Saturday, April 28, 2012

Why has Android based Tablets Failed?

In the last 3 years, several iPad competitors have come and gone, but none has succeeded.

None of the iPad competitors have been successful. Even the high priced Samsung Galaxy Tab, Blackberry Playbook, HP Notepad, Sony Tablet S - all have failed. Even the low priced tablets - such as Akash, ZTE also failed. Only the Kindle Fire and Nook has seen a moderate success.

So the question is: Why has non iPad Tablets Failed?

As I had mentioned in my earlier article - Will tablets replace PC as preferred computing device?  Tablets computers are not really the preferred devices for data consumption or for data creation. In short there is not a strong use case for a Tablet computers.

iPad has been successful because Apple was able to define a very strong use case of a Tablet computer. The use case for iPad has nothing to do with real computing, rather it is based on lifestyle statement. Apple defined the iPad use case and positioned iPad as:

1. Uber Cool device
2. Power & Status symbol
3. Unique, innovative toy

The success of iPad spawned lot of competition - which had a different market position. For most Android tablets, the use case or market position was defined as:

1. Cheaper than iPad
2. Alternative to iPad
3. Low cost computing device.

Positioning Andriod tablets as an altenative to iPad or being cheaper/low cost computing  is hardly appealing for people who want to use a Tablet as a power/status symbol.

Android Tablets not the preferred devices for data consumption. Most people who are looking for a low cost device for data consumption will already have a smart phone or can afford only one - either a smart phone or a tablet, and will end up opting for the cell phone.

Amazon Kindle & Nook have been an exception to this category - as these devices were positioned as eBook readers. As a book reader, cell phones are inadequate for the task. So for reading books, tablet computers have a distinct advantage over cell phones.

Also read: Product Positioning of Amazon Kindle Fire

Closing Thoughts

Android Tablets does not have a compelling use case. Andriod tablets do not have the style/status/power symbol. Tablet computers are totally inadequate for digital content creation, and are too expensive for digital data consumption - when compared to cell phones. Without a compelling use case, consumers will not buy Android tablets - with the exception of eBook readers such as Kindle Fire & Nook.

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