iPad News Domination: Good News For Android

ipadiPad, iPad, iPad! That seems to be the only thing people have talked about the past few days. From discussing how long the lines would be, to talking about pictures of how long the lines were, to talking about how awesome or average their iPad was – the iPad is absolutely DOMINATING the news. And, if you ask, this is awesome news for both Android and Google.

Allow me to explain.

There is no arguing that Steve Jobs and the folks behind Apple have reached the pinnacle of brand loyalty and advertising/marketing prowess. When they launched the iPod it literally defined an entire product category. When they launched the iPhone it revitalized the entire mobile industry and also became a product icon, setting a new standard and raising the bar. With the iPad, Apple is essentially (again) creating an entirely new product category.

How is this good for Android and Google?

Companies can create AMAZING products, but if they can’t convince anyone they want to or need to buy those products, it doesn’t matter. With Apple, a customer’s decision making process is a bit different: Apple makes the product and people automatically assume they need the product. Otherwise Apple wouldn’t have created something so awesome, right?

archosThe “tablet” concept hasn’t gained much momentum, despite being tried and tried and tried over the years. Heck, you could find an ARCHOS Android Tablet in a local Best Buy retail store, but 99% of the universe doesn’t know that. Why? Because people were hardly aware this product category existed let alone convinced it was something that would be useful.

Now that Apple has launched the iPad, consumers have an assumed understanding that yes, tablets are pretty cool and useful and are a “mainstream” product that an everyday person should consider buying. Basically, Apple has single-handedly done about 80% of the marketing/advertising and consumer education legwork for EVERY tablet manufacturer that comes after them. They’ve put the form factor on the map, and now, people will start to take notice at competing products that attempt to accomplish the same goals.

At the moment, Android is all about phones. Since the early days of Android we’ve heard about having the operating system prevalent in netbooks, MIDs, tablets, GPS devices, home entertainment equipment, heck – even washers and dryers! But has any of that materialized? Nope. But now its much more likely… or at least a successful “Android Tablet” is much more likely. Because, again, Apple has done the hardest job which is convincing customers that the product category itself is something worth considering as a purchase.

chrome-osThe iPad isn’t only good for Android, and to be honest, it could be much more “good” (or “gooder” as the linguists would say) for another Google property: Chrome OS. We know they’ll be launching a Chrome Netbook later this year, and with the iPad already available, consumers won’t be asking the question of “does this serve any purpose”. The Chrome Netbook, tablet, and/or any other hardware launched with a Google OS will automatically be perceived as a contender for discretionary income thanks to Apple “pointing out” the product category to the public, basically saying, “You need one of these.”

And don’t forget how Google as a whole benefits. More internet in more places means more Google searches which means more ad views which means more revenue. Not to mention, as 4G and other data improvements occur, you’re able to load and view more webpages in a shorter period of time which – guess what? – means more revenue for Google.

Don’t get me wrong, Google is a brilliantly innovative company. But in this case, they’re lucky to have a company like Apple sharing their playground. With the iPad, Apple has opened a lot of doors to a lot of consumers with a lot of potential products. Google, Android, and a lot of manufacturers were standing patiently at the open door waiting for the right moment. Now – whether they know it or not – Apple just invited them all in to sit at the tablet table and enjoy a delicious meal, courtesy of the iPad.

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  • http://www.derrickisonline.com Derrick

    I agree. I wouldn’t buy an iPad, but I would consider a tablet from Google.

    My only concern is Google needs to pick a frickin’ direction. Are they going to make CHROME OS for tablets, or are they going to make it ANDROID?

    Which would be best to buy? Will Chrome support an app store?

    Are devs going to develop for Chrome and Android?

    That’s the reason I won’t jump on an Android tablet yet. I want to see how Chrome OS and Android will work on a tablet, I want to know which I can get more bang for the buck.

  • maxisma

    Very nice article!

  • DannyB

    Chrome OS and Android for tablets. Both are a very different story.
    .
    Chrome OS is where none of your personal data is stored on the device. You can erase your cookies from the device (so you are no longer logged on to any website) and give or sell the device to someone else. All your data is “in the cloud”. The devices are generic. Collect ’em, trade ’em.
    .
    Android is more like a personal computer. You have data and applications on the device. Because of this it is possible to have the “android market”, and other markets for data, such as a “music store”, or “ebook store”. You buy the data/application and you own it on your device.
    .
    It’s not that one approach is “right”, it’s just that Chrome OS and Android represent very different ideas about mobile computing devices. Personally, I think Android will win.

  • destardi

    Rob, love the site…but disagree on an assumption made in the beginning of this article.

    Apple didn’t create the MP3 player; Apple didn’t create touchscreen smartphones. They just made them “sexy”; they were already devices soon to come into their own already, and Apple just beat everyone to the start.

    Now, the ipad IS something that people need convinced to buy. Personally, it’s definitely not a ‘must have’ no matter what O/S is on it. Holding it with one hand while typing?! Puh-leeze. surfing the net, and wanting to respond to a comment, order something, play a game? These are more for work/production type of environments if they work anywhere.

    But what do I know…I just discovered the iPhone couldn’t do more than a regular feature phone before being unlocked (one app at a time, etc) so take anything I write with a grain of salt :)

  • http://thehtpcblog.com Fernando

    I couldn’t agree more. There will be some people who hear the hype of the iPad and want one until they see the price tag. Android-tablet developers could easily attract these customers with price alone.

  • Roy

    I’ve seen the Archos tablet at Best Buy. I’ve seen a few other tablets running Android too. I think a HUGE reason why the iPad is a major win, is that the software experience is unparalleled. If Google could focus on making the apps that are built into Android on par or better than what Apple builds for their iPhone/iPod touch/iPad experience, then they will be able to help their manufacturers sell tablets that aren’t a piece of junk.

  • Noel

    Huh? I love google but I think the developers and google should talk for themselves. Your hype isn’t helping.. everything is a market strategy. I’m not no marketing major but i’m sure businesses talk to each other so both can make a descent amount on earnings. It’s like asking your next door neighbor to turn down the radio.. and if the neighbor doesn’t, hell will break loose. Trust.. they know how much money we have and are willing to fork out in a certain time frame. Which explains why Apple = Now and Google = Later vice versa.

  • http://livinginagoogleworld.blogspot.com Jonathan Frederickson

    @destardi:

    Apple didn’t create tablets either. There have been Windows tablets for years, but people either never realized their usefulness or weren’t even aware they existed.

  • Noel

    Apple… Google… It doesn’t matter who wins… they just want to put a hole in our pocket, damnit. That’s poor man talk.

  • TF

    Could also be negative. A realistic view of the iPad’s opening weekend… is that the thing is an utter flop. News outlets are salivating over 300,000 units sold? How many pre-orders were there? Subtract those off that total, because they count. How many did a partner retailer like Best Buy purchase? Subtract those off that number. How many are demo units for Apple Stores or Best Buys? Subtract that number off the total too. How about the fact the most conservative predictions were shooting for 700-800k? They failed to sell even 50% of projections?

    Sorry, but this thing has AppleTV Redux written all over it. A giant iPod Touch… imagine even trying to type an email on a flat surface where both the screen and keyboard are shared, you’ll have to lay it down which will be incredibly uncomforable to view the screen and then the rounded back will make it fairly unstable to type on, not to mention it’s too big to type with just your thumbs as you would on your iPhone. For it to become viable, you need what everyone will rail against… a stylus/pen. Not for using the screen, but for the academic realm where students could take notes right in the margins of their e-textbooks and powerpoints and not be bothered with the aforementioned difficulty typing… Or, if it had a stylus, a camera and a mic (for audio recording), it would be the perfect kind of tool for a reporter to carry around (stylus, too, would mean if you were standing up interviewing somebody, you could take notes with one hand while holding the device in the other — though that’s also what one would use audio recording for).

    /rant off

  • LaptuaZ

    Agree with TF, played with one at Best Buy and my neck was pretty sore afterwards. Did anyone else notice the scroll bars on the browser do nothing? The lack of flash really stands out. The whole time I played with it I kept thinking “This is cool, but…if it were on Android, it would be better”. I can’t seem to picture people out in public using these things due to having to hold the thing with one had and type with the other.

  • mrXtc

    Good Article, Rob.

  • http://www.omgandroid.com OMG Android App Reviews

    Very true.

    It was correct when it came to me personally.

    As I had no interest in tablets until the Ipad.

  • mrXtc

    This isn’t the same pre-iPhone Apple marketing. (the ones who released the Newton PDA device in the 1990s). More people are comfortable with technology and connected through the internet. (A different generation grew up)

    Even if the iPad doesn’t sell off of the shelf the first
    few weeks, it already has enough recognition, and people who own it to show it to other people who don’t own it, will see the features and benefits and want it

  • http://smudgeware.com ComputerTimeCO

    I bought an iPad because it is the best touch screen interface around for now. I am an Android developer and will purchase an Android tablet when a good one comes along. I feel the Android O.S. has many advantages over Apple’s except when it comes to partnerships. Will Android be trusted because of it’s open architecture with purchased or rented videos, music and books. Will NetFlix or other on-line quality video providers make their way to it. These partnerships add a tremendous amount of value to a product.

  • A man

    Dannyb

    Google wants to ultimately integrate Chrome OS and Android together. Also, a lot of my information is stored in the cloud through Android the same way Chrome OS is. It just depends on what programs you want to use. If you wanted, you could have all the data your phone pulls come straight out of the cloud – to an extent, at least.

  • Steve Hendricks

    I have no idea how to validate the 300K sales figures from this weekend but I do know that trying to squeeze into the local mall where the Apple Store is located was a major task. I assume those several thousand people lined up throughout the mall weren’t just looking.

    As for the article, the points are well-taken. Apple legitimized the notion that a smartphone was something for consumers, not just suits. And they may well do the same for tablet devices, transforming the eReader from a bibliophile’s toy to a must have consumer product.

    At the same time, though, I’m intrigued by the fact that no one has yet figured out the “sweet spot” for a device that combines the various functions that smartphones, netbooks, tablet PC’s,entertainment devices, and laptops all aim to provide to a greater or lesser degree. And that may be, of course, because technology doesn’t yet allow it.

    People have different needs, but I suspect that we’re all looking for a device we can (a) carry in a pocket or purse that (b) provides a large easily readable display for an aging population and (c) a keyboard/entry system that can be used by folks with less than flexible thumbs and (d) provides instant and quick access to the internet.

    As far as I can tell, that device requires both a holographic keyboard and display. We’re not there yet. And until we are, manufacturers will try to slice, dice, and combine functions and form factors in a variety of ways.

  • Jose G.

    This is where Google can take Apple by surprise. If Google Chrome OS had full access & use of the Android Market or Android is the tablet’s OS, you simply have to offer an overwhelming alternative to the iPad. This is the battle plan.

    1. Dual-core Snapdragons & dual core Atom processors. Give the people power, speed, & multi-tasking and they will come in waves. You offer a device that clocks better than the iPad in every conceivable way. iPad just looks as stale as the iPod/iPhone did when Android make it’s way to the phone market.

    2. Bigger storage. SSD’s are nice in theory for speed. However, current limitations are going to be Apple’s achillies heel. So attack back with bigger hard drives that are slower, but let’s you do more.

    3. Better screen technology. I think the AMOLED screens are so much better than what iPad currently uses. If we put bigger screens that present a great 16×9 for screens, that does at least 1200×800 screen resolution for full 720 HD resolution this holiday season & 1080 resolution for next holiday season, this put’s Apple on the defense because they don’t have the best screen tech available.

    4. Choice of content. This will take work with Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, & other content providers. We need to create multiple store avenues for content. I’d honestly have Google approach Microsoft & make a blockbuster deal of porting over the Zune Store to the Android. Do you know how huge that would be? Having instant access to movies, music, podcast, audiobooks, etc? At least to present a clear alternative to the iTunes store? I think that would be groundbreaking.

    6. Kick-butt marketing. This is where you do the old both the “Genesis Does” & a “iDon’t” version 2.0 commercials at the same time. If someone was bold enough to modern redo the 1984 commercial featuring Steve Jobs as “Big Brother” on television, that would be nothing short of groundbreaking. Also, I could see a marketing commercial where you’d see Phil Schiller as “Darth Vader” & Steve Jobs as “The Emperor” would be counterculture moment. I even could see a Star Trek: The Next Generation commercial featuring young Steve Jobs as Captain Picard, & old Steve Jobs as “Locutus”, adapting to serve the needs of Apple Inc. These powerful statements commercialized the right way would make an impact.

    It simply comes down to an agressive & realistic counterattack to what Apple’s doing. Google has plenty of room to stop the iPad domination cold in it’s tracks. The leadership & vision is what’s needed.

  • James

    I think it is disgusting and shows what a bunch of wH0res the media are. All that news is just advertising. Not a shred of journalism in it.

  • John

    On an iPad right now in the apple store. I have to admit it’s very fun. Not sure how great it would be on data speeds the touch screen for everything is awesome, and yes plants vs zombies is awesome on it. I would enjoy one but not so sure about the price and also would like to see what the competition can bring to the market over the next. Year

  • Delphi

    I still hate apple.. no one will ever convince me otherwise.

    ANDROID and MICROSOFT FTW! Apple = garbage

  • http://www.justdivineservices.com Vanessa

    I have been telling my friends the same since the ipad came out, they were all saying how cool it is and i was telling them Archos had already come out with something like that and it has android.

    Android Rules

  • Shawn

    Here’s another reason I think other tablets haven’t seen much action, advertising. I never seen a Archos commercial for a tablet nor any other tablet that I can think of other than the iPad. I’m still looking forward to the Notion tablet and also the HP slate though.

  • Victor

    Whats presented in this article is just Wishful Thinking ! iPhone/iPad domination hasn’t and won’t help Android. Only the betterment of Android will help Android. I have owned G1, Droid and currently got an iPhone from my work, and despite the lack of multitasking or other Android features, iPhone leaves Android devices in dust. iPhone got Buttery smooth Animations, nicely thought out User Interface, and best WiFi reception of all devices I have used so far. Android on the other hand feels like done in a Geek’s basement. Not to mention that Android Market is way behind App Store.

    My wife has an HTC Hero and she hates it with a passion. Earlier I could not understand why people will buy a limited device like iPhone. But after using it for a while, its pretty clear why its so popular. Its not about how many things it can do. Its about how well it does those few things. Android needs some quality control and a better rehash of its design philosophy.

  • preperationH

    The point always missed in these articles is that tablets have been around for AGES… people don’t want tablets.. they want giant ipods– only apple can do this.. so 80% of ipad buyers just want a giant super-powered ipod.. leaving about 20% “tablet curious” folks who might have tought about ipods in the past, but were too small.. might have thought kindle was cool, but otherwise useless.. etc.. An android tablet can’t to 10 point multitouch and can’t run ipod apps.. so for 80% of the ipad buyers.. it’d be neat but useless.

    Netflix on $250 or lower android tablet would be a bigtime win though.. This is the idea to push folks.

  • 2fr35h

    Surprisingly the iPad is very responsive i am using it in the Apple store as we type very Good quality screen although the key borrad iS huge and typos aré very easy to make… Still it’s just a huge ass iPod Touch and the spell check sucks ass

  • 2fr35h

    Alzo ñote 360 degree rotación why is tris typig in spanish grrr….

  • asqwerth

    Unfortunately, Apple’s marketing will make lots of people think they invented the tablet form, and any current or future tablets running Android will be seen as wannabe pretenders or copies of the “original” iPad. Not sure if that is helpful to Android.

  • Anchann

    It all comes down to the OS. I chose my MacBook because I got tired of Windows. I chose my Android because iPhone is not offered with my carrier. After more than 7 months of use with my Android, I would still switch to the iPhone if they offered it. I just prefer Apple’s OS over the competition. Not too keen on their hardware mind you, but the OS is what it all comes down to.

  • djflan

    I will be the first to admit that I love Google. I love all the free services, and I believe in general, anything Google does, it does well. That being said, Apple and Google are two VERY different companies. Google is primarily an advertising/search company and Apple is a hardware/software company. Google either needs to buyout a hardware vendor (palm anyone???) or produce its own hardware to be competitive in this market. If you take a look at Apple products, there is not a single one they have invented. Where Apple shines is mass market appeal, Apple makes crap popular. As much as I can’t stand Steve Jobs, the man is a genius. Apple has every media outlet marketing their products for them. Until Google can truly innovate (both with hardware and software), earn the respect of serious developers, and convince the general public that they NEED their products, they are only a niche player. The guys at Google need to sit in a room and just think…think of a product they would like that has not already been produced and go for it. Google has the purchasing power, and can garner respect from developers to do something like this. All that is needed then is effective advertising…something Google should be familiar with.

  • Terrell

    Very good article Rob

  • Tommy

    Lets state the truth here,, If Apple had put Flash, Multitasking, even 1 USB slot this would be really fun to have! , I could surf the web and work on my little webpage.. I love being able to work the screen with gestures,,The problem is you have to many brilliant people @ Apple and not enough common sense ,, I don’t think Google will make this Mistake ..Love Apple Products I just wish they would think about the simple things..

  • rkaid

    @maxisma, +1

  • http://www.twitter.com/cookingcapsules Mary Ann

    This is a really interesting point, Rob. I agree!

  • IllYo

    I think a decent Android tablet using swype would be a big wow factor. Sitting right next to a $600 whypad but with a mere 1/3 the pricetag (give or take) and way more bang for your buck if you ask me.

  • Presto117

    I’m sorry, I love Android, but I would never buy an Android tablet. I think it’s a great phone os, sure, but put it on a tablet, and what is it? it’s a giant phone that doesn’t make phone calls and doesn’t benefit from the size at all. At least with the iPad, people are designing apps specifically for it. Apps that serve specific purposes that take advantage of all of that screen, and the OS was upgraded to look/feel/act more like a Mac, which is a huge plus. You could download iWork onto it and work from there with some pretty great usability. You could download HD movies from iTunes and watch those. I will continue to keep buying Android phones (I plan on buying a N! or the Motorola Motoroi whenver that comes out), but I would never buy an Android tablet for these reasons.

  • Resh Windblade

    Dont forget Google refuse to allow non-phone makers to include Android Marketplace, which translate to a big fail when compared to the Ipad with’s it millions of apps, while Android has the potential but google wont allow it

  • ChainReaction

    @asqwerth

    “Unfortunately, Apple’s marketing will make lots of people think they invented the tablet form, and any current or future tablets running Android will be seen as wannabe pretenders or copies of the “original” iPad. Not sure if that is helpful to Android.”

    Agreed, as the iPhone story. I believe that at the end of the day – Android triumphs, especially if you compare the self-statistics chronologically. When Android exposure raises in hundreds of percents Apple maintain an only-sustainable amount.

    The article brings a good point, I said similar things about the iPhone to my friends.

  • Sergio

    It’s like Microsoft’s Origami Project (which had one of the best on-screen keyboards I have ever seen) all over again. Microsoft was trying to convince people that wanted a go anywhere tablet that would make life simpler. They made a very compelling argument and I know quite a few people who would have bought one of the devices. It was the price that made them a flop. Of course this was like five years ago, before small energy efficient processors (Intel Atom, Qualcom Snapdragon, etc.), capacitive touch screens, and easily integratable Lithium Ion batteries became so affordable.

  • Anonymous

    Swype on a 7-10″ screen FTW. Otherwise, I am considering getting an Archos 7. I can use AndroZip on my Droid Eris to turn any app into an APK, put it on my tablet, and load it again into the app, almost as good as having the Market. I think that Apple’s advertising is where it gets Google, Microsoft, and others despite its crappy hardware and software. I want to see a dual-booted Android 2.1 and Windows 7 tablet with an Atom N450, 2 DDR2 slots, a 2.5″ hard drive bay and 1-3 USB ports, and a front-facing webcam. At the same price point as the iPad, with equally wide availability and as much marketing, a catchy name and a sleek look, this thing would sell a lot.

  • Bob Wolfe

    It would great if a nice looking, impressively fast android tablet actually existed at this point. But there is no such thing. Can you say VAPORWARE?

  • Pierre

    I don’t think the linguists would actually say either “more good” nor “gooder”, they would probably say “better”…
    Besides that, good article :)

  • Coldcase

    Hmm, come to think of it, id rather stick with HP Slate( whenever it comes out).I kn0w most people hate Microsoft but its my own personal likes. And as everyone says Multitasking is a must. I dont see much on Ipad besides Watching video, Photo viewing, and some games, in honest truth i kind like the games on the ipad. Not sure about the Android, i only see few games that worth playing on. But like i said its my personal like, i did not intend to judge anyone on their personal likes.

  • saqqara

    Once again apple have pulled it off, put style over substance and reinvented the tablet, adding to the reinvention of the mp3 player and the smartphone and we will all have to put up with years of apple brainwashed users telling us these things never existed before apple. Add to that every technology journalist will lever hundreds of column inches talking about the next ipad killer when referring to a machine miles better than the ipad, I can hardly wait, sadly the emoticon for bored yawn and fed up is missing.

  • heulenwolf

    Amen, Rob.

  • Chaz

    Great article!!
    Android is definitely the future of OS. As soon as an Ipad comparable tablet comes out with Android OS, OLED Screen, USB, Expandable Memory, Fast processor, good battery life, card readers ect. People will look twice before buying an ipad.

    The ANDROIDS are coming!! and the “fruit” can’t do anything but see it consume the market.

  • AGx-07_162

    To me, the IPad is bad for the same reasons I think the XBOX 360 is, except on purpose. The thing might be a great device (hardware wise) in its own right but at the same time, Apple purposely leaves out very standard, very important things in both its OS and hardware. No camera? No USB? No Flash? Before you can even attach a camera or USB keyboard you have to buy a peripheral to attach your attachment to. So to make your Ipad with its lack of a camera, USB and a decent keyboard, you have just added close to (if not more than) $100 to your already $500+ item and for what? A slightly bigger screen than say the HP Slate and that Apple logo? With the Slate you get Windows 7 (you dont have to love it but it has its strong points), 1080p support, Front and Back facing cameras, Multitasking, a faster 1.6ghz processor and double the RAM.

    Why does Apple appeal? Because its Apple and it disgusts me the way people mindlessly buy lesser products from companies because of “loyalty”.

  • Bored person

    I’d like to sneak up on top of At&t stores and inflate a huge Android robot. I’d like to paint by car lime green and run over iPhones with it. I’d like to ask the first person I see with an iPad if I can check it out for a second…and then throw it on the ground just to see the look on their face lol. I think I’d like to put my iTunes music on my other devices, but I can’t. I’d like to make the only Kool-Aid flavor lime, but most people wouldn’t understand why. LASTLY: I’d like to go get some markers and draw apples all over my vaccume (spelling correct??)cleaner because it sucks. Hopefully reading this made you all laugh…I know I did!

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  • Anthony

    Best article I’ve ever read on this site. I actually checked to see if this was a paraphrased NY Times article!

  • Drew

    Comapare prices of the Droid and Nexus One to the iphone, are we so sure that an Android or Chrome based tablet is going to be much less than an iPad. What about the build quality between Google and Apple, Microsoft Pcs. In my opinion there is no comparison. Having quality is important to most use irrespective of the software provided. Apple succeeds in both quality and UI for the vast majority of users. Android being more focused on techies in my opininon has poor build build quality. What I do like is the growing competition bewteen different OS that can only be a win win situation for consumers.

  • http://test Tom

    The current cost of the iPad is as low as it is due to the possiblity of other companies comming in and attempting to undercut the iPad. I believe once Apple believes the market has matured to a state where component/manufacturing prices drop the iPad will remain at it’s price point allowing their margins to grow. So what they are doing (or trying to do) is grow the existing consumer market for tablets which before now was extremely small. If they succeed they will have a large market share, increased margins and brand recognition.

    Remember since Apple is the is a “Systems” company they design the hardware and software. MS tried to throw hardware at it and hardware vendors followed in the Tablet PC, which did and still doesn’t sell well. They also tried the MID which didn’t sell well.
    Apple sells well because it’s not selling hardware or software is selling the whole experience. Could they have opened it up more, of course they could have. However they want the experience to be the same, or with as little deviation as possible, from the first time someone tries their product to the end of the products life.

    The iPhone is ingenious as it keeps people buying a new one every 2 years on average, and everyone that I know that has one is planning to upgrade within 2 years of owning their first. Although iPhone sales will level out and maybe decrease a little it’s money in the bank for Apple over the next few years. Ipad is probably a 3 – 5 year device similar to a regular computer, which any Company would love to have, now the real question is how successful will it be, only time will tell.