When it comes to smartphones, Android competes very well with the iPhone. In fact, I think it’s a much better experience, but when it comes to tablets, I hate to admit it, Android is losing. The problem has never been the hardware, it’s the availability of quality apps. Automatically the assumption is that fragmentation is the problem, but fragmentation is an issue with phones, and yet quality apps aren’t a major issue. so why hasn’t developer support transferred to tablets? Well lets first start with a little history.
Back in late 2009, Android phones seemed far behind the iPhone, but then things changed in a hurry. Even though Android’s first phone, the G1, was introduced in 2008, things didn’t get cooking until the DROID debuted on Verizon in late 2009. From that point forward the Android world really started to multiply by numbers even I couldn’t imagine. I remember when I bought my DROID, people would say there aren’t any apps available on Android to speak of. Things changed dramatically, and by the end of 2010, the iPhone didn’t have much of an advantage when it came to apps.
It doesn’t appear that Android tablets are enjoying the same kind of success. Although the Motorola XOOM, technically wasn’t the first Android tablet, it was what really started a wave of tablets with the OS about this time last year. One could argue that it’s only been one year, and look what happened to Android phones in its second year. The problem with that theory is that the success of Android phones was actually an advantage for tablets to get a better kick-start. Actually in terms of sales, Android isn’t doing so bad. According to the IDC, Android tablet market share for the 4th quarter of 2011 was 44.6%. That’s actually very good, but somehow things don’t seem that close.