Where the hell are the Android tablets

Every day I see iPads, a lot of iPads, out in public. What I rarely ever see are Android tablets.

Apparently they sell pretty well. Where the hell are they? Doorstops? Cutting boards?

  • Jeff Zugale

    Who cares?

  • Sean Heber

    The only “Android” tablets I ever see in the wild are Kindle Fires.

  • Poor people don’t frequent the same coffee shops as the author.

    • JohnDoey

      That is not accurate at all. It is tempting to think of iPad as a tablet for the rich and Android tablets as tablets for the poor, but that is only because you are biased against the poor and think they are stupid and deserve broken, non-functioning technology.

      There are many surveys of iPad owners that show they cover the entire economic spectrum. The only way that money comes into it is that higher-income iPad users tend to have a Mac and an iPad, and lower-income iPad users tend to have only the iPad. For about 10% of iPad buyers, iPad is not just their only PC, it is their first PC. The only one they ever considered buying.

      And that is a key thing: iPad is a PC. Android tablets are just portable Internet TV’s. They are almost exclusively marketed as TV’s. Today’s Android tablets replace the old portable DVD players that also had 7 inch screens.

      So what you have in iPad is a computer that is much better than any Windows PC, for the same $299 price. It is half the size and weight of a Windows PC, and is exponentially more reliable. The software costs much, much less. iPad is not an expensive product.

      If you have a limited budget (I work in the music industry, so I know about this) you cannot afford to buy any disposable technology. That is what kills you. A Windows PC that slows to a crawl after 6 months and then won’t boot because of a virus and requires expensive service is what kills the low-budget technology user. An Android tablet that is only truly functional as a Netflix TV yet you are trying to use it as your main computer is what kills the low-budget technology user. The Android tablet ends up in a drawer. The user ends up frustrated and is disenfranchised from technology, negating their ability to become a higher-budget technology user. The generic tech industry is a cycle of despair for everyone, but most especially for people on a low budget who can’t afford to be scammed by the generic tech industry.

      So what is good for the low-budget technology user is to buy a $299 iPad mini and a $50 iTunes gift card (for apps) and use it for 2–3 years of reliable computing, incurring no further expenses, and using their iPad to perform the ENTIRE RANGE of computing tasks so that they don’t need any other devices. With no Geek Squad fees, no downtime, nothing preventing them from accomplishing their mission and perhaps moving themselves up the economic ladder.

      I think it is a crime the way the technology press abandons real users by pretending that Android TV’s are equivalent to an iPad, and pretending that somehow a low-budget tech user is getting a deal when they buy the Android TV and try to use it as a tablet PC instead of buying the one and only actual tablet PC: iPad.

  • Nate

    I think last week’s reports that “Android is for poor people” are quite overstated. Nevertheless, this guy is talking about being in a downtown business district.

    What is the use case for Android tablets? Some popular ones are: cheap tablet for the kids; cheap tablet if you don’t want to spend the money for an iPad; cheap media/content consumption device; cheap tablet that you got for free when you bought something else.

    Business folk who can afford an iPad are going to get one. They may also get an Android tablet for the kids and around the house. But you aren’t going to see it walking around the business district.

  • I saw one in Starbucks the other day. Woman had an Android tablet, a flip phone, and a disposable camera. Strangely, she sat at the window bar, and I never saw her drink.

    • JohnDoey

      She likes disposable technology. It’s not cheaper, though.

  • dr.one

    They are mostly used as replacement to VCD/TV in East Asia. In other words it is the new form video piracy. That and USB sticks with movie content.

    Even IOS developers has complained about most of Chinese users are using pirated IOS apps in China.

    They can’t afford iPad or iPhone. OK. No amount of Apple management making silly emails about where the customers are or where the growth is. They should not say we only build the best and in their emails saying poor people can’t buy Apple products.

    • JohnDoey

      Yes. You buy a 7-inch Android tablet and you don’t get rid of your Windows PC — you get rid of your 7-inch portable DVD/Video-CD player. When you buy an iPad, you get rid of your Windows PC, or at least use it only a tiny fraction of the time that you once did.

      iPad = computer Android tablet = video player and book reader

      Notice that the top level of iPad is general purpose computing apps. The top level of Kindle Fire is music, movies, books.

  • johndhynes

    I see lots of Android tablets at school. Lots of iPads, too.

    • JohnDoey

      I feel sorry for the people with Android tablets, then. An iPad is cheaper in the long run and will get you better grades. An Android tablet is a TV. It’s not going to get you into Harvard.

      • Sigivald


        How does “an android tablet” lower your grades? I have some sympathy for your general thesis regarding android tablets in the broad market, but this verges on ridiculous.

  • JohnDoey

    I saw an Android tablet being used for work for the first time in a taxi cab in San Francisco recently. The driver had to tap 2–3 times to get every tap to register, cursing again and again, and he didn’t know how to use the device and had received no training (and it is no fun to use, so he didn’t train himself like iPad users,) and he was unable to call up a route to my house on a map, which was 1 of the 2 purposes the device was supposed to serve (the other was fare logging.) So I took out my iPad and called up a map to my place and the iPad talked him to my house.

    So what happened there was the taxi company chose to pay about 75% of the cost of iPads to get Samsung tablets, but they got only 1% of the functionality.

    The only person I know who owns an Android tablet is a friend of mine who took a look at some of my artwork and wanted to know how it was made and I told him I painted it with my fingers on an iPad. He got really excited about doing that himself, but then was disappointed to find out that the art apps on Android are either non-existent or non-functional. So I was trying to be nice and said, “well at least your tablet was cheap.” He told me how much he paid for it and it was more than what I paid for my iPad. So he is just another victim of the generic tech industry.

  • I see them all the the time, perhaps more than iPads. People I have seen using them tend to be watching TV, playing a game or reading a book or FB.

  • Weird. I’m in Houston and see the opposite. It is rare to see iPhones or iPads.

    Different areas I guess.

  • Daniel Bergquist

    I see them all the time, with people from all income levels, out here in the American Midwest. Usually Samsungs. I see them just as often if not more than iPads.

  • Sigivald

    I’ve seen people with them, though I see more iOS devices.

    Hell, I’ve even seen a Surface in the wild.

  • deluxe_shredder

    I see more Android tablets than iPads.

  • The BOFH

    Where are the Android tablets? For example, here in Spain. A lot of them, mostly of unknown brands. And, while the economic crisis hit hard here, we are not a “poor” country. Most Android tablet users are young people, such as college students, who obviously are very money-conscious people.

  • SockRolid

    The Apple iPad is vastly superior to the Samsung iPad. And everybody knows it. That’s why.

  • SockRolid

    I’ve actually played with a Surface Pro briefly. Hardware seems robust, far less creaky than other netbooks. But the OS and apps? Horrendously bad. A total dumpster fire.