Are the new Android-pads real iPad competition?

December 22, 2010

The tech world is beginning to fill with Android-powered tablet computers, just as it is already full of hordes of different Android phones. Are any of them real iPad competition, or just a nuisance?

It has been interesting to watch the smartphone world overflow with over 100 brands and models of Android-powered phones, none of which can manage more than a couple of percent of smartphone sales, but which taken together make big numbers. It appears that the same strategy is invading the tablet computer arena, with “new” clone tablet after “new” clone tablet appearing in advertisements. None of these, including the once-vaunted Samsung entry, are making much headway against the real deal, which is still the iPad in the minds of consumers.

A Computerworld story lauds the virtues of the latest (?) Android onslaught, including entries from Samsung, Archos, and Viewsonic. They all appear to be just more of the same. They are all too small, except one of the Archos models. They are all copies of the basic iPad concept, of course, as are all tablet computers at this point. And they all run the ubiquitous Android operating system, as will most tablets that hit the streets in the near-term time frame, and thus all will be saddled with the good parts of that operating system and the bad part, as well, including the utter lack of version control or user interface continuity.

None of them are likely to make a huge impact, for those very reasons. They will forever be grouped into the category of Android tablet clones, as were the hundreds of available PC clones in years past, and none of the Android tablets will hit the big time because there is nothing special about any of them. They may be perfectly serviceable tablets, of course, but will only be champion material to those that belong to the lunatic anti-Apple fringe.

The utter lack of innovation available in the Android tablet world will insure that, one by one, there will be no stars but taken all together they will have a presence. They will be noticeable only because they are ordinary and numerous, like ants. If the iPad is to be challenged, it will be by a WebOS-powered tablet, or maybe even a RIM entry into the marketplace, but those devices are not yet ready to sell, so we’ll have to wait and see who becomes the first challenge to the iPad.

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13 Responses to “Are the new Android-pads real iPad competition?”

  1. David:

    Wow. I can’t wait to see what happens when CES comes and dominates over apple everything. And then comes mac world, steve jobs will tell you how you’re going to be behind the technology curve for the rest of your mac usage.

  2. Sam:

    One of the worst written blogs in a long time. You just sound like a fanboy with no valid points and no one (even your own fanboys alike) will repect you for that.

    The tablets that are on the market at the moment are the calm before the storm. The arrival of Honeycombe will ensure fragmentation is kept to a minimum

  3. Name:

    Android tablets are fairly new, with only the cheap, quickly made models out now, wait for HTCs, I think Sony? NEC, then compare, as for now, dont judge on the lower branded ones, do some research about the ones coming out in 2011, which will easily pwn ipads. Also, is there even an android for tablets yet? I thought google were going to bring it out in the near future 3.0? So, all of the tablets that are out now are simply to give a second option, for an actual competition, wait until a proper one comes out. (all of this is my own opinion based on news articles I read, also a google fan boy, ;D!)

  4. Name:

    ^^ I also realised, the thing that will pwn ipads that android has, is all of the emulators, it will be like a portable gaming console, it also helps that you can use wii controllers to play these games. Im not sure if you can do that on ipads. Android however has the psx emulator, all of the gameboy, etc ones. I’m sure there will be one perfectly designed one by sony, nec, htc, etc, until then of course there are going to be bad ones, its an open os and everyone wants in on the tablet/pad market, what else to use than android? In the end I think android will pwn ios on devices. (even if that is a completely biased statement)

  5. Michael Manning:

    While what you say is true in some ways, the point you make is that this is akin to the Microsoft/Windows V Apple/Mac competition of the PC era. The one that came out “on top” so to speak in market share was that which allowed any/all hardware manufacturers to ship their base platform.

    It will be interesting to see if this form factor and interface environment play out the same way.

    Competition is a good thing, both for the industry and the consumer alike :)

  6. Larry:

    While I agree none are up to scratch at the moment, you comments seems slightly blind (apple eager?)

    The iPad up until October has sold 7million units in 7 months.

    The Samsung Galaxy has sold 1 million in one month.

    That’s extremely similar, considering it is an inferior product with much less fanfare.

    People need to be a bit more nuetral when writing things like this.

  7. df:

    Your article sucks. You’ve left several obvious spelling mistakes uncorrected and your view is painfully biased. This was unpleasant to read and I hope you either improve your writing skills or stop entirely.

  8. Michael W. Jones:

    If I am Apple-biased, what are you all? :)

  9. peter s.:

    Sorry dude, Apple did Not invent the tablet form and I’m afraid it will be difficult to stay ahead of Android once their Tablet OS is released and available to the mass market.
    just look at any browser page on the iPad vs. Flash on Android… the sluggishness of the iPad can be overlooked as It’s the first one out, but it Should improve by the 3rd version, just as with their iphones… tech fanboi…

  10. RW:

    Oh wow… I thought this was written by by a 15yr old until I saw your picture, next to the childish response.

    As a very happy iPhone 4 owner, I think the iPad is severly overpriced for what is essentially, a giant iPhone with less functionality. That’s why I bought an Archos 70 Android tab, with USB, expandable memory and full media codecs, for less than half the price. I wanted the iPad to be worth my money, but it just isn’t!

  11. Carole Hickman:

    If I am Apple-biased, what are you all? :)

  12. Ronald O Carlson:

    Good luck with software updates. And, yemme guess, Flash works perfectly, right? I’m sure that device will have lots of resale value, too. Shnork!

  13. steve:

    Interesting Apple publicity release. Jobs couldn’t have said it better. I’m looking forward to Motorola’s Zoom, Toshiba, and HTC. I think they will be worth waiting for. Why Apple fans continue to enjoy systems that cannot connect and expand is beyond me. The fact that Apple will not allow SD cards and does not have the industry standard USB port is beyond me. If they had included those two inexpensive and simple additions, I would have bought one long ago. I like many things about the Apple system, but their arrogance will one day bring them down. The comptuter industry is littered with companies that once dominated, but became also rans because they believed their own press clippings.

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