No choice to launch or iPad would have cleaned up

Android tablet makers say lack of apps hurt sales

Notebook and tablet manufacturers believe that a lack of applications on Android 3.0 is the reason for weak sales of the first generation of tablets according to a DigiTimes report.

Nvidia boss Jen-Hsun Huang who recently said that factors such as tablet pricing and retail expertise had impacted sales of the Android tablets. However unnamed sources within the Chinese manufacturing industry were of a different view as to the weak demand.

The massive back catalog of Android 2.x applications was initially thought to be a asset but most of them subsequently turned out to be incompatible. The lack of Android 3.0 specific applications had "significantly lagged" the market for Android hardware according to the manufacturers quoted by the DigiTimes.

They did, however, admit that pricing was part of the issue. Nvidia’s Huang pointed out that that launching with 3G-only left no room to compete with Apple’s aggressively priced Wi-Fi-only iPad.

The manufacuring industry sources went on to suggest that despite the software problems the industry had no choice but to launch Android tablets against the iPad or Apple would have clawed a "much bigger" market share.

That point does is not entirely credible given the fact that Android 3.0 devices have shipped in such small numbers and for the most part the Apple iPad 2 has been supply constrained.

Perhaps a more valid point raised by the tablet makers was that the noise around the launch of Android tablets served to get the ball rolling as regards to consumer brand awareness.

The ‘notebook players’, as the DigiTimes calls them, were also upbeat about the Google’s Honeycomb 3.1 update, which has already begun rolling out to the Motorola Xoom, saying they expected it would improve the application situation dramatically.

The Android 3.1 update has been widely greeted as a significant upgrade in the technical press. At Google I/O the firm revealed a plan to reconverge Android 2.x and Android 3.x into a new Android ‘Icecream Sandwich’, in the process bringing Android 3.x UI features back to the smartphone form factor.

The industry insiders were of the view that the real tablet battle would begin in the second half of 2011 with the second generation of Android 3.1 tablets.

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