Android

You vote: Have Android tablets been a disappointment?

Android tablets went into 2011 with sky high expectations and have taken market share from the iPad, but are they a success? Cast your vote.

One of the more interesting conversations that I've had on social media recently involves the issue of Android tablets, and more specifically, whether Android tablets have been a disappointment in 2011. I've decided to argue both sides of the issue and then throw the question open to the TechRepublic community.

Why Android tablets have been a disappointment

At the beginning of 2011, expectations for Android tablets were sky high. Google provided a demo of Honeycomb, the tablet version of Android, at CES 2011 in January and hardware makers quickly lined up to announce their Android tablets. Android smartphones were on a roll at that point and it looked possible that Android tablets could overtake the iPad in marketshare in 2011, just as Android smartphones had overtaken the iPhone in marketshare in 2010. However, when Honeycomb was released the OS was raw and buggy, app builders were slow to get on board, and even with a slew of different devices coming to market, Android tablets couldn't stop the momentum of the iPad. The Motorola Xoom turned into an overpriced dud, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 featured impressive hardware but was still saddled with a Honeycomb OS desperately in need of a big upgrade. Android tablets are still in search of a hit device.

Why Android tablets are a success

While Honeycomb still has some wrinkles to iron out, it will improve quickly. The next version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, will be coming this fall and will unite smartphones and tablets and bring a lot of important improvements to the platform, including important efforts to end fragmentation of the Android app ecosystem, which should attract a lot more developers. Even with the upgrades that are needed to Honeycomb and the lack of a hit device, Android tablets have already achieved 30% market share in less than a year despite the fact that the iPad is so popular and reasonably priced. Just as it took Android smartphones about a year to hit their stride, so Android tablets will find their legs by the end of this year and be ready to take the iPad head on. In other words, Android tablets are right on track and the best is yet to come.

You vote

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

33 comments
rexrzer1238477
rexrzer1238477

None of the tablets impress like an iPad does, end of story sadly. There's no coherent Android eco-system with flood-gates of apps coming out or out now; the Honeycomb is a sad attempt at an OS for the tablets; specs are great, performance is somewhat spotty in most of them; what has your Android tablet done for you TODAY, not tomorrow or further in the future? Answer: Nothing! I waited around for 1/2 the year while things were supposed to iron themselves out with the Android tablets, but things only got worse, and look at the HP debacle! Even they folded up shop and game over pitted against iPad and iPad 2. I tried to like an Android tablet but ended up with a 32GB WiFi/3G iPad 2 and I've never regretted the decision, most likely never will...it rocks! Tell me some success stories about Android tablet owners, and I'll listen and read but I'll betcha they are vapor just like the tablets are right now, NOT TOMORROW or next year! Speak about the present when you rate things, and the past for reference, but don't give me a bunch of BS about the problems being "because of Apple being a patent troll" or whatever you want to write...give me some facts, and some honest appraisals and then I'll be interested, not this empty hole of an argument for success of those things...the rancid truth is that they've all failed, one way or another, to a one!

yetisouth
yetisouth

Unfortunately some of the Apps are too basic and often buggy. Specially Apps for the corporate environment are not up to scratch. I want LibreOffice for Android - and I want it NOW!!

pete
pete

... is that my boss hasn't got me one yet - we're in the web-app business and he's got an iPad to test with, but not an Android :(

HipposRule
HipposRule

if Apple wasn't such a patent troll (in Europe)

Frenz9
Frenz9

I think the problem hindering android tablets is the specs, personally i feel the only real viable tablets so far is the galaxy tab 10.1 and possibly the up coming Sony s.

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