Shared publicly  - 
 
This is how Android will get market share on tablets.
Tom Gehrke originally shared:
 
Saw this tablet at Kohl's last night. Sub $300 Android tablet from a company ive never heard of. Wonder what the build quality and performance is like. Unfortunately it was wrapped up tightly so no chance for a hands on.
70
12
Geoffry Houze's profile photoPer Siden's profile photoLeah Davies's profile photoMichael Laurenzano's profile photo
89 comments
 
Totally agree on this one. If someone comes out with an even half way decent android tablet for a good price they will give Apple a serious run for the money. One just has to look at the HP Touchpad for a real life example of where demand is for this type of device.
 
Not just sub $300, but $229! Interested in reading the specs...
 
Only if the software experience is any good, otherwise you will just get the same fragmentation that Android on phones suffers from, with cheap and nasty products giving Android a bad name, with Apple being the ultimate winner.
 
I'd be willing to bet the hardware will be sub-par, meaning 800Mhz cpu and 384MB of ram, with a smallish storage space. Maybe 8GB's worth. That's my take.
 
+John Blanton Probably, but then again the target audience is probably people who browse web sites, read email and ebooks. Not those of us trying to play the latest 3D games.
 
Agreed. Right next to the other gadgets that get classified either as expensive toys or cheap electronics depending on your point of view.

Probably not what a tech geek wants, but perfectly serviceable for someone who wants to buy in for half the cost of one of the "big players".

At $229, it might not be quite in impulse buy territory. But it's way closer than the $500 and up market.
 
Pandigital has had a tablet like eReader product at Kohls for about 3 years now, but it was almost unrecognizable, and running android 1.5 i think, but this is new...
 
I saw some buttons on the picture.
Apparently not a honeycomb tablet =/
 
I agree. These tablet manufactures have to compete on price in order to get market share. 
 
Been there, done that.. don't do it. lol
 
There are loads of these around, found a pretty nice 8" one the other day, which was more or less meant to be used as a personal media player, complete with kickstand, remote, and car headrest mounting kit, for about $250 (but only 8GB built-in memory). Only gripe is that they are running the phone version of the OS (i.e. Gingerbread or even Froyo)
 
From a software point of view I believe the way Android Tablets will gain marketshare will be with the next iteration of Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. Develop once, run on all Android Ice Cream Sandwich updated devices, both Android phones and tablets.
 
I also find the apparently partnership with Barnes & Noble interesting.
 
+Matt Hamlin Yeah, that's why I said it's not a honeycomb tablet.

Really, I wonder why people keep releasing android tablet without using honeycomb =/
 
Local K-Mart keeps selling out their $399 Acer Iconia A500s. 
 
How come in rockmelt these extensions don't have an icon? They exist in the sidebar, and I can click the nothingness and they work, but I want a pretty icon to remind me that they are there.
 
Btw this tablet isn't a "real" tablet. It doesn't have the Android marketplace and it's apparently a bit of a hack to get it to install apps.
 
"meaning 800Mhz cpu and 384MB of ram, with a smallish storage space. Maybe 8GB's worth." Really? I am no expert, by any means, but don't these off-brands usually pour the storage space and skimp on the software inside, i.e. you get these gigantic platforms that are almost worthless because nothing works together. It's the known brands like Dell that usually skimp on the storage space and RAM, because their systems work together.
 
Perhaps my next purchase... We will see!
 
Android Tablets is going to win in the long run. Just like they did with phones with diversity. And within a relatively short time the apps will be there as well. Though i think the app thing is gone in 5 years expect for games and highly specialized software. HTML5 and browsers can do what most apps do today. Of course that is the real problem Apple is facing :)
 
I've seen 7" Android tablets in Australia for $200. Obscure brand. The down sides were Android 2.1 (from memory) and tablets at the low end that I've had hands on with had no Android Market Place without hacking and really poor battery life.

Having said all of that though, I think a wide range of low cost functional tablets will push Android market share up substantially like it already has with cheap smart phones. A $200 tablet with all of it's rough edges will still suit many, and it won't be long before we see prices that low with newer OS support and better battery etc......
 
+Lawrence Diener Wow, that's cheap! ($179)

+Patrick Lambert Apparently it's being marketed more as an eBook reader a la the Nook. Which makes sense given the Barnes & Noble angle. Seems like B&N taking a page out of Amazon's book by getting their software on platforms other than their own.
 
They are finally learning. You can't sell Joe Boxers at the same price point as Calvin Klein.
 
512MB Minimum, CAPACITIVE screen (so many cheap android tabs are resistive), and something that has a bit of grunt for gfx. Do that, nothing else, keep it cheap, should be ok.
 
I bought cheap Chinese 7" Android 2.3 Tablet....1024x700?? resolution, capacative touch, 8Gb nand flash, 32 GB microSD Full wifi,bluetooth ,1Ghz processor Arm cortex -A8, 512mb DDR3
TACLAST is the brand
Goes great - Android market - Speakers , Dual Camera - 5Mb Back - 0.3 Front
So FAR I have No complaints, feels very solid, no freezes or crashes - oh Battery only lasts for about 4 hrs playing Video and a bit slow on boot / shutdown - 60 secs - i use Linux so boot for me is 15 secs !!!!
COST $ 230 AUD with padded zip satchel - free Delivery - Chinese wholesale

I am about to get a toshiba thrive on my daughters Autism funding package - so i will give you a great comparison in 4 weeks
 
+Robert Scoble Someone should do an Android tablet for free or close to free with advertising. They would be in every household.
 
definitely looking for sub$300 honeycomb or later - even if a bit sluggish
 
I've seen 7" android tablets selling for less than $200 here in Asia. It's from resellers so the actual price could border around $150. Absolutely horrible to use. The touch screen is a very unresponsive, and they sell it with a pen. So slow that I couldn't play Angry Birds on it. Good for just reading books and a bit of browsing.
 
That used to be how dos machines first became popular..
 
nice, a box. cans on a string work too. lol jk!!
 
I can't help but notice how anti Honeycomb you seem to be Scoble.

My parents appreciate my ipad2, not planning on going back to that environment after using a galaxyTAB. It's much more efficient for my professional needs then the ipad ever was.

The only thing the ipad has going is the hype around the product.

I got over rating brand names as an object of value when I was a kid.
 
I agree.
They key is the quality might be not great now.
But in a generation or two the older tech these no-name tablets are using might be very workable indeed.
This is going to create quite a problem for apple in the long run.
 
I often think anout this topic, how is apple going to protect what it created or further to that grow ita space. I read Lenovo is now in on the table space and with Windows 8 pending , the business market for ipads seems under threat..,,

 
There are several "cheap" Android tablets such as those from Velocity Micro and Pandigital that are based on the same OEM board using Samsung's SoC (System on Chip).
Compared with iPad I just have on word to describe them, they suck.
Short battery life, heavy, buggy and imprecise touch screens and some don't run latest versions of Android.
Want a real tablet today? Don't waste your money, save it and buy an iPad.

 
Hmm I hope the amazon tablet is easily hackable, I'd hate to be stuck on a forked version of android without google apps support :/
 
I rooted a Viewsonic G Tablet and it runs much smoother than the shipped ROM and market. It's my first tablet so I was willing to experiment on the low end ($240 dollar range)
 
Costco had a pretty cheap Visio 8" tablet for 235. It was an Android 2.3 tablet though and only came with 2GB of storage although you could add up to 32GB more of your own through a microSD card.
 
I have a generic Android tablet, I loved it so much I switched my mobile from Blackberry to a Galaxy SII. If you're in the market for an affordable tablet, research reviews etc, there's nothing wrong with these but don't expect the top end quality/performance of the iPad or Galaxy tablets.
 
+Michael Bosch Depending on people's needs, the high end might be overkill on a tablet. What are people using them for? Even with mine rooted, I'm at the most checking email, light games, Netflix/Pandora, ebook reading and doing some forum reading/writing. Anything else I hop on my computer.
 
+Alvin Toro, the Touchpad worked as well as it did because it has similar hardware specs to ipads. That's also why its manufacturing cost was roughly the same as an ipad. Ignore the fire-sale price; no company's going to copy HP's example!

The $100-$200 tablets give Android tablets a poor reputation and hurt the companies that are trying to make ipad-quality Android tablets.

P.S. you can go to china import sites like dealextreme to see stuff like $80 tablets and $5 ipod clones, but there's also a good reason why those things are priced so low.
 
The manufacturing cost of iPads has been calculated to around 300 USD each. With increased volume and better efficiency my bet is the next generation will manufacture for around 200.

I'd say that for Apple development cost is the most critical thing, while for Android pad manufacturers sale and product life-cycle is.

Apple can probably cut 100 USD off the price and still make an ok profit, but after that? When a product reaches its peak and flats out it will need reinventing. People don't buy 3M post-it notes if there is a cheaper no name package next to it on the shelf. Some challenges a couple of years ahead for Apple, no doubt. Do they still have the inventive edge?

Android padders on the other hand will have to compete with price, for example with high specs but smaller screen pads, less clumsy, pads. They may have less development cost, but also a shorter product life cycle. The big ones, like Samsung, have the endurance, and the crappy low cost ones, well there's always a niche for crap, but what about the middle sized ones? How lucrative is it really? Maybe Asus and the likes are better off reinventing the notebook with touch screens?
 
+Per Siden Apple's past innovations are indeed long lasting, as we can see by the current retention rate numbers... Apple has had many successes with their past products because they brought the "new form factor" with even better ideas built inside. The services surrounding these products are, as far as we can see today, timeless. Take the App Store, for instance. Your apps are never left to rot on your device, but instead constantly upgraded, re-designed, and fixed for you. The price for these useful apps in general are so low - considering they do indeed last a lifetime in the cloud - that people get easily hooked to a well-designed, very portable app/book/music/newspaper/magazine... collection.
 
yep -- ubiquity does equal success. As an open platform, Android has the potential to be on tablets of all types and sizes (just as in phones). This is only the beginning of what will be an Android-wave of consumer products.
 
I agree, +Nick Nasra, they have been very successful, in redefining, making new form factors popular, and maybe most of all by being able to create a market, making people wanna pay for music and apps - and tapping in to that revenue. Apple are in no way in decline. Yet. But they are in for tougher competition.

Challenges ahead is shorter product cycles. iPhone 4 will already have been outdated for like two years when the iPhone 5 finally arrives - at least if we look at tech specs only. It will be interesting to see how Apple deal with even shorter product life cycles ahead, not to mention low-cost competition.

There is also a growing concern about who controls information. For example, as Swedish newspapers switch from web to app and iPad format, there has been a harsh debate over the rather disturbing fact that content of Swedish newspapers have to be approved by an American corporation. These sort of issues may become a growing problem for Apple in the future if they don't find a way of handling it better - at least from a PR point of view.

Speaking of PR, I won't even mention the case against Samsung over the Tab. Now people who had not even heard of the Tab wants it, since they are convinced it must be better than the iPad. I wonder how many people in PR lost their jobs at Apple after that debacle? These sort of fuckups may also cost Apple dearly in the long run, if they keep it up. Android on the other hand will have to learn the same lessons.
 
Android has already taken 50% market share in such a short time and this is just a starting there are lots of tablets which are better than ipads in many ways.. apple just made it a point to make a product with features that already existed for ages and claim they introduced it.. still no flash support for iphone 4..EPIC FAIL!!!
 
I've got a $120 Android 2.2 tablet built by a generic no name Chinese company (eBay impulse buy) performance is acceptable, but it's the build quality where the money is saved, flimsy plastic screen and hit and miss touch performance.
 
Its cheap till you put it next to an iPad and the user badmouths android instead of the cheap tablet for lousy performance or build quality etc.
 
Apple can make cheaper model if it needs to. Apple is after profit, not just market share.
 
+John Blanton. Not necessarily. My 10" ViewSonic G Tablet was $270 with a 1 ghz dual core Tegra 2, 16 gb internal, sd card slot. It was running Froyo when I got it, so I put CM 7. But the version of Froyo it was running was not bad if a user was not in to that. Big complaints was the lack of Google app store and viewing angles on the screen. And once you get the Android Market on, you have access to apps. And for almost half the price I can live with having to look at it straight on.
 
I want apple to make money. Its the main reason they can afford take the time to make cool things.
 
Yeah, because the quality is in the Name, and the price.
 
And then the Amazon android tablet came out at $300. And then there was a price war.
 
If you go to www.amazonwireless.com you will see a LOT of sub $300 android tablets. Some of them actually look pretty good. And you can see all the specs and read reviews of them.
 
I think the Amazon tablet will be the game changer. I can't imagine Amazon putting their name on crappy hardware. Once this comes out the other high priced tablet makers will have to come out with a better product at a reasonable price.
 
I see android growing tablet market share via via Amazon, BN and others who embed. The consumer buys a device without knowing or caring that it's an android tablet much the way android has taken the smartphone market share. 
 
Waiting for ICS. With ICS expected to be out in the next month or so, I have stopped looking at Android deals.
 
By the end of the year the market will be awash with Tablet choices especially if Amazon raise the game with their device (after all its all about content with Apple and Amazon) , although I had hoped WebOS had been around a bit longer to create a bit more choice :)
 
Watching all the tablets. They will enter this household soon.
 
I liked WebOS on my Palm Pre but the selection of apps was abysmal, and that included all of the sleazy offerings that Apple wouldn't have approved in the first place. Too bad.
 
Android has made life easier for anyone now...get cheap hardware from China and top it up with free Android. We've got tons of brands from India now cranking up android tablets every month
 
I've had a look at the small Galaxy Tab (the 7-incher) and it's a slick little device for about $200 with 2 year contract for service. I like the smaller form factor which makes it more portable. I don't know why it's not more popular.
 
And if it's Kohls you can easily get it at least 50% off!
 
Ecosystem and experience equal market traction. Android has some work to do in both those areas. I see enthusiasts using Android tablets and everyone else using iPads.
 
Also if iPhone doesn't get 3D soon Androids will gain there as well
 
And people will view Andriod by their experience with these budget tables. And decide to pay extra for an iPad next time.
 
Hey +Olaf Arisson , we don't claim to be leading everything these days, but I feel pretty sure the $ will still be around in five years. What do you think the odds are on the Euro lasting that long? Sorry for the snark, but don't run down my country.
 
This is (only) one end of the tablet range where Android will gain market share, as it does with less than maximum priced mobile phones. I expect them to increase market shares also in other sectors of the tablet market. Samsung and more are willing and able to produce expensive Android tablet which are worth their money.
 
+Jorge Amodio I agree with you to a point, though I do think there are other choices beyond ipad today.
But the thing about the cheap no-name ones is that they suck today but what about tomorrow and the day after that.
 
+Michael Dopp no doubt that sooner or later we will see other tablets, the issue is not just the hardware itself but the ecosystem that supports it, in terms of applications, connectivity, quality, volume, etc., today Apple has the "momentum" in soft like a monopoly.

Microsoft has the brains and capital, but not the vision and leadership, if Google is able to get their Motorola Mobility acquisition in line with their vision we may see something there.

Amazon's move is not to compete with Apple tablets, but to protect and evolve their ebook market dominance,

HP and BlackBerry dropped like dead flies, but you will see all sort of crap in the middle. Samsung Galaxy was promising but short of becoming serious rival to iPad.

There are several articles like this one that explain why Apple has the technological advantage (some say it is about two years ahead of the market) http://technologypundits.com/2011/03/apples-strategic-advantage/.

It will be really hard to replicate the effects of Apple transforming mobile computing.
 
+Jorge Amodio I don't completely disagree but think it rather isn't the exact point. It isn't that one company needs to beat them. It is how it will effect them when Android becomes so predominant (due to being available on a lot of devices and at lower price points) that it takes over the numbers game - just as it has in phones.
And while today the cheap tablets are crap - in a generation or two there is every chance they will be quite serviceable as they may well be using the 'top of the pack' tech of today and tomorrow.

I completely agree that people are wrongly assuming the Amazon tablet is going to be a general tablet competitor though, as a side note.
I think that is more a B&N Nook Color competitor.
I mean it will sell like hotcakes no doubt, and certainly have some overlap.
But that is like saying a Ford f150 competes with a Toyota Corolla.
Yes - but, No.
 
Wife and I did some searching on tablets yesterday. Surprisingly, the Asus Transformer has dropped to $349 at some of my local stores this weekend, for the 16GB version, even lower on some online sites ($272) http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=asus+eee+pad+transformer&hl=en&cid=10112004010858817202&os=sellers
I've been keeping my eye on the Asus and Galaxy 10. With the Tegra 3 coming soon, the prices should drop even more. My point though; for just $120 more, you get a much better tablet with Honeycomb 3.2 if you're patient and likely won't regret the purchase. :)
 
What matters isn't how many tablets you can move, but rather what you're gonna do with them once they're in your hands. If the per tablet spending after the purchase isn't there because the device is too buggy or because people are just buying a tablet to say they have a tablet, than it won't really matter. The reason iPad has been so successful is the app store, not the other way around. Sell people a vision of what they can do with your product, not how much more technically superior your machine is.
 
+Jorge Amodio 2 years, technological? In my view technological, they are 1 year behind the bleeding edge and use things, wenn the early problems are solved, embed them in a closed universe of very controlled possibilites.

If you had written "usability" instead of technology, I would have agreed. Making things simple, that is where others have to learn from Apple. However, Google has had its own history of making complex things simple. They kind of managed this with the whole internet. That is a realm where they initially hardly had control.

The major difference is, how Apple and Google handly complexity. Apple rule it out, Google hunts it down.
 
+Frank Nestel read the article. I do electronics systems design, many components used by Apple are not available in the open market and they invest substantial amounts of money in the production of specific parts in exchange for exclusivity periods. Silly thing, one of their major semiconductor suppliers is Samsung.
BTW, Apple is the major semiconductor buyer in the world, and developed a lot of know how about how to produce the iGadgets in massive scales.
 
I have seen Pandigital readers at CVS in my area for months now. I live right outside Philadelphia. It seems everyone is making Android devices these days. Hopefully they can take some of the market from Apple.
 
I have a Dell Streak 7- I like it, but between my phone, desktop, netbook, the Streak gets used the least.
 
+Jorge Amodio Touche! Read, and it is interesting insight. Thanks. In my eyes it is about usability (consumer experience) and strategy, not really about technology research. Anyway, as said elsewhere, having the big leader and a ambitious contender(s) is great for us, the customers.
 
+Frank Nestel ohh I agree with you, on top of the technology advantage add the usability and innovation such as multitouch gestures, and complete the formula with the iTunes, iCloud, apps, etc, plus a cult like fan base to augment hype, put everything in a blender condiment with several billions of cash in the bank, and that's the juice driving Apple which other competitors still don't have.
Yes it would be nice to have a comparable product at a lower price, problem for Apple besides cost, they can't make it fast enough to meet demand.

Add a comment...