Why Android will gain HUGE tablet marketshare later this year

Today I took a brief break from my family vacation to visit Vizio’s and Oakley’s headquarters down in Southern California with my friends Marc Ostrick and Sam Levin to get up to date on the latest 3D technologies from both companies. But while there Vizio pulled out their new Tablet and it shocked me what I thought of it (I’ve hated the Android tablets so far, when compared to iPad 2).

Mark Ostrick, of eGuiders, shot this video (you should follow his YouTube channel). Sam Levin does a cool gadget podcast for app freaks at AppMinute.

I finally had someone explain to me why Android will gain huge marketshare this year in the large-screen tablet wars (aka where iPad is dominant). It took USA’s #1 TV manufacturer, Vizio, to do it. Why didn’t Google have them on stage to show this off a few weeks back at Google IO?

Anyway, here it is: a $350 capable tablet is coming. Coming in July, they told me (and I believe them, they don’t want to piss off the retail chain in the United States because they are #1 in large screen TVs).

Why is this huge? Because it doesn’t compete with iPad. At least not head on.

“What is Scoble smoking,” you are probably asking yourself.

Well, see, people who will buy an iPad will buy an iPad and won’t buy anything else. Count me in that group. I don’t care if Larry Page gave me $10,000 I’m not switching off of an iPad. At least not this year.

But, there are a whole range of uses that don’t need an iPad, but need a good tablet.

For instance, let’s say you are outfitting a school with tablets and all you need is a good web browser at a very low cost? Vizio wins here. Apple doesn’t.

Or, say you are a restaurant and need to put a tablet at every table with a menu on it? Vizio wins here. Apple doesn’t.

Or, like we just saw at Oakley’s headquarters, let’s say you are building a custom retail experience where you can order custom sunglasses. Are you going to spend $500 on an iPad when a $350 one from Vizio will do? No way. Vizio wins. Apple doesn’t.

Get it? This is how Android will take over the marketshare battle in tablets. There are more of these uses than the ones people use iPads for. After all, how many schools need tablets? A whole lot. How many custom retail establishments need tablets? A whole lot. How many manufacturing machines need tablets built into them? A whole lot.

Thanks to this single tablet I can now see how Android is going to get the market share numbers it needs to get developers excited.

But don’t call it an iPad competitor, OK? At least not until there are a ton of great tablet-based apps, which there aren’t today.

Some more things I saw at Vizio today?

1. A look at latest 3DTVs (this is the same one they loaned me for my home studio to develop 3D content on and test out).
2. A look at new 21:9 aspect-ratio TV designed for movie buffs.

Anyway, just a brief break from my vacation, be back on Monday with more tech stuff.

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

229 thoughts on “Why Android will gain HUGE tablet marketshare later this year

    1. Yes. Airplay lets you watch a video on your Tablet. If you then want to watch it on your big screen, you hit a button and push it to your big screen with an Apple TV attached. Every tablet should have that feature because it’s revolutionary. Android doesn’t yet have it, but Vizio is working on it.

    2. Yes. Airplay lets you watch a video on your Tablet. If you then want to watch it on your big screen, you hit a button and push it to your big screen with an Apple TV attached. Every tablet should have that feature because it’s revolutionary. Android doesn’t yet have it, but Vizio is working on it.

  1. This is easy. Apple just need to release a cheaper version of iPad, for retail and business use. But I doubt they will do it.
    Are there any apps out there that shows the menu and allows food ordering as long as user step into the store? If so, this would counter those tablet sales that you mentioned.

  2. Android i belive become one of the most progressive platform cuz with all theirs innovations it looks preaty good for development!

  3. Wow, interesting to scroll through all of this. I am a MacBook Pro using average joe who uses a BB Bold and have been with AT&T for years. I am seriously looking at Android phones just because I want a new phone and don’t think I want to wait until the next iPhone is released–whenever that may be Sept or next Spring. I would love to see Apple get a little faster on their product releases. I think that is why a lot of people are switching to Android phones. We get tired of waiting and hate to buy a new iPhone 4 with the next generation–possibly just around the corner. Good for me to read about about the possible lack of apps and possible virus crap on the Androids. Had not considered that. 

  4. The “dude, you’re smoking crack”-type responses from Apple people are funny. 

    Robert is very much an Apple, let’s say, appreciator. 

    God forbid he makes a somewhat reasonable case that Android tablets will pick up some substantial market share at some point. Oh, the humanity — he’s so high on crack. 

  5. Wow, it’s amazing to see the polarizing views.

    I love, love, love my Macbook Air. I love my Cinema Display. I have an iphone and an ipad. And I have one of these new Samsung Android tablets. The Android tablets will be very, very, very successful. No disrespect to Apple, but Android tablets are going to be huge.

  6. I don’t see how this is going to change much in the tablet landscape. Great hardware doesn’t win. How many people are going to buy something just because it plays Angry Birds? And what about their low expectations for performance – they want it to be able to get through one full length movie. One! The way he was describing the sound as “stereophonic” sounds like he was grandpa talk’n about a “record player.”

  7. people don’t just buy Ipad’s because they are from Apple…. Well some do but for the most part people buy Apple products because they are the best. Second just because some new  tablet is going to be cheap does not mean it will gain HUGE marketshare. Sorry thats just not true. Look at all the other tablets out there and none of them are doing that great at all. the samsung tab….dead the zoom  is too much money for nothing,the playbook is made by blackberry enough said. 

  8. And yet cheap iPod competitors from all the big names like Microsoft, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Akai, Creative, Archos, SanDisk, etc have had absolutely no impact on Apple’s 80% share of the media player market for the last decade.

    Likewise, cheap iPod touch competitors have been completely impotent in the mini-tablet market for the last 4 years against the 60 million iPod touches sold.  

    Archos for example has been one of the biggest Android challengers to the iPod touch to date and despite fielding a wide range of 2.7″, 3.2″, 4.3″ mini media player tablets has still only managed 7.8% of this market in France – their home market – and they were worse elsewhere.  Similarly Samsung with their Galaxy Player 50 has been a non-starter.

    In markets unconstrained by the artificial barriers of carrier exclusives, BOGOF offers, costs hidden behind 2 year subsidies, incompatible cellular standards and family plans – cheap devices just don’t automatically win.

    Why do you think the tablet market will be more like the smartphone market rather than the mini-tablet and media player markets?


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