Some look at the current success of Android smartphones (by units shipped) as a reference on how Android can conquer the tablet market as well.
Looking at the numbers closely, it is easy to see that Android is simply displacing Symbian and other non-iOS mobile phones whilst Apple grows with a customer retention rate of nearly 90%. You don’t hear many iPhone/iPad users wanting to switch over to Android and most happy Android users switched from other platforms. There was a recent number quoted at 31% of Android users wanting to switch over to iPhone. It is kind of an interim platform to smartphone.
For tablet market, it can be something very different. There is no Symbian to displace. For every user iPad gains now in clear field of no competitive challenger, it will later be a tough fight for Android or others to win back. If Apple keeps doing a good job like what they did with iPod and iPhone, they will be able to keep their users loyal to their products. After so many years and so many attempts by many companies to do an iPod killer, Apple still hold 70%+ market share of music players today. Creative Labs, SanDisk, Sony and even mighty Microsoft, all failed in their challenge. And that was for a cheaper, higher volume market. Breaking into the tablet market won’t be any easier for Apple’s competitors.
But I see some light for Microsoft’s new Windows 8.
Assuming that tablet is here to make some of the desktop/laptop features more portable, then I can see how Windows 8 being more integrated with the PC environment can make it a good runners up to iPad.
Unfortunately, Chrome OS is too late to the platform game to help Android Tablets.
To quote the most successful business person in IT. “To create a new standard, it takes something that’s not just a little bit different, it takes something that’s really new and really captures people’s imagination…” – Bill Gates
He was describing the Mac a few decades ago. But same can apply here. For Android or any other tablet to succeed, they really need to come up with something much better than what we have seen with the iPad so far. And I think the market is proving that no such product exist in this category yet.