It seems as if Google’s Android operating system has managed to wrest away 20% of the tablet market from Apple’s wildly popular iPad over the past 12 months.
Nevertheless, no single vendor who deployed Android (or any other OS) was able to mount a significant challenge against the iPad.
“Many vendors have introduced media tablets, but none are separating themselves from the pack to pose a serious threat to Apple,” ABI Research analyst Jeff Orr told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement.
“In fact, most have introduced products at prices higher than similarly-configured iPads. Apple, never a company to be waiting for others, has introduced its second-generation iPad media tablet while keeping product pricing unchanged.”
According to Orr, Android fragmentation is significantly hindering the growth of tablets. To be sure, app devs are forced to choose an initial software platform – and may delay kicking off development if the market potential is not significant.
It is worth noting that Google’s Android OS currently boasts no less than three different software builds simultaneously deployed across a number media tablets.
“De-featured, low-cost media tablets are being introduced by more than fifty vendors in 2011. This will certainly help bolster year-over-year growth for the category,” said Orr.
“[However], it also creates a negative perception in the minds of the mass consumer audience about the readiness of media tablets to be fully functional within the next several years. Good user experiences and product response are needed to propel this market beyond the ‘early adopter’ stage.”