow and unenlightened use case you have there. BTW, how many Android devices come bundled with Solitaire?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet no mention of the superior Kobo Arc

    You know, the one thats very similarly spec'd, runs STANDARD Android, that allows you to use regular Android apps, from the regular Android store, and uses the OPEN and STANDARDISED EPUB format that has more books (and competition in the marketplace).

    OK then.....

  24. Badvok
    FAIL

    Amusing how hacks try to report statistics but miss the key one - What is the sample size?

    I seem to remember seeing an estimate that there are somewhere in the order of 250 million activated android devices, so even 1% of that is quite a few.

  25. Mark .

    Nexus 7

    So wait, a device that has only just released, hasn't made much of a dent in years of sales of hundreds of millions of Android smartphones? Wow, I'm shocked.

    Android is so overwhelmingly popular on smartphones, and smartphones in general are way more popular than tablets, that it's not surprising that the percentage of Android tablets compared to Android as a whole will be low - this doesn't mean a failing of the platform. To rate the success of the platform on tablets, we're better off looking at sales compared to other platforms (and by actual numbers, not percentages). So what are the latest sales figures for the Nexus 7?

  26. Gerhard den Hollander

    where does a 4.5" screen get counted ?

    The article stateth :

    > .... with 86 per cent reporting a screen diagonal between 3 and 5 inches.

    > In contrast, devices with screen diagonals between 4 and 7 inches represented just 6.5 per cent ....

    that's either overlapping or a typo

    (5 - 7 inches ? 3-4 and 4-7 ?)

  27. David Paul Morgan
    Happy

    media playback at home

    I think this is the main use of Slabs in in the house - and when away.

    The advantage of many Android slabs is you can plug them into your TV with the HDMI cable.

    We're doing this with our Xperia S and Asus Transformer. I'm thinking of getting another cheap tablet or plug in 'Droid just to convert the TV into a 'smart' screen.

    Wireless streaming is OK as long as not too many devices are trying to do it at the same time at home!

    I prefer the 10" transformer and my partner prefers his HTC Flyer. We both prefer the 16:9 ratio for both reading (portrait) and media (landscape). We both download eBooks from our Public Library (ePub & drm PDF formats, I think...)

    I definitely think there's a role for the unbranded Chinese Slabs. Have one per room! I tend to watch my BBC programmes in the shower (taking slab to bedroom when drying off..!). It would help if Andoid handled multi-profiles. (incorporported in Khulfi?) I only know one of my friends with an iPad - and he's a Fanboi. The rest of us seem to be Fandroids.

  28. GeorgeOrr
    Thumb Down

    Poor security and too much maintenance

    There are a few reasons why I don't use my Acer Iconia Tab A100 too often. It came loaded with crapware that can't be uninstalled unless you root the tablet, thereby taking the chance of bricking it. Since I bought 100% of the tablet, I should be able to control 100% of what it does without having to be a Linux Admin.

    The security is crap, too. I shouldn't have to divulge all of my personal information just to listen to the radio, for example. In order to get some basic security, I've had to, like I said, root the box, use Titanium backup to uninstall the crapware, shut off all of the location finders, install TOR (Orbot/Orweb) and shy away from apps that want to pry into every aspect of my personal information.

    There was an article in El Reg yesterday that outlined some of these issues pretty well. As far as whether your running HC or ICS, there's really very little difference. Maybe the biggest difference is that TOR ran better on HC than it does on ICS, but even that upgrade was a pain. I had to restore HC to its unrooted state, do the upgarade, and reroot ICS. It just doesn't seem worth all the trouble for what it does.

  29. AJames
    Thumb Down

    Negative spin unfounded?

    Wow, that's putting a negative spin on neutral data!

    We just heard a few days ago that Android phones are selling very well, and are in fact outselling the iPhone. We already know the stats that the iPad far outsells all the Android tablets combined. So how would it be a surprise that most Android users have phones rather than tablets? Especially when the figures have a giant hole (ignoring Amazon's tablets).

  30. Abercol
    Go

    Can't all follow the herd.

    Hmmm, just bought a Galaxy Note to replace my Playbook....wife has an iPad 2, why pick the Android version? I preferred the interface, preferred the inclusion of expansion via MicroSd, hate ITunes with a passion and the supposedly "awful" android ICS was a breeze to use. Played about with it for an hour or so in John Lewis before plonking down the cash.

    My son loves the Playbook, so he's happy. My wife loves her iPad so she's happy (uses a lot of specific apps for her work) and I have a new shiny toy that's just what I was looking for, so I'm happy.

  31. toadwarrior

    I don't think I've ever seen someone with an Android tablet

    I can guarantee that every day on my commute I'll see people with e-paper Kindles and or iPads. Despite being on one of the busiests lines in the country and always being on packed trains, I don't recall ever seeing an Android tablet.

    I think it's because it offers nothing. Amazon's e-paper kindle has a battery life that lasts for ages and it's an exceptionally nice screen for reading and they're super cheap now.

    What does Android offer in terms of books? Oh, I can get the Amazon app, read it on a screen that's no nearly as nice on a device that costs more and has a worse battery life? No one wants that.

    If you want something more than to read e-books the ipad is superior. It feels nice rather than being some low-end bodget android device. It has a great selection of apps, movies and music all from one account and because it is a walled garden, you don't get a bunch of deceptive bullshit apps or tons of "fit birds" calendar apps which are all basically the same thing but a way for someone to pinch people's data.

    Despite the fact IT people have a heightened view of their own intelligence and look down on everyone else, the most basic concepts seem to fly right over there head. They seem to not grasp the concept that they are a minority. Most people don't want to root their tablet and play torrented FLAC files while posting online about how much their favourite corporations owns everyone else and how you're a faggot ass loser for not liking the same thing.

    Android tablets are stuck in the middle and do not do a good job of fully replacing an iPad or an e-paper kindle. The only thing it has going for it is that it's not made by Apple which appeals to butt-hurt basement dwellers.

    1. Peter Johnstone
      Facepalm

      Re: I don't think I've ever seen someone with an Android tablet

      I'm not really sure what the point you're trying to make here is?

      Yes, the e-paper kindle is going to provide a better reading experience because that's what it's designed to do. I'm not so sure about the iPad being any better than an android tablet in that respect; I'm sure that it will suffer just as much from glare outdoors as any other tablet screen android or otherwise.

      I don't know what you qualify as 'ages' for battery life, but I managed to drive from Edinburgh to Birmingham using my motorola xoom and google maps as a sat nav; not at all shabby.

      As for Android tablets not fully replacing a kindle, they're completely different products so of course not. The iPad is a more comparable product thought, and could be argued to be more functional than an iPad, for one they can run flash, which won't run on the iPad.

      Finally, you're rant on 'IT people', if your so clever why post that on this site; your not exactly going to get a sympathetic audience?

      1. Steve Todd Silver badge
        Stop

        Reading comprehension much?

        He said that the Kindle was the better reading device, that the iPad was a better tablet and Androids fall between the two (mostly for the wrong reasons), which seems to be pretty fair comment.

        As for what constitutes good battery life on a Kindle, the current generation last for a month on a charge, the new ones double that. Edinburgh to Birmingham is how far? Call it 5 hours of driving, that's not even impressive by Android tablet standards.

  32. alexvoica

    According to the infographic at http://www.buzzfeed.com/imaginationpr/a-complete-guide-to-tablet-features-6zhi, Android accounts for about 31% of the tablet market. But still, I think the new wave of Kindle tablets plus the adoption of JellyBean will improve things a bit. It will be interesting to see whether Microsoft will and can make it a three horse race.

  33. Rob Davis
    Go

    Ergo Electronics have some nice Android-based machines

    Birmingham UK based Ergo Electronics have some nice ideas based around Android, some of their products are available now while others have just been announced. http://www.ergoelectronics.com/

    I don't work for them but think their site is great and the functionality of their products is relevant: USB host, microSD slots, HDMI outputs, keyboards...

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