Why Android Tablets Failed

Why Android Tablets Failed

Today, when most people hear the word ‘tablet,’
they immediately think ‘iPad.’ In fact, Apple has held such a dominate position for
so long that it’s easy to forget what the tablet market looked like before the iPad’s
release. But that isn’t the case when it comes to smartphones. Although the iPhone
has been very successful, Google was able to overtake Apple in smartphone marketshare
back in 2010, and today Android dominates the global market. So why did Google fail
to replicate their smartphone success with tablets? Well, that’s exactly what we’re
going to find out. This is Greg with Apple Explained, and I want to thank Paperlike for
sponsoring this video. If you want to help decide which topics I cover, make sure you’re
subscribed and these voting polls will show up in your mobile activity feed. Now before we get into the reasons why Android
tablets failed to gain much traction among customers, we need to understand what the
tablet market looked like before the iPad was around. Because tech companies had different
ideas of what a tablet should be and how it should function. And it was these different
approaches to tablets that determined which companies succeeded, and which struggled.
So one of the biggest players in the tablet market beginning in 2003 was Microsoft with
what they called the Microsoft Tablet PC. It ran a slightly modified version of the
Windows operating system, which allowed for input from a stylus rather than a keyboard
and mouse. Now as you can see, these tablet PCs were clunky, at about an inch thick, heavy,
at about 3 to 4 pounds, and suffered from poor battery life, delivering about 4 to 5
hours of use. And to make matters even worse, these Microsoft Tablet PCs had an average
price tag of about $2,000. Which made them significantly more expensive than their notebook
computer equivalent. So as you may’ve guessed, these tablets
never had much commercial success. But this didn’t stop Apple users from wanting their
own version of these tablet computers. In fact, some third party companies like Axiotron
took matters into their own hands and created Macintosh tablet computers themselves. But
these devices were based on the same approach Microsoft took to tablet PCs. The idea that
tablets should run a desktop-computer OS designed for a mouse. And this created some innate
challenges. In order to run Windows or Mac OS on a tablet, you’d need the precision
of a cursor. Which is why you had to use a stylus rather than your fingers. Also, the
tablet needs all the hardware of a desktop computer. It needs a desktop-grade processor,
GPU, and cooling system. All of which come at the detriment of battery life. So as Apple began developing on their own
version of the tablet, it became clear they needed to take a different approach. Instead
using Mac OS, they’d give their tablet iOS, a mobile operating system already used on
the iPhone. And this was a good decision for a few reasons. iOS was power efficient which
would allow for all-day battery life, it featured multitouch which eliminated the need for a
stylus, and it could run on Apple’s low-power A4 system-on-a-chip, which allowed for a compact,
thin, and light design. Not to mention how much cheaper this tablet would be to produce
than a traditional desktop computer. That’s part of the reason why tech analysts were
shocked when Apple announced the iPad’s starting price of $500, about half of what
most people were predicting. Now it wasn’t long before the iPad proved
to be a huge hit, which prompted other tech companies to create similar devices that ran
Google’s Android OS. And the following year in 2011, the market was flooded with Android
tablets. Just take a look at this article which said, “Tablets absolutely stole the
show at CES 2011. Just about every company had one. While the idea of a tablet may sound
exciting, the majority of these were unfortunately poorly put together Android tablets.” “It
felt as though some companies had merely glued a screen, a battery back, a processor, and
some memory together and loaded Android onto it thinking it would sell. Aside from a few
brand-name tablets, the majority on the show floor were still running Android 2.0, 2.1,
or 2.2. While those versions of Android aren’t necessarily bad, the OS was built for a phone” So right from the beginning, the majority
of Android tablets were delivering poor functionality and performance. It was clear that manufacturers
were rushing products to market to try and steal as much of the iPads thunder as possible.
But these manufacturers didn’t understand what made the iPad so desirable in the first
place. Because if you remember back to the iPads introduction, Steve Jobs made it very
clear that while the iPad had fantastic hardware, it was the software that would define the
user experience. And while apps made for the iPhone could run on the iPad and be scaled
up, Scott Forstall told developers that they should modify their apps and rewrite the interface
in order to take advantage of the iPads larger display. Similar to what Apple did with their
Photos, Music, Calendar, and YouTube apps. So in order to encourage developers to rewrite
their applications, Apple created an iPad Software Development Kit that was released
the same day as the iPad’s introduction. A very strategic move by Apple that gave developers
over two months to prepare iPad-optimized versions of their apps. That way, when the
very first iPad was sold, there would already be a marketplace of high-quality iPad apps
available for download. And that brings me to one of the biggest reasons
why Android tablets failed. They started off running a smartphone operating system with
apps that weren’t optimized for a tablet’s larger display. In fact, many of these early
Android tablets didn’t even have access to Google Marketplace to download third party
apps. Google was working on an operating system called Honeycomb which was optimized for tablets,
but manufacturers wanted to bring their devices to market as soon as possible, and didn’t
want to wait on Google to finish their work on Honeycomb. This resulted in what I mentioned
earlier, hundreds of cheap Android tablets running a smartphone operating system that
resulted in a poor user experience. This created nothing but confusion and frustration for
customers, and severely damaged the reputation of Android tablets right off the bat. It’s a story that we’ve heard before with
MP3 players and the iPod. There were hundreds of MP3 players on the market trying to compete
with the iPod, but none of them were able to gain any traction. Mainly because of their
poor build quality, software, and user interface. Despite being a fraction of the cost, most
customers shopping for a music player ignored these MP3 players and instead opted for the
iPod. And there were a few reasons for this that may sound familiar. Everyone knew what
the iPod was. And most people who didn’t own one probably had friends or family members
who did. They likely used the device for themselves before purchasing and was satisfied with the
experience. Perhaps they’d like to save money by buying a cheaper MP3 player, but
they understood that no other device would deliver the same experience as the iPod. And
many people learned this for themselves by purchasing a generic MP3 player, becoming
frustrated by its complexity or poor functionality, and leaving it in the junk drawer never to
be used again. Which is very similar to what happened with Android tablets. But this is only one piece of the puzzle,
because a recurring challenge with Android is device fragmentation. It’s a problem
when it comes to their smartphones, but it’s an even bigger problem with their tablets.
Because all the iPad’s advantages could only be achieved with Apple’s end-to-end
control over hardware, software, and the app store. When it came to Android, things were
much less organized. How can a developer optimize an app for hundreds of different devices with
display sizes that range from seven to thirteen inches? And how can apps run efficiently when
there are dozens of different processors and chipsets they need to be compatible with? To put it plainly, it’s a nightmare to develop
applications for Android tablets. And considering the small install base, it simply isn’t
worth many developers time and effort to rewrite their smartphone apps for tablets. And it
causes what I call the “developer deterrent” problem. You see, Android tablets have never
sold well historically, so there isn’t a very large user base. This means developers
aren’t motivated to create custom designed apps for those devices. Instead, existing
smartphone apps are simply stretched to fill the tablet’s larger display, rather than
being truly optimized to take advantage of the extra screen real estate. This issue is
slowly improving, but it’s part of the reason why the app ecosystem on Android tablets has
always been underwhelming, and this discourages people from buying them. So you can see the
vicious cycle that forms: People aren’t buying Android tablets since their apps aren’t
optimized, and developers aren’t optimizing apps for Android tablets because of the small
user base. And when you consider the fact that Apple users spend twice as much money
on apps than Android users, it’s easy to understand why developers invest more time
and effort creating high quality apps for iPads. Now Google eventually released their Honeycomb
3.0 operating system which was designed for devices with larger displays. But it was extremely
buggy and difficult to navigate, unlike the straightforward interface of the iPad. It
was clear that Google was trying to deliver a tablet OS as quickly as possible to compete
with Apple, but in the process missed the mark completely. Focusing on creating a more
traditional desktop computer interface rather than investing resources in the features that
mattered most to users. Like a large ecosystem with apps optimized for the devices they owned.
And ever since that Honeycomb release, Google has proved that they don’t understand what
it takes to create a successful Android tablet. In 2012 they released the Nexus 7, which was
what they thought buyers wanted. A cheap mini tablet that included Google Wallet, Near Field
Communication, and their voice assistant Google Now. But the device was poorly built plagued
with bugs that rendered it useless for most users after just one year. In 2014 Google flipped their strategy on its
head and released the Nexus 9. A more premium tablet similar to the iPad mini whose selling
point was the NVIDIA “Denver” Tegra K1 chip. It was supposed to be one of the only chipsets
to give the iPad a run for its money, but it ended up falling behind the iPad Air 2’s
A8X. Plus, Google’s tablets were still suffering from unoptimized apps that didn’t deliver
the same full-featured experience as the iPad. The Nexus 9 was discontinued about 18 months
later as Google shifted their strategy yet again. They introduced the Pixel C near the
end of 2015 which looked to challenge Apple’s iPad Air 2. But despite adopting some of the
same features and design cues as the iPad Air, the Pixel C was plagued by Android’s
poor support for tablet hardware and a tiny app ecosystem that paled in comparison to
the iPad’s App Store. In June of 2019 Google stopped development and production of all
their tablets and confirmed they’d no longer be making those devices. Instead, Google would
be investing their resources in notebook computers. So while Android has experienced tremendous
success on smartphones, it hasn’t been able to overcome the fragmentation, poor app ecosystem,
and underwhelming performance that has plagued the platform since the very first Android
tablets were released in 2011. Now when it comes to the iPad, there’s a
reason why it’s the first choice tablet of illustrators and note-takers. And it has
everything to do with the Apple Pencil. But if there was just one thing I could change
about the iPad’s writing and drawing experience, it’d be the slipperiness of the display
glass. Well, thanks to Paperlike, we can now have that tactile experience of using a pencil
and paper on our iPads. All you have to do is apply Paperlike to your iPad’s display
like any other screen protector, and you have the ultimate drawing and note-taking tablet.
The surface of Paperlike is has a very fine-grain texture that mimics paper and makes writing
feel more natural. Not only does it feel like you’re writing on paper, but it sounds like
paper too. Just listen to how the Apple Pencil sounds on glass… and now on Paperlike…
But Paperlike does even more than that. It dramatically reduces glare and fingerprints
since the protector essentially acts as a matte cover, and it’s designed to preserve
the Apple Pencil’s rubber nib, whereas other screen protectors could potentially wear it
out faster than usual. Paperlike also includes some free bonuses like an extra cover, application
accessories, and a helpful instruction video to make the application process quick and
easy. If you want to check out Paperlike yourself just click the link in the description and
be sure to use coupon code “appleexplained” at the checkout for 10% off and free worldwide
shipping. Alright guys thanks for watching and I’ll
see you next time.


100 thoughts on “Why Android Tablets Failed”

  • Ur channel is literally just covering up apple's mistakes and emphasising on the other competitors literally just shitty propaganda

  • I used an Android tablet for a long time, I had a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, and it was great. Nothing like they were made to look like in this video. I feel like most of what you talked about now is how Android tablets were, not how they are now. I didn't think that the apps not tablet-optimized were bad. Saying that they're "stretched" kind of feels a bit exaggerated, because while some apps weren't tablet-optimized, they weren't "stretched" either. It looked way better than the iPad scaling up iPhone apps, because that way it's not blocky. It kind of annoys me that Instagram doesn't have an iPad-optimized app. It's 2019, Mr. Zucc.

  • I’ve used android tablets in the past, and all I can say is that they suck balls.

    An iPad feels like an iPad, while an android tablet feels like an oversized smartphone due to crappy apps and experience.

  • Looks like I've stumbled into an apple hug box. I'm watching this on an old Nexus 7, ive never needed to upgrade since there is nowhere near as much forced obsolescence for Android devices.

  • strangepigeon6 says:

    Someone gave me this really cheap and nasty Android tablet called an "iMedia Blaze". It lagged all the time, but I still managed to get it to play games and do social media. I have a bit of nostalgia for it even though it was a piece of shit. My first experiences on Android were with that device.

    I also have a tablet that runs Windows 8.1. It's a good device, but the screen is way too small for a desktop operating system.

  • einfachkeinfame says:

    android tablets might have failed, but in my opinion, they're still better than ipads, except maybe if they're cheaply made. a high quality android tablet is better than an ipad imo. i just dont like ios because i feel kind of "limited" when using it. you have way more customization on android than you have on ios, and for example side loading apps using apks cant be done on an ipad, which really annoys me. i never had an ipad, but i know people who do, i tried it and i dont like it, just like iphones. i dont like apple in general, except maybe macbooks, they look kinda good and i like the os. but smartphones and tablets from apple feel… wrong? maybe its just me, but ill stick with android tablets. they're also (mostly) not laggy anymore and became a bit cheaper.

  • billyhatcher643 says:

    its sad that android tablets failed due to them rushing out the tablets but when u rush products it fails even faster and also they dont have it easy for development ether

  • nicholas collins says:

    i have to disagree with you. When I hear "tablet" i think of Android tablets meaning "knockoffs". Typically when people are referring to an "iPad" i feel they actually mean iPad. At this point nothing comes close to it. And this is coming form an Android guy

  • I had 2 unbranded Argos android tabs before switching to iPad because my one android battery died at the age of 2 years and my other was cheap and was not 5 year old sister proof (she is a plainrock124)

  • Rustam Khamdamov says:

    That's funny to hear that the iPad's success is thanks to Apple pencil, the same device that the Apple and it's fun base despised in Samsung devices. And look, we are here – with a pencil.

  • Nexus 7 was an amazing device for the time; for 250$ it was as good as flag-ship smartphones while being 2 to 3x cheaper. I used it + a flip phone for many years until upgrading to a nexus 5. Widgets and proper bluetooth mouse support for remote control actually made it better than an ipad or ipod touch in my eyes. That being said though, android hasn't gotten any better at being a tablet OS since then, so I'm not surprised that the iPad is king now.

  • Gucci Chicken nuggets says:

    A lot of android users hate iPhones so hate iPads,

    iPads are just different to iPhones in every single way

    iPads are Better, Love your ipad

  • Dr. Sri Ravi Teja says:

    I've been android user all my life barring using bada OS for an unfortunate year.
    I hate ios because i feel it's very claustrophobic, if that's a thing.

    But i bought an ipad last year and I'm loving it not because it's better than android but there isn't no alternative to it.
    It doesn't let me do a lot but it dies what it does with near perfection and reliable consistency.

  • Dr. Sri Ravi Teja says:

    Android tablets are like a 70 year old using viagra. It gives you a world of opportunities but only for a short time. Whenever you try to do something it's supposed to do, either it won't or with a greater difficulty

  • Jimmy Tretow-Loof says:

    Hm… i wasent aware that Android Tablets failed… been using them for years and would never ever buy a apple product…

  • ronnie avenido says:

    We need a very powerfull tablet now a days,since the games from pc is now in a mobile divece…those heavy games ,like pubg, needs a powefull hardware,os, that only ios can handle smoothly..hoping in andriod os,they will make a powefull tabs..coz cellphone has small screen..

  • I had android an android tablet, it was okay until it broke, got another one and that one lasted me from late 2015 until early 2017 when the touch died on it, got ANOTHER one, that was absolute crap so I stuck with my ancient iPod and shitty pc. I never returned to tablets until June 2019 when I got an iPad and the iPad is great.

  • Steve Ramsdell says:

    Closed system means all you can do is what they let you do. Sorry to say I've been an Android open system since it came out . Mainly because the closed system of Microsoft and Mac. Maybe when I get senile I'll be ready for a Mac OS.

  • I guess i'm the only person who likes their android tablet. I have a Zenpad 3S 10, I use it for reading, watching video, and a few games. Not much but it was pretty cheap. Everything else is done on my multi monitor battlestation

  • Beartank Operator says:

    I don’t understand the video apple iPad has not held the majority of the market share since like 2012 or 13 at the end of 2018 they had 28% of the world market which is great and all but android has about 60%, if you want to compare manufacturers then yeah apple is the biggest individual manufacturer of tablets but he is comparing operating systems in the video and android dwarfs iOS in both tablets and phones so is it just that he thinks it is better regardless of sales?

  • problem is simple..people expect cheaper cost for android. if you pay equal amount as ipad you get quality products like samsung and lenovo which can outrun ipad any day with expandable storage, better performance, connectivity like nfc, 4g cards built in rather than ipad that makes it expensive to have basic things like memory and 4g sim support. i have a 16gb ipad and i am frustated with how quickly it runs out of memory. i use it only for netflix and some small games, so i dont see how ipad is worth it.

  • It's quite a shame; I had an Android tablet (Nexus 7 (2013)), and it ran great, even better than the phones I had at the time (Samsung Galaxy S6/S7 edge) and is probably what led me to getting a Pixel phone (Pixel 2 XL). Though I did use it more as an oversized phone, considering it wasn't much bigger than one, but it got everything done and operation was smooth.

  • I had a iphone 3GS & iphone 4, then Samsung Galaxy 4, 6, 8, & now Note 9. Its unlikely that Ill ever go back to iphone. However I dont want an ipad…surely the Samsung tablets are good?
    Need to also mention that Ive used only Apple computers since about 2005…

  • Joke's on you; I still prefer Android tablets. No, it's not because I don't know about iPads. I had owned an iPad 3 and an iPad Pro.

  • NO IT DOESN'T !!

    Jk , there's a bug when it's like 14% battery, it goes 0%.

    Maybe it's small problem.

  • TheOnline Thing says:

    Well, the iPad Pro models are pretty amazing, but I enjoy using the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 quite a lot. In the end it again is just a matter of taste.

  • iam a die hard android fan ive been using android phones since oneplus one all the way to the oneplus 7 pro , but when it comes to tablets ipads are the best hands down

  • Turned it off after the first sentence. If the first thing out of this guy's mouth is so demonstrably wrong, god knows what the rest of it is going to be like.

  • I actually had a tablet running android. It was fine BUT after like 2 weeks it started to go wrong. Downloads failing,freezing and crashing and sometimes it randomly shuts off I hated it so I got my first ever iPad mini then iPad mini 2 now iPad mini 4

  • Android Tablets were limited based on what Google was doing with Android's tablet version of the OS. While at the same time, manufacturers like Samsung created their own functions and design on top of what Google provides, however that wasn't even enough as developers aren't really interested in developing for Android Tablets, hence oversized phone apps on 12" displays. There was hope in 2014 with Lollipop 5.0, but Google wasn't serious enough.

  • Oh boy, of course, your going to say that I own a lot of android tablets on is slow but it is from a long time ago on android 3.7

  • Bias view from an apple centric channel. Android tablets are great you guys just don’t know how to make the most of it.

    I use my old android tablet to put on top of my instant noodles, allowing the noodles to steam. On windy days, it’s the perfect paper weight as it’s large surface area often stacks flush with loose pieces of paper.

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