FlatPad A10 tablet falls well short of Apple’s iPad, highlighting problems with Google’s Android

“The FlatPad A10 looks a lot like an Apple iPad, with the same black bezel and single circular button at the bottom of the screen… The A10’s specifications make it seem like a strong competitor to the iPad. This Android 2.1 device has a 10.2-inch touch screen. It has 256 megabits of RAM and two gigabytes of built-in flash. There’s Wi-Fi and an Ethernet port, two USB ports (one for programming the A10, one for connecting other devices), and built-in stereo speakers. It’s got a one-gigahertz processor, an accelerometer to detect screen orientation, and runs Google Maps. The battery lasts five hours,” Simson Garfinkel reports for Technology Review.

MacDailyNews Take: Half the battery life and paltry storage do not make for a strong competitor to iPad’s specs, but we’ll play along…

Garfinkel continues, “But make no mistake, the A10 is no iPad. Manufactured in China by Zenithink and imported by Texas-based Flat Computing, the A10 lacks the quality and the software/hardware integration largely responsible for the iPad’s success. But while it’s easy to dismiss the A10 as a knockoff, I think it’s better to examine this device as an early prototype that points to a possible future of tablet-based devices–and to a set of growing problems inside the Android ecology. These issues will need to be addressed if other recently announced Android-powered tablets are to be successful.”

Garfinkel reports, “Precisely because Android is available to a multitude of companies and being used on a multitude of hardware platforms, it may never offer the high-quality experience that users have come to expect from Apple’s iPads, iPhones, and iPods… There’s more to an iPad than just the hardware and software–Apple is also selling iTunes, the iTunes store, the App Store, and tens of thousands of highly experienced app developers. In the iPhone/iPad/iPod universe, there is a single, easy-to-use way to find, buy, and download music. Such clarity is unlikely to ever come to the Android platform… I increasingly suspect that other planned iPad competitors won’t be able to replicate Apple’s success… Android tablets don’t just have Apple’s head start to overcome. They also have to overcome structural problems with the Android platform that Apple’s integrated approach avoids.”

Read more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Trade dress infringement, at the very least.


  1. @ Tom: “to wonder how MSFT can realistically plan to compete in a space where they offer the high priced premium product against a nearly ubiquitous zero cost offering”

    Through support. Microsoft can cover all the development for its partners.

    Google seems to only work closely with one high-profile partner at a time to push its latest version out into the market, while leaving everyone else to do their own development work to get the newest Android onto their devices.

    Besides all of that… Microsoft can make deals with partners as we’ve seen with the Verizon/Android/Bing deal. This is cutting Google off at the knees as they only make money from selling ads mostly through search. Microsoft doesn’t really lose anything.

  2. I helped a colleague with her Android phone last night, first tie I’d ever seen Android, and I’m impressed. Extremely responsive and fairly intuitive. My iPhone (running iOS 4.1) does kind of feel antiquated next to it, simply because of the slower style of navigation.

    I think Android has a fighting chance.

  3. Just because Android is free doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for tablets. You don’t see Linux tablets popping up, because it’s not designed at all for tablets (at least not to where it will work with any usability). Plus, Linux has such a fractured developer base that typical consumers won’t touch a Linux tablet.

    Android has the name recognition going for it right now, and it works better than Windows. That’s about it.

  4. Larry Ellison of Oracle, former Apple Board Member, has launched a patent infringement suit against Google over Android’s theft of IP that belongs to Oracle since they now own Sun.
    This is’t some small lightweight outfit and he has the same sway at Oracle that Steve Jobs has at Apple. He doesn’t seek damages- he wants it pulled from the market and the SW recalled. Oracle has cash to burn and can drag this out for as long as it takes.
    Why no coverage?

  5. Don’t think of this iPad knockoff as a knockoff. No. No. It’s more of a, um a hardware alpha. Yeah. And it’s uh, it’s married to a software beta.

    See? Much better! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

  6. OK…I’ll play along.

    Let’s just think of the iPad as an early prototype for the perfect tablet computer.

    Which world do you want to live in??

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”oh oh” style=”border:0;” />

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