How Android Unification will Affect Tablet Marketsize

How Android unification will affect tablet marketsize

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

The leader in the tablet market is clearly Apple at this point.  The tablet market is still quite immature to predict not only the size of the market but the market share by vendor.  Tablets are hot, and are looking like they may be taking the place of netbooks. This shift of replacing netbooks will impact on the enterprise hardware and software market.  The size of the market will come to include the enterprise market and renewed IT policies for organizations.  How far away is enterprise applications specifically for tablets ?


The introduction of the Motorola Xoom, Blackberry Playbook, Samsung tablet and many other Android tablets have recently been introduced.  Blackberry’s announcement of their famous security encryption from their enterprise servers for email should be available shortly thereby increasing corporate adoption should businesses opt for tablet computing options.  The widespread adoption of Android have spawned many other new market entries that have gone under the radar.   It is these entries into this market that have made it hard to identify the actual market size because of the lower end devices being introduced by lesser known manufacturers. Then there is the clone market from China and other countries that imitates the leaders is that figure included into the market size ?  There are many variables that introduce doubt as to the estimate of the actual tablet market size.


One feature the iPad does not have is the ability to handle Flash but through Safari and HTML 5, a workaround exists.  Google’s announcement of unifying Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and Android 2.2 and 2.3 versions of their smartphone platforms will add definitive strength to the platform and most likely increase the adoption of a platform that can accommodate a smartphone and a tablet.  Smartphone App developers can cross create new tablet specific applications that will be accessible for both a smartphone and tablet.  This can exponentially increase the market size as developers can focus on one version of application that can be deployed to two mediums; smartphone and tablet.  This convergence of languages also simplifies version control and will reduce IT administration for corporations that support bring your own technology to work.  Platform unification of mobile and tablet will distort the market size equation as Android becomes more popular. This is apparent in the smartphone market where many manufacturers are opting for the Android platform.  More adoption equals more competitors which should lead to more consumer choice greater competition and lower prices.


The perception is that other tablets are less successful than the iPad which may be true in terms of market share not market size. It would seem that the combined Android based products even such as Motorola Atrix and merging possibly with Chrome OS could even affect the market size increasingly to include a bigger subset of devices.   While the iPad is good smooth operating device with its shortcomings are Android tablets that far behind in performance ?  Do they offer a different set of functionality or approach than the iPad ?


This debate comes down to the kind user you are, enterprise or consumer, casual or business and consumer preferences.  This debate is continuing to unfold as this market segment is too new to effectively gauge a size and share by vendor is increasingly more difficult to ascertain as many small manufacturers have entered the market with lower price points that no one counts. In cases where Android tablets are being sold for $199.00 although a less popular brand, does this contribute to the tablet market share  in your opinion?


Many questions are raised as to the maturity of this market and where it is heading.  Adoption, hardware preferences, price points, hardware functionality, application availability and security will all drive this market size so as of this point it’s anyone’s guess as to the size of the market and the shares of each vendor.


Eval-Source is an Analyst/Consulting consulting firm that offers enterprise software evaluation, cloud computing consulting, business process optimization and technology planning for organizations. Our innovative professional services make your life easier whether it is to acquire enterprise software  or provide you with fact – based information to match your business with IT. Eval-Source provides critical  decision support to validate your technology investments using the Tru-Eval  system.  Follow our blog at or on twitter @eval_source or our site

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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