Print 46 comment(s) - last by wired00.. on Jun 2 at 1:39 AM

"Somebody set us up the bomb". The Motorola Xoom has been a failure in the marketplace.

"It's a point of sales problem. It's an expertise at retail problem. It's a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price point problem." -- NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says that Android tablets have a pricing, app problem

Apple's iPad has been the dominant force in the tablet market ever since the original model launched last year. That market dominance continued this year when Apple released the iPad 2 -- it sold over one million of the tablets within the first weekend.

However, things aren't going so smoothly when it comes to Android-based tablets. The first Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola Xoom, has been an absolute dud in the marketplace. According to analysts, Motorola at best sold 120,000 Xoom tablets, and at worst, a dismal 25,000 units.

NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, whose company produces the Tegra SOC that powers the Xoom and other Honeycomb tablets, recently vented his own frustrations about the current state of the [Android] tablet market to CNET News. "It's a point of sales problem. It's an expertise at retail problem. It's a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price point problem," Huang explained. 

The number one problem according to Huang is that manufacturers are simply pricing their Honeycomb tablets too high. The Motorola Xoom in its most basic configuration (32GB, Wi-Fi) costs $599. This compares to $499 for a base iPad 2 (16GB, Wi-Fi) and a relatively bargain basement $399 for the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (16GB, Wi-Fi). However, those looking to actually find a Transformer in stock need to wait in line just like all of the potential iPad 2 customers.

“Tablets should have a Wi-Fi configuration and be more affordable. And those are the ones that were selling more rapidly than the 3G and fully configured ones," Huang added.

Huang also pointed to a lack of Honeycomb-specific apps for the latest round of tablets. This problem puts them at a distinct disadvantage compared to the iPad/iPad 2, which has a vast library of tablet-optimized apps. Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha echoed that sentiment, stating, "Consumers want more apps for Android tablets." 

"But those problems are all getting solved. The rate at which these Honeycomb Tegra 2 tablets are being improved is really stunning," Huang continued. "I think all of the manufacturers have now recognized that and readjusted their plans." 

Things will hopefully get even better for Android-based tablets when Google standardizes its smartphone/tablet development with Ice Cream Sandwich. And although current Honeycomb tablets are certainly not lacking when it comes to hardware, there's largely a problem with OS optimization/performance that can drag on the user experience.

Android-based tablets should get another shot in the arm this fall when NVIDIA launches its quad-core Kal-El ARM processor for tablets. Kal-El will have five times the performance of Tegra 2 while using less power. And while more power is always welcome, we also hope that Google will work with its hardware partners to further optimize the Android codebase to help eliminate the performance hiccups that are prevalent in Honeycomb.

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tab fail?
By vapore0n on 5/15/2011 10:04:04 PM , Rating: 5
Like it or not, Apple has going something for them. And that is third party support. That is my major gripe with Android.

I can plug in my IOS devices to my car or stereo and have it be controlled completely, not just as a usb device. Or I can just create my own interface by using the apple connector (see how many people used an ipad for car head unit). I bet you can even find a toilet paper dispenser that you can plug in your ios device. Why didnt google force use of a docking like adapter?

And then the quality looking smooth acting apps. I have an android phone btw. They have god functional apps, but the common people buy pretty.

In my opinion, google is just not going after apple, they are just going after the market. Flood the market with Android devices. The problem with apple is that they are going after your money. Over expensive devices.

RE: tab fail?
By headbox on 5/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: tab fail?
By themaster08 on 5/16/2011 2:52:41 AM , Rating: 5
Android hit the market with an iPad killer
"iPhone killer", "iPod killer", "iPad killer"; I hate these phrases.

You can't kill a product of which its customers are as closed minded as the ecosystem they bend over to.

Alternatives are not even an afterthought to many that purchase Apple's products.

Also, iPad has been around long enough to prove it's more than just a consumption toy (unless you're a PeeCee troll) with bands like Gorillaz recording an entire album on one.
I can imagine, all of those teenage children begging their parents for an iPad because they wish to expand their creativity and do their homework on it. The same teenagers that were once begging their parents for a BlackBerry for its advanced firewall features and an iPhone for its secure closed platform.

RE: tab fail?
By Azethoth on 5/16/2011 5:55:59 PM , Rating: 1
"Alternatives are not even an afterthought to many that purchase Apple's products."

Ok, but there is no iPad alternative right now. And no, "tablets" that may have a finished OS this summer and apps by the end of the year do not count. Even pretending that they are finished products you are still looking at devices that are about the same price or more.

The exact same situation held for years with the iPhone.

Next, once you buy into the iOS ecosystem should you really switch? I do not plan to anytime soon. Everyone I know is already on their 2nd iPhone and waiting for the next contract to expire just in time to get iPhone 5.

Who is being closed minded here?

RE: tab fail?
By themaster08 on 5/17/2011 2:35:34 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, but there is no iPad alternative right now.
It's a good thing that I didn't specifically mention the iPad, just Apple's products in general.
"Alternatives are not even an afterthought to many that purchase Apple's products. "

There are many, many alternatives to the iPhone, yet those with the iPhone 4 are already on the iPhone 5 bandwagon, knowing nothing about its specifications, its features, or any consideration of alternatives:
I know is already on their 2nd iPhone and waiting for the next contract to expire just in time to get iPhone 5.

Who is being closed minded here?
The irony is just astounding.

RE: tab fail?
By TakinYourPoints on 5/21/2011 1:08:37 PM , Rating: 2
The irony is just astounding.

As it is here. The idea that people who like iPhones or whatever are brainwashed sheeple is ridiculous. Nearly everyone I know who has had an Android has gone back to an iPhone. It and things like Windows Phone 7 are just much more polished, and you shouldn't be surprised if some people actually prefer platforms other than Android. If people like Android, great, but there are legitimate issues with it that drive people to other platforms (and vice versa).

RE: tab fail?
By wired00 on 6/2/2011 1:39:00 AM , Rating: 2
Its not a problem of close minded its a problem of rubbish overpriced android tablets. I'm android developer and i can't even find a tablet device i want. From the utter cluster f**k of OS upgrades, the extreme overpriced devices and lack of tablet apps... how does anyone expect a Apple fanboy to switch when they already know OSX and iOS works very well for them and always will?

RE: tab fail?
By gescom on 5/17/2011 12:07:46 PM , Rating: 2
I use mine as a drawing tablet (Autodesk Sketchbook Pro for only $5 vs. $100 on a desktop), wireless MIDI control device, and 2nd wireless monitor.

LOL. What A Load Of Bollocks. Almost a PostProduction machine, right?
I know you need some excuses for buying it, but this iWhatever is just another thing you don't need it. Unbelivable.

btw. Apple machines are PeeCee(s).

RE: tab fail?
By pugster on 5/15/2011 11:41:51 PM , Rating: 4
Problem is that the android tablet is mostly half baked because there is alot of bugs and limitations. Personally, I would like to see if an end user can install an OS to a tablet like I would install windows to a PC. Would Microsoft allow you to do that in Windows 8? We will see.

RE: tab fail?
By pigbot on 5/16/2011 12:11:51 AM , Rating: 2
Well that would be a crock! I guess you missed the big update this past week where 90% of the unstable apps are some of the best in class now...

I guess what I am saying is that Honeycomb and the XOOM are about to take off and 4G will be the thing that really accelerates Growth!

RE: tab fail?
By neogrin on 5/16/2011 12:05:15 PM , Rating: 5
and 4G will be the thing that really accelerates Growth!

Not if Cell Companies are going to charge me for another Data Plan, it's not. I already have a Data Plan with my Phone.

I could see it differently if the Data Plans were actually unlimited data, but they are not. My current plan has a limit of 2gb. Basically I am paying for the ability to use up to 2gb of data per month. Why does it matter if the data is consumed using my Phone or my Tablet?

Not to mention the fact that I want to be able to use my Tablet as a Phone (through bluetooth headset) so I don't have to carry both. Many of the tablets support it, but US carriers disable the ability.

RE: tab fail?
By vision33r on 5/16/2011 1:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, that's great but the early adopters that blogged about all the problems already did the damage to Android tablet's reputation.

Why not wait until major bugs are fixed before releasing it? This is a very tactical and logical reason instead of pushing out nothing but dustpans.

RE: tab fail?
By Belard on 5/16/2011 5:41:31 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously, Apple did not release a product with as many bugs as Android tablet... Nor come out with competing products that have smaller screens that costs MORE money (Samsung) or have bone-head requirements (signing up for 3G service) or missing basic functions (RIM Playbook).

RE: tab fail?
By Da W on 5/16/2011 10:23:52 AM , Rating: 3
Just because Android succeeded in the phone market doesn't mean it will succeed in the tablet market, i think we have a proof here. The phone market basicly offered a cheap iPhone clone alternative, just like in the Mac vs PC era. But for the iPad, Apple is keeping prices low. And just pushing stronger/fragmented hardware ain't going to do the trick for Google. What will you do with a quad core kal-el if game devloppers have to take tegra2 tablets and 65nm snapdragon phones into account? You know, at 5$ a piece, devloppers aren't going to include one gazillion graphical options like they do to PC games.

And then there's only 6 months left to take the lead before the first Windows 8 tablets come to market. Right now, if Android tablets stay the way they are, i'd say Microsoft just has as much chance as Google to take on Apple in this market, espicialy since their tablets will be PCs and not just an oversised phone.

RE: tab fail?
By Bubbacub on 5/16/2011 2:47:07 PM , Rating: 1
ipad prices are not low.

a $25 chipset (thats how much tegra 2 costs - the apple chip can't cost much more) and an ips panel with a sheet of aluminium is not worth $500.

if someone can sell a netbook with more expensive silicon, a similar sized battery and a keyboard for $200 (with admitedly a crap screen) then a tablet really should be about the same ball park.

current android tablet pricing is so out whack that its killing uptake. apple can get away with extortionate pricing due to the sheep like media providing free advertising continuously - the android guys can't. the android manufacturers will have to compete on price with equivalent/superior features to the ipad. at present they have price parity and the dont quite even have feature parity (in terms of stability and tablet specific apps).

there is a reason why everyone is buying and rooting nook colors - it is at the right price point for a tablet.

RE: tab fail?
By Belard on 5/16/2011 6:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
These companies, do need to make a profit off their devices. And out of all of them, Apple is making the most - even tho they actually sell their tablets for the same price or less than most other tablets. This is because Apple has an APP store. Apple makes money from the hardware & software. Android makers get money from hardware, Google makes money from software.

Screen quality effects price of the device, a typical GOOD netbook is STILL $400 or so. The $250~330 net-books have typical horrible low-res screens, cheap bodies with HDs.

Check the prices on Bestbuy, iPad isn't the most expensive unit.

Yes, NOOK rooting is interesting. But comes with problems and isn't exactly comparable to other Android tablets. You are comparing a $250 device to $400 (ASUS Transformer)~$600 XOOM.

1 - NOOK is a non-standard Android device. It doesn't have standard Android buttons and by default, isn't allowed to install native Android software.

2 - Remember Apps and hardware? NOOK is tied to B&N book library, which PAYS for the hardware. Yep, NOOK is sold at a loss or at best, no profit. Buy buying a dozen books more than make up for it.

3 - NOOK is $150~250 cheaper than a Transformer & iPad2, but its:
A) has a 7" screen, not a 10"
B) Doesn't have ANY cameras.
C) Has a much slower CPU/GPU, forget about playing 3D games designed to run on minimal specs of Honeycomb.
D) Most NOOK buyers will use it as a NOOK.

Someday, tablet devices will cost half the price of today. At $400~500, they are priced fair for what they do.

If its too expensive.... then I guess you don't buy one or get a used one, or a cheaper model. Not all of us get to buy Ferrari sports cars (including myself).

RE: tab fail?
By KoolAidMan1 on 5/16/2011 8:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
there is a reason why everyone is buying and rooting nook colors - it is at the right price point for a tablet.

What fantasy land are you living in? The number of Nooks being sold for rooting purposes isn't anything close to high.

Also, Android on Nook is a joke, the hardware is terrible. Yeah its cheap, but its also bad. You get what you pay for, etc etc.

RE: tab fail?
By Belard on 5/17/2011 1:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, the NOOK isn't "bad" - its built for a price point as an e-Reader. Being converted to do what it wasn't originally designed to do is the issue.

Hey, you can run Linux on a computer that fits in an extra-small thumb-drive, doesn't mean you want to.

I don't think B&N have much to worry about.

RE: tab fail?
By KoolAidMan1 on 5/17/2011 7:16:12 AM , Rating: 2
Right, I was talking about it being used for something it wasn't built for given its internals, not as its usefulness as a book reader.

Then again, for strict book reading I'd recommend a Kindle 3 or other reader with an e-paper display, simply because e-paper is much better than LCD for reading. That's a whole other discussion though. :)

RE: tab fail?
By theapparition on 5/17/2011 12:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
On what planet do you two live on? The NC's internal hardware is quite good, better than most tablets actually available(especially chinese knockoffs). And that includes the original iPad.

Uses almost same processor that the iPad used, Arm A8 based with PowerVR graphics. Specifically it's a Ti OMAP 3630, same as the Droid X. Overclocks easily to 1.10GHz. 1.30 with the newest kernel.

Screen? It uses a capacitive touch screen that has a higher DPI than both the original and current iPads and includes a special anti-glare coating that actually makes it usable outside.

So how is it that it's internals are not up to par? No, it doesn't have a camera(s), or GPS, but it does have expandable storage, something the iPad still can't match (and never will). Plus the way the NC is configured, you can play with different OS's all day long and return to stock instantly if you choose (boots from SD card).

The only drawback is the lack of 4 dedicated buttons, but the soft buttons aren't that bad. If you want quadrant scores, it scores higher than almost any other tablet except the new crop of dual core devices. It has great internals, despite what you want to believe.

I have a Moto Xoom and a NC, and the Xoom is the better tablet, but also costs more than twice as much. The iPad2 is also better than the NC. But for anyone to claim that the NC doesn't have the "internals" to be a tablet is completely misinformed.

RE: tab fail?
By TakinYourPoints on 5/21/2011 1:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
BOM is not a good way to frame the cost argument. It totally ignores R&D, the cost of running the company, distribution, all of those things before we get into profit margin.

RE: tab fail?
By Cord77 on 5/17/2011 6:31:12 AM , Rating: 2
As a recent tablet buyer (order was placed on Friday) and a Microsoft/VMware techy (MCITP, VCP etc) I did a lot of research into both the iPad 2 and the best of the current Android tablets (Asus Transformer).

My heart wanted the Android (flexible upgrades, USB ports, free Asus cloud membership, a new OS to play with etc), but in the end it came down to what I wanted to run on it. I checked out a bunch of support sites for iApps and Android apps and found not only is the number of apps for Apple significantly more (27xxx compared to 3xxx for educational apps for example), but the general quality of the apps and the review sites for them is much better.

Not only that I can find google spreadsheets showing which apps are used in schools right now, organised per-grade. With all this support and quality I had no choice but to get the 16Gb iPad 2.

One thing that particularly annoyed me is the multiple entry points I needed to learn about to find Android apps. Do I use Amazons marketplace? (very hard to find anything while browsing), or Androids own site (which I hear has been re-organised this weekend, but sorry was too late for me), to name a few. Having everything tightly controlled by one vendor is actually something I want from my apps, rather than having to worry about trojans in the Android free market.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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