Why fret about iPad numbers when there’s no such thing as the Android tablet?

“If you haven’t seen it yet, you almost certainly will,” James Kendrick writes for ZDNet. “Apple’s big WWDC is approaching and, before that, its current financial disclosures. Analysts are already lamenting the “poor” iPad sales numbers. They especially like pointing out that Android tablet sales are happening at a faster clip than iPad sales. It’s doom and gloom if you look around the web. The problem is, it doesn’t make much sense to compare Android tablet sales to those of the iPads.”

“The reason for this is that the Android tablet doesn’t exist,” Kendrick writes. “While the iPad line consists of two products, three or four at most if you lump older iPad models into the mix, the “Android tablet” is actually dozens of products from who knows how many companies.”

“These tablets running some version of Android have nothing to do with one another, especially at a business level,” Kendrick writes. “That’s not how some analysts look at it. They lump tablets from Samsung, Lenovo, and Google with all the cheap brands popular in China and other regions, to compare them to two iPads… Let’s put this in perspective. If iPad is the gigantic whale in the Tablet Sea and tablets running Android are the many species of small fish occupying the same space, does it make sense to say the whale is doomed because there are too many little fish in the tank? Does the sheer number of different fish make the giant whale any less dominant in the water? No, of course it doesn’t.”

Read more in the full article – very highly recommendedhere.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. The has it totally right. But there is one more thing.

    Apple hardware lasts for years and years. People pass them down to family. Cheap android tablets just get thrown away.

    As we get down line you will see apple hardware massively everywhere

    I still have 6 Mac minis from 2005 that still run great. Even OS 10.5.8 still runs most all apps just fine. Ok not a video monster but still running great.

    Just saying.

    1. 20″ white Intel iMac still going strong. Also playing nice with the 15″ MacBook Pro Retina along with multiple other iDevices running strong ie original iPod Touch streaming a multitude of ear & iCandy via eyeTV along with original iPad ….. Unfortunately my dated Mac IIci rests peacefully under my desk as a reminder as to how far AAPL has come full circle.

          1. For a second I thought you were talking about the mac classic althegeo was kidding about, Ned. Those were anything but easy to open (particularly if you didn’t have the long torx).
            The Iici on the other hand… I agree. Only beat by the mac pro (aluminum) in terms of easy access. (after the newer drive trays – I hatted those round screws) And now of course the new trash can mac pro… the way the top slides off to reveal everything is fantastic.

    2. I got given a PendoPad from ISP when I renewed my contract.

      The sales person really piled it on how great a tablet it was. Well when I received he really should have piled on something else – what a piece of junk it is.

      It could barely access the Play Store. It could barely run any games. And I’m only talking Template Run here. It was very unresponsive. The screen was terrible. And don’t even get me started on the build quality. The only thing going for it was the stereo speakers – very crisp and punchy.

      But a month or so later I donated it to the local OpShop. I thought I’d spread the love to some other poor soul.

      What a piece of junk it was. Do not miss it at all.

  2. Are some of the eBook readers Android based? When I walk around and look to see what people are using, it is very hard to find anything that doesn’t have an Apple logo on it. In the end, isn’t what people use day to day what counts. If you buy an Android device and the other is FREE, is either used a year later? Every iPad I purchased is still in use. I gift them to my kids and grand kids. The only thing not working in the old 1st generation iPad is the Amazon book app. (I trashed the working app and could not install the new version app from Amazon.) Can any of the Android manufacturers make that claim? Many can’t even be upgraded from a year ago.

  3. My company bought a bunch of popular, brand-of-the-week, Chinese Android HDMI dongles to explore as cheap display advertising tools. They were even cheaper than the Chromecast.

    They came with Google Play – not approved by Google of course, and probably already packed with malware – and report themselves as being a Android 4.2 *tablet* with a 9.17″ display…

    No wonder those “Android tablet sold” numbers don’t line up with any actual web usage…. They’re not tablets at all or used like one!

    It’s all crap, much like the products themselves.

    1. Wait a minute — dongles posing as tablets, hiding in the statistics? That seems similar to cash registers posing as Windows PCs, hiding in the statistics.

      Regardless, those statistics continue to be wielded belligerently by Android/PC advocates, as judged by scads of comments following Kendrick’s article. In writing it, Kendrick has somehow betrayed his readers.

  4. Stop. Buying. Samsung. Products.

    Agreed. The Android tablet market, if you can call it that, is a random set of OSs, sizes, and most of all, enlarged phone apps that don’t properly take advantage of the device. Enlarging to fit the screen is not taking advantage.

  5. Another thing is how the iPad takes mobile apps to a new level. It’s ironic how it was criticized as “just a large iPhone” (perhaps because the home screens/icon screens are the same), when it’s really the only tablet that has apps differentiated from smartphone counterparts.

    iOS allows for and encourages the developer to completely redesign and re-imagine the app experience on the iPad to make it useful in a different way than iPhone-centric apps. The UI can be extended, given different views, different interactions, and make these different depending on iPad screen orientation, etc.

    One thing that contributes to this is that Apple encourages developers to upload native graphics for all the possible permutations of iOS device screen and orientation. This is something that Android fans scoff at as primitive, saying that Android handles responsiveness automatically, resizing and repositioning. Wow! iOS does that, too — but it’s not enough to get the best out of the tablet device. You don’t want phone objects merely resizing themselves or spreading out, with exactly the same interface. That’s not much better than when the iPad first came out and a lot of apps had to be floated in the middle of the screen or you hit the 2x button and they got all pixelated.

    So, in fact, Android tablets are just big Android phones; while most iPad apps offer a completely unique experience.

  6. Microsoft was given the same edge over Macintosh in the Nineties, with its many flavors of Windows which were lumped together to comprise the Windows marketshare, against the solitary Mac OS.

    I would like to see Samsung transition over to Tizen, their own OS, and dump the Android brand altogether.

    Let HTC, Moto, or LG try and save the Android brand once Samsung gets out and we’ll be witness to a serious decline in Andoid’s popularity.

    1. “Microsoft was given the same edge over Macintosh in the Nineties, with its many flavors of Windows which were lumped together to comprise the Windows marketshare, against the solitary Mac OS.”

      Not including the server product (Windows NT) Microsoft had 3 versions of Windows during the 90s, Windows 3.x, Windows 95, and Windows 98. All three of which had more market share than the Mac ever had in the 90s. The Mac had 4 different versions of OS (System 6 to Mac OS 9) during the 90s but peaked with a market share of 12% in 92 (followed by less than 3% by the end of the decade). In both cases, unlike Android, there was no timeline overlap in the OS versions except for minor amounts in channel transition.

      “I would like to see Samsung transition over to Tizen, their own OS, and dump the Android brand altogether.”

      That would be fantastic. It’s not really their own OS though. It’s withing the Linux Foundation and they’re on the steering committee (along with Intel and others). The entire group includes quite a few OEMs and carrier partners. Bada was Samsung’s own platform, but Samsung stopped development on it as a project and moved some of what they had into Tizen.

      The great thing about this is that Tizen could be used in developing nations for low-cost phones without some of the issues that Android presents.

  7. So what about the Slate? I saw those clickety-clackety, slapety happy, synchronized dancing in boardroom commercials… but no mention of the M$ huge success in the tablet space? Almost as though nobody is buying them at all. Pity.

  8. Total rubbish:

    They especially like pointing out that Android tablet sales are happening at a faster clip than iPad sales. It’s doom and gloom if you look around the web.

    No. I have seen this claim justified exactly NOWHERE. Fork over the numbers buddy, THEN we’ll have a discussion about Android tablet sales, little fish or not.

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