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Are Android tablets a poor man’s iPad?

We have been watching many discussion forums in recent months and the overriding consensus seems to be that Apple really have the tablet market wrapped up. We don't just mean in terms of sales, but with the interface and overall product design. While reviews and journalists are only a small part of the overall picture, it certainly looks as if the Apple sales are not just built on hype and fancy advertisements.

Many people seem to be saying the same thing ‘The iPad 2 just works'. So what is wrong with the Android tablets? Personally I quite like the one I have used, the hardware is well designed and I like the operating system. Being totally subjective however I can see how many people feel it looks a lot less polished overall, especially the UI. It is a view shared by many journalists, such as a recent article I read by Walter Pritchard, a City Analyst – in his article called ‘Microsoft could still win the tablet market'.

He said “Anecdotally, we purchased both an iPad 2 and Xoom recently and spent the last four weeks using the device[s] at home. The iPad has lived up to all the hype with the wife and kids nearly fighting over who gets to play with the device. In this short time, the Xoom acquired the name “Dad’s iPad” and sat mostly idle. Our experience suggests it is mostly clunky software and lack of quality control in applications from the Android app store has turned users in our household off. The Xoom was boxed up and sent back to Amazon earlier this week.”

Many have claimed that Apple have been short sighted in their lack of support for Flash content, but surprisingly I found that Youtube worked better on the iPad 2 than on the Samsung Android powered tablet I used for a short time. The Apple system will use the ‘fall back' system for videos and Android uses flash videos. The performance on the Apple tablet was better. Sure you miss some flash based content on websites, but generally I didn't find it was a huge issue.

I am not anti Android as I love my Google powered smartphone. But i can see the big picture.

So have Apple really nailed this market? Have any other manufacturers got a hope in hell of driving away sales over the next 24 months? Amazon would seem to be the favourites, especially considering their track record with the Kindle device, but they are now entering into Apple's home turf with an LCD designed tablet. It is worth remembering that it will be running Android too, so unless they tweak it and customise it, the same criticisms will hold.

KitGuru says: iOS or Android?

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One comment

  1. I dont like APple products, but I ended up buying an ipad. im gutted 🙁