2010 Android Tablet Market - Year in Review

Discussion in 'Android Tablet News' started by xaueious, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. xaueious

    xaueious Administrator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    2010 marked the bloom of consumer awareness for mobile tablet computing devices, jump starting with the Apple iPad in April. Despite Google's recommendation against the implementation of even the newest version of Android (at the time, Android 2.2) for tablet computing devices, 2010 was an eventful year for the growing and immature operating system for tablets on Android.

    From May, the Android tablet market started to take off with a pattern of mediocrity in the form of the Eken M001, followed by a generic 7" iPad clone with Android 1.5 on Rockchip RK2808, and the 7" white Pandigital Novel. These devices arguably have less performance than the first-generation HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 if it were used as a wifi-only device. This is, of course, less than stellar.

    The Dell Streak launched as a 5" Android tablet, but is really more of an enlarged phone than a tablet at this size and also with the chipset it uses. The price was similar to similarily specified Android phones.

    Gome Electrical Appliances, one of the largest privately-owned electrical appliance retailers in China, also launched their first-generation 7" iPad clone under the Flytouch brand in June. Powered again by the garbage VIA WonderMedia WM8505 as in the Eken M001. Gome heavily promoted the device nationally, resulting in over 300K in sales by the end of 2010. Many Chinese 'shanzhai' manufacturers took the chance to mass-produce generic variants. As a result, it is estimated that over a million of these variants have shipped worldwide to date. Similar VIA based platforms continue to dominate low-end Android tablet shipments by the end of 2010, mostly due to the marketing hype of the iPad and low consumer awareness regarding tablet computing devices.

    With Android being an enthusiast friendly mobile operating system, many Android phone and Linux-distrubition users welcomed the new devices with open arms despite the obvious design pitfalls of the three variants of Android devices. They discovered the limitations of their evidently poorly engineered and underwhelming devices, and fought to make their devices at least usable. Their efforts were proven to be not entirely in vain, and many users have reached some level of satisfaction after significant modifications. Multiple communities have been formed with the goal of improving these poor devices.

    It was not until late July that the Augen Gentouch 78 and the Telechips TCC8902 was launched to become the first affordable Android tablet with similar performance and capabilities as shipping first-generation Android phones. The Gentouch was the first Telechips TCC8902 to launch, and was followed by the HSG X5A(later variant marketed as the Coby Kyros MID7005 Internet Tablet) and a generic 7" iPad clone using the same casing as the previously popular Rockchip RK2808 based tablet (commonly variant being the Haipad M701). Telechips based Android tablets continue to be a recommended entry choice today.

    Competing entry platform Infotmic X210 first shipped rebranded as the 10" ZeniThink ZT-180 tablet around August, and became well-received towards the end of the year together with the shipment other stable variants based on the same platform.

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab made its debut in late October, and has sold over a million units to date world wide as the most feature complete tablet on the market carried by Google and multiple carrier support. The questionable price excluded many buyers from considering it, and a wifi-only version has yet to be launched. While this may be the type of tablet what Google wants for the Android operating system, many consumers continued to look elsewhere. It remained to be the only true Android competitor out-of-the-box to the iPad by the end of 2010.

    Current generation equivalent Android tablets only recently started shipment as of late November, with the Nook Color and the Archos generation 8 lineup being the most prominent players. The Huawei Ideos S7 also quietly slipped into retail stores in North America mid-November, with little fanfare. Next generation dual-core tablets just started to appear in the Advent Vega and the Viewsonic gTablet with Nvidia Tegra 2, and later in the eLocity A7, ending the year with a very positive outlook for available Android tablets in the market.

    This year surely promises to be an exciting for the Android operating system and tablet computing devices based on it. But since Google has ideas of their own for the consumer Android tablet market, they have chosen to shun all current Android based tablet devices in being unwilling to certify otherwise viable platforms for its Google Mobile applications, even with when certification requirements do not necessarily make sense for tablet devices.

    (Retrieved Jan 1, 2011 from Archos Gen8 FAQ)

    Fragmentation is evidently going to be one of the biggest challenges for the tablet platform, even more so than for mobile phones. Smaller manufacturers continue to ignore Google Android design guidelines in their rush into the new tablet computing market. There is a flood of Android tablets entering the market for Q1 2011, and of course also many Android based iPad clones. In addition, Apple's iPad 2, MeeGo, and Palm webOS are just a couple of the potential competitors threatening to overtake Android. With all this in mind, it is also certain that the upcoming year is a dangerous and vexing time for long-term future of Android tablets.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  2. tae254

    tae254 Member

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    Great write up
     
  3. sopranosv

    sopranosv Member

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    2010 in a few words...amazing writing...
     
  4. DaHarder

    DaHarder Member

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    "with the Nook Color and the Archos generation 8 lineup being the most prominent players"...

    No mention whatsoever of the best selling Android tablet to date: The Samsung Galaxy Tab... Really?
     
  5. V0g0z

    V0g0z Member

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    Bon résumé ! Je pense qu'il aurait été important de parler des utilisations des MID. La frontière entre Ebook Reader et Internet Tablet se réduit de plus en plus.

    Ebook reader
    > De nombreux ebook-reader ont des fonctions de MID (touch screen, mp3, internet,...)
    > De nombreux ebook possèdent maintenant un écran couleur (mais a crap lcd screen)
    Avantage: Good screen for read, good autonomy
    Tablet
    > All tablet have ebook fonction and more: pdf viewving,...
    Advantage: LOOOOT of fonction, color

    Jusqu'à ce qu'arrive Notion Ink Tablet: the best combo ever !

    So in 2011, I HOPE:
    > There will be lot of "hybrid" tablet like Notion Ink
    > Lot of 3D game ! Même s'il ne faut pas se voiler la face, pour un développeur, c'est plus facile de développer sur un marché unique (iPhone, iPad) que sur un marché fragmenté (OS version, Variant tablet spec,...)
    > Better price :)
     
  6. V0g0z

    V0g0z Member

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    Good summary! I think it was important to talk about the uses of MID. The border between Ebook Reader and Internet Tablet is reduced more and more.

    Ebook reader
    > Many ebook-reader have functions of MID (touch screen, mp3, internet,...)
    > Many ebook now have a color screen (LCD screen but crap)
    Advantages: Good screen for read, good Autonomy
    Tablet
    > Have All tablet function and more ebook: pdf viewving ...
    Advantage: LOOOOT of function, color

    So what happens Ink Tablet Concept: the best combo ever!

    So in 2011, I HOPE:
    > There Will Be batch of "hybrid" tablet like Ink Concept
    > Lot of 3D game! Even if we should not close our eyes to a developer, it's easier to develop a single market (iPhone, iPad) than in a fragmented market (OS version, Variant tablet spec,...)
    > Better price:)
     
  7. Batavian

    Batavian Member

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    No mention whatsoever of the best selling Android tablet to date: The Samsung Galaxy Tab... Really?[/QUOTE]

    Good point. Though in defense of xaueious post, the Tab is in a different class. It requires a contract and still is the most expensive tablet on the market. If I'm going to spend that kind of money, I'm going to want the current "gold standard" tablet in the market...hint: its not Android based ;)
     
  8. xaueious

    xaueious Administrator Staff Member

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    I actually forgot about the Galaxy Tab because I was trying to get all the information organized about the other ones. I fixed it, but it doesn't necessarily do the Galaxy Tab any justice...

    Sorry.
     
  9. rokky

    rokky Member

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    Interesting that for these criteria:
    Google requires devices to have a specific hardware profile in order to be certified. This includes having GPS, compass, telephone, and specific screen resolutions. Considering the number of Android devices entering the market, the great majority are not certified. Google could of course change their requirements.
    I have not found any besides the Huawei S7 and Dell Streak that make the grade. Are there any others currently shipping (CES announcements remain to be shown as more than vaporware...)?

    It seems that a grid of the criteria for known, shipping models would be very useful for quick comparions/selections.
     
  10. Bilgediver

    Bilgediver Member

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    How about the Velocity Micro Cruz Reader and Tablet? Since they are sold at Borders, I would figure they might be slightly prominent as they are sold at a major retailer in the US.

    I wouldn't consider the Nook here despite its specs. It requires heavy modification to run as a half-tablet.
     
  11. Bilgediver

    Bilgediver Member

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    That seems bizarre considering many tablet users wouldn't be using their tablets AS a phone. Especially since the Galaxy Tab in the US had its phone function disabled by default.
    I'm running Google Market on my Archos and it seems more than functional. The only downside is it doesn't include GPS (Google Maps still runs fine, though).
     
  12. rokky

    rokky Member

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    What is "bizarre"? That the S7 and Streak can be used as phones? Check them out - you will see they are designed for that with call/end buttons and mic/earphone. The Streak can be held up to your head, but the S7 users have generally resorted to using a headset from what I am reading over on the Huawei fora - see:
    http://www.androidtablets.net/forum...pass-android-t-mobile-my-account-app-win.html
    http://www.androidtablets.net/forum...-seems-have-blocked-data-my-s7-no-reason.html

    However, the hot topic there now is that T-Mobile seems to have "caught on" to the S7 being used this way, and is actively blocking the phone use - much bellowing and gnashing of teeth...

    Which Archos do you have? My Archos 5 Android Internet Tablet has a GPS, and works nicely with Google Maps and Navigator if I plan a route while I have wifi access, since the newest GM caches the map data (and I cannot find a way to tether on my Verizon smartphones as I could with a Nokia N810 Internet Tablet running Maemo Maps).
     
  13. CARLOSJZ

    CARLOSJZ Member

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    Please excuse the interuptin my name is Carlosjz and I am not to savy with the Tabs (I am over 50 and a disable VET) but from what I have been reading I definitely need the Android OS 2 or above. I need one that I am able to run Word, Exel and PP minimum with webcam for conferencing if possible, WiFi capable, GPS for Google maps and I will take sugestions on several names and models. I am seeing a lot from China what do you think?
     
  14. Bilgediver

    Bilgediver Member

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    I have the Archos 70 internet tablet w/ 250 gb IDD.

    The 70 and 101 don't have gps, but that's not really a dealbreaker as I have gps in my phones (I still have my original moto droid, too). I got maps working on my tab, though and its awesome browsing it on the larger screen, and it does support bluetooth gps (if I buy any).

    It also supports bluetooth cell phone tethering (I got it to work with PAN on my Droid 2 Global) although its a tad buggy and not all users report success on different phones (poke around here a bit).

    Doesn't that mean your using a tmobile sim card? If your still paying for service I don't see what's the big deal? How exactly can you do phone calls? I noticed the dialing app on the s7 when I was playing with it in best buy. I went with the archos for the 250 hard drive and its gaming prowess. Its gaming performance is amazing despite its 256 megs of RAM.

    Sent from my DROID2 GLOBAL using Android Tablet Forum App
     
  15. rokky

    rokky Member

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    Surprising you would want the Cruz Reader considered since it should be in the same category you described for the Nook as a "half tablet" - it is meant to be primarily an ebook reader (for Borders books vs Nook for B&N), and takes modifications comparable to the Nook's to achieve that.

    You are probably right, though, that the Cruz Tablet should be included due to its "mainstream" sales at Borders and Best Buy, but most reviews I have seen consider it a pathetic attempt

    Actually, I would consider any tablet which has substantial sales (over 10,000?) that turns out to be a "half (Android) tablet" by whatever means, be it manufacturer, distributor, or buyer. Then all 3 of the above would be worthy of consideration.
     

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