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. At best, this story demonstrates that the computing industry is once again endeavoring to become players in a marketplace that Apple has defined.

    Any company can participate in such a marketplace as long as it understands:

    1. Apple will vigorously defend its IP, so the company must use an approach that Apple rejected (likely) or didn’t consider (unlikely).

    2. You’ll always be, at best, number two in the marketplace in terms of sales.

    3. Apple may change the marketplace anytime. Keep up or shutup.

    Happy iPhone hunting!

  2. The A10 is slow, but that makes it great against tanks – heavy, lumbering behemoths designed to fight last-century’s wars. The A10 might win out against tanks like desktop towers. But it’ll never catch the iPad’s super-sonic speeds.

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