Andy Rubin: Google looking to “double down” on tablets to improve sales


We have been enjoying our Android tablets for over a year. But we represent a very small percentage compared to Apple’s 50 million iPads sold in two years. The general consumer is simply much more interested in the iPad, but Andy Rubin says that Google is not leaving its arms crossed, and is looking to “double down” on the situation, making sure that 2012 changes the tables in favor of the Search Giant.

In comparison, Google has sold only about 12 million tablets. At an interview, in Barcelona, Andy Rubin states that such issue is going to be heavily addressed in 2012. These are Andy’s words:

“There’s no organized way for consumers to recognize it as a viable platform. The educated consumer realizes it now that they’re either picking the Apple ecosystem or the Microsoft ecosystem or the Google ecosystem… we’re going to do a better job at making people understand what ecosystem they’re buying into.”

This means that Rubin believes that educating the masses about Android as a unified platform will further entice customers to purchase Google’s tablets. But the issue is not only ignorance of the platform.

There is a lack of quality tablet-specific apps in the Android Market. Apps are half of the product (if not more), so this is sure to be an important factor. Overall, Rubin states that this has much to do with the fact that Android tablets are selling much less than the competing OS.

Developers concentrate on hitting larger markets, as well as keeping profits higher (spending less). This is why there is such a huge selection of Android phone applications. Android smartphones are currently dominating the market. But Google is gaining momentum in the tablet market, and hopes that it will be more relevant in such.

“We’re now starting to get on the radar, and I’m hoping people decide to put in the muscle and make their apps work great on tablets.”

With a bit of education, Rubin says, developers can do a bit more work to make their Android apps tablet-aware. It is a bit of the chicken and the egg dilemma. Android needs to grow in order to further push developers to improve their apps. At the same time, developers doing their work would substantially push push the Android tablet ecosystem.

We will have to wait and see how Google works on these issues this year. But for now, tell us. Do you prefer iPads over Android tablets? And why?

[Via: The Verge]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. Google can’t complain about the lack of tablet apps considering it hasn’t even optimized all of its own apps for tablets.

  2. I think the issue is that while the whole selection/variety thing is good, an ipad is an ipad and its known for being pretty darn good.
    People dont know that there are android tablets that are just as good (if not better in some cases) because there are sooooo soooo many that just frankly suck.

    And in many cases, tablets that would take sales away from the ipad buy being cheaper, dont because they are simply way overpriced for what they offer (Im looking at you htc and motorola)

  3. I bought the Nook Tablet and rooted it the second I got it home so that I have access to the  Android Market instead of the crappy B&N one and I have installed the Alpha version of CM7 that is out now and it changes the playing field for the tablet. So for a more then half the price I can do everything that I would use an Ipad for if I ever went that route which I will never do because of the way apple is right now so for me its android all the way.

  4. Android. I don’t let Apple products anywhere near me. Besides it’s cheaper and I have great integration across so many devices.

    1. what is your response if someone standing next to you flashes an apple product? 

  5. iPad is eons ahead of android tablets in usability and availability of apps. Android smartphones are awesome, but the lack of multitouch gestures on android tablets is a glaring omission. 

    Source of opinion: I have one sony tablet s, one HP touchpad, and an iPad 2 too.

  6. My very conservative corporate I.T. department recently approved the iPad for enterprise use. I have 100% work functionality on the iPad. They also noted that Android tablets couldn’t pass a single security test for even a mid-level hack attack. As a tool for entertainment, I like the Android tablets more. However, with the price tags the tablet manufactures want to shove down our throats, iPad it will be for me. 

    1. Pretty sure that iOS and Safari is usually the first hacked at DEF CON every year, and Apple always pushes out an update immediately before the conference starts.

  7. Don’t have one but plan on getting an Android tablet (never owned any pos Apple products in my life and never will)

    1. thank you for admitting that you’ve never owned an apple product, that way your comment can be written off as being null and void.

      1. I never owned any iProduct but I’ve tried them long enough to know I wouldn’t want to. I like to customize things the way I like, I truly HATE the mess that is iTunes and the fact that you can’t easily get around it. I can add any file to my phone wherever I am without the nedd for any proprietary software and the risk to wipe out my entire music collection because of a misclick. (My daughter erased the content of a friend’s iPod trying to add a song to it for over an hour, a process that would have been quick and painless on any 20$ MP3 player.)

  8. I think that google should have done this a long time ago. 

    Speaking as a highschooler and an Android enthusiast; it is incredible how much ignorance that exists about this issue. 

    Most people at my school have heard about android phones (as they call it droids)
    But most of those people haven’t used it or had any experience with it. 

    On the other hand everyone has heard of the iphone and have used one at least once.

    I’ve asked probably 60 people which they prefer and the results were about 95% apple. Now while there isnt anything wrong with preferring apple to google. I do think that it comes down to the public not being aware of the advantages of android. 

    It has also become an issue of ignorance. I asked the 57ish people who preferred apple why it was their preference. A few people gave viable preferences but most were unable to come up with a reason besides i cant play pyramid run on android.
    These people were also unwilling to listen to any of my points and wrote off many of the facts about android.

    A list of my points and their arguments. 
    1. Apple doesn’t support NFC  –   What is NFC?
    2. Apple doesn’t support 4g    –  4g isn’t any faster than 3g
    3. Apple doesn’t allow customization of their OS   –   Who cares i like it the way it is
    4. Apple iphone devices have a much smaller screen   –   It is perfect size any bigger and it is unusable
    5. The iphone is very fragile and almost requires a case  –   Dont drop it.

    As is very clear from my points above it is all down to a biased opinion of the general public and i believe educating them will help prevent this biased.

    1. Great explanation. A lot of consumers are ignorant followers.

      1. Thanks that means a lot

      2. dude I see this everyday where I work. I have noticed though alot of consumers are becoming more conscious of the options they have in front of them. Alot of people are realizing that Apple isn’t the company they used to be. Most of my customers have made the switch to android because they have the choice of what they want in their phone or tablet. I think in the coming year we will see a huge growth in the adoption of android tabs.  

        1. I realized Apple wasn’t the company it used to be when I was a kid… when they changed iTunes, I lost ALL of my music. seriously, like 1,000 songs. Then when the iPhone came out, I wasn’t very opinionated until the 3gs, when I saw software improvements. It was about then, several years ago, that I started becoming really nerdy, researching phones, circuits, computers, etc. Android was the obvious choice, and as more and more sheep-like lemmings owned by the Apple brand were using their little shatter magnets, I hated Apple more and more by the day. Thank goodness for sites like these. Android has also finally become as smooth as IOS in 4.0, so it finally has every possible advantage to it except for the brand. Any day, people will choose for Google to rule their lives, because it makes darn good products.

    2. NFC? 4g? OS customisation? These are clearly non-issues for most of the people out there. Who on earth knows what NFC means but nerds/geeks?
      People just don’t care about niche specs or high customisation. They want a phone that works smooth. And that is what iPhone does. It works. And it works smooth. If you want to “educate” them, start asking them to transfer a photo to your cell phone via bluetooth…

  9. Tablets are such a niche market, I don’t see them being anywhere near as popular as smartphones are. Basically its just a bigger phone and I don’t see people, outside of the tech community clamoring to get one being that they already have a laptop and a smarthphone that suits their uses. Outside of nooks and kindles that serve a purpose for reading books, what specialism do tablets offer. 

    1. notetaking in college, more lightweight than most computers, longer battery life, touch interface. true, laptops can do most of these things, but the tablet just seems to me to be the better option for students and travelers

      1. Well then you gotta ask, it that convenience worth paying $500 for?

        1. considering thats the price of a lowend-decent laptop, and i got my iconia for $300, yeah, a tabs a no-brainer. 

    2. are you joking? pretty sure there are plenty of yuppies that want to have the latest thing just to have it to browse pottery barn.

    3. I also find it to be an awkward niche, but hopefully we’ll see improvements in RAM and ROM, as well as overall storage, then if we get more devices like the Transformer Prime, we’ll have ourselves some nice laptops. Windows 7 freezes too much anyway. (P.S. tablets are a lot better than “phoneblets” or netbooks)

  10. The, only reasons ipick Android tablets over the pad, is because a 7 inch tab can fit right in my pocket. And, because of the sd card.

  11. Won’t buy any pad until they can play Vita, Ps3, or Xbox games not like they can’t make the Vita a 10in tab.

  12. I believe the public is waiting for the true android tablet, and as far as the need for educating them, it would be better to demonstrate the apps to arouse the need of the user. This is how my wife gets interested in tech, when she sees its something she can use, and figuring it out is a piece of cake when satisfying the need.

  13. Sold my iPad a couple months ago. It’s a fantastic device, but ultimately I’m a “root” user. I like cutting edge tech and full blown customization. Android gives me that. I’m rocking an HP TouchPad running CM9 right now and I’ve never loved a tablet more. I’ve tried the Kindle Fire, Notion Ink Adam, Nook Color, iPad 2, you name it. There’s just nothing quite like Ice Cream Sandwhich on a capable device. The app selection is not the same, I’ll grant it, but if I can modify the APK to work, then who cares right?

    Ultimately the Market may not compare to the iTunes store, but the dev community shatters anything I’ve seen on any other platform. It’s not even close.

  14. Android.  I have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 with ICS (hehe… u mad?).  I mainly use it for poker, light web browsing, email, and other similar things to do while sitting on the toilet and laying in bed to fall asleep with.  I definitely don’t need it.  It’s a coolness factor.

  15. I’d love to see as many great apps on my ASUS Transformer Prime, but I enjoy using my Prime more than the iPad 2. The reasons: customizability and overall functionality. iOS really is just a glorified app launcher, whereas ICS has some great widgets that really do extend the usefulness of a tablet. The apps aren’t there yet, but it’s getting better.

  16. I personally prefer android over apple and really have my eye on the newly announced Samsung tablet, but there is no question the iPad 3 deserves at least a look.

  17. One of the biggest problems facing tablets, that has been around since honeycomb and is still in ICS, has yet to be addressed. The bottom bar staying there and never being able to be hidden. It only goes into “lights out” mode. We need to be able to HIDE the bottom bar.

    This is but one of MANY enhancement requests that requests this ability.

  18. I have a Color Nook (w/ ICS), Toshiba Thirve tablet (HC) , iPad 1, ChromeBook, and
    a low end Android phone (CM7). I want the tablet version of what Canonical is doing with getting Ubuntu running on dual-core + Android phones.

  19. “We’re now starting to get on the radar, and I’m hoping people decide to
    put in the muscle and make their apps work great on tablets.”

    Me too. Maybe you should share your hope with the G+ team, Andy.

  20. Some things to fix if android is to even come close to competing with apple.

    -Unification: I know ICS was suppose to fix the issue of fragmentation but im not talking about software as that is the next point but first having all sorts of manufacturers making tablets confuses the customers.  a big reason apple is winning is because they have one machine one os and it all works.  

    -os: android is not as reliable as ios, everything on ios just works.  apps seldom force close and everything works the way you expect them too even if it is a glorified app launcher.  but the biggest thing is its simple and easy to use.  Ive always said that Customization is android’s double edge sword.

    -keyboard: this is a personal beef but their might be others that feel the same, but for god sakes FIX THE KEYBOARD! its not as responsive or quick to correct and the keys are not tall enough making the keyboard feel scrunched.  I think this is due to the nature of the tablets being widescreen and the ipad being wider in portrait mode. regardless upgrade the keyboard.  I understand there are other keyboard apps i can download but ive tried alot of them and i always find myself back to the stock even though it still pales to compare with ipads.  The transformer was a godsend for me for this fact alone.

    -Status bar: move it to the top or make it so we can not accidentally bump into it while typing.

  21. If Google wants to push their ecosystem, they need to stop developing apps for Apple and MS products.  Force the issue, if you want Google maps and such, you buy an Android device.  They would lose some revenue, but Google is big enough to handle the short term loss.

  22. I don’t see myself buying a tablet for personal use now. I’ll give it another year or so to mature some more, mainly in app development.

  23. You’re asking Android phone fans what tablet they prefer? That’s not biased…

    Regardless, Android hands down as the UI customizations, widgets, connection to other devies, etc. all works seamlessly. I couldn’t be happier with my Transformer, and the keyboard peripheral is the icing on top, the iPad doesn’t come close to my Transformer.

    The mass market is too blind to notice Android OS has caught up and surpased iOS, it’s a great experience on high end devices since 2011.

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