When you ask an average consumer about tablets, what kind of response do you usually get? I’m willing to bet that they first mention the iPad. Or possibly they don’t even know what you’re talking about until you bring up the iPad. Now I hope you’ll agree that this is a serious problem. Because the iPad is just one tablet in a sea full of many others. There are a lot of Android tablets out there but unfortunately, they’re not recognized very well. So what we can attribute this problem to?
Probably the biggest cause is the budget tablet market which is beyond saturated with cheap Android tablets. The majority of these are cheap knock-off tablets from places like China and they’re designed to be bought by customers who are looking for the cheapest thing that they can find but don’t know anything about the specs. These types of tablets don’t help Android’s case at all because I’ve seen many people get one of these and then hate it so they put the blame on Android. These are the people who claim that Android (or as they often call it, “Droid”) is terrible no matter what device you have. That’s a totally ignorant approach that could take up an editorial on its own so I’ll save that for later. But nonetheless, it reflects back on Android as a whole and tarnishes the reputation for many consumers.
The budget tablet market can’t be entirely blamed though. There’s also the sheer fact that there are simply too many Android tablets in the market. Choice is a good thing but too much choice is a serious detriment to the Android tablet market. Consumers have no idea what to get and so they default back to something like the iPad that they’ve heard all about and figure that it’s a safe option. Of course, I can understand that you’d rather be safe than sorry but it’s still a problem. Companies, and I won’t name names (*cough* Samsung *cough*), have developed a terrible habit of releasing tablets in practically every variety possible. Screen size, color, storage space, accessories; you name it. A healthy variety is good but this is way over the top and baffles consumers who aren’t as tech-savvy.
What can be done to help fix this problem? For one, make the Android tablet market a bit narrower. Don’t get rid of the choice but don’t have such an insane amount of it. The second thing is to market the Android tablets better. The iPad is marketed brilliantly while Android tablets have traditionally been under represented in the marketing department. Google has taken the first steps in leading this, which is good to see. They have some great commercials for the Nexus 7 and hopefully this will inspire other OEM’s to do the same.
It’s not all up to the manufacturers though. App developers need to step up and do their part as well. While the app situation on Android tablets has definitely improved from where it used to be, it’s still a huge issue. The problem isn’t contained to just the number of apps but also the quality of the apps. I won’t deny that there are some really fantastic apps for tablets out there but many are simply blown-up phone versions. And even some of the ones with a dedicated tablet UI could be better. The better the apps get, the better the market will get. As well as with the number of tablet apps. If that grows, then the market will grow with it because consumers will finally have a good number of high-quality apps to use on Android tablets.
Wrapping this editorial up, I just want to point out once again that while Android certainly does have market share in tablets, it has the potential to be much better. But here’s where you come into play. What do you think could help better the Android tablet market? Your comments are not just welcome but also much appreciated!
Photo credit to Dima Aryeh.