There’s no doubt about the fact that Android Honeycomb Tablet sales have been weak. I even wrote about it in my column on Latpop Magazine’s website in a post titled “The Elephant In the Room: Android Tablets Failing” . Although many want to still deny it the fact is none of the Honeycomb tablets currently available are breaking sales records.
The Motorola Xoom, T-Mobile G-Slate, and Acer Iconia have had a rough start. Motorola Mobility reportedly only shipped 250,000 tablets in the first quarter since their release in late February. During their recent earnings call, Motorola Mobility CEO, Sanjay Jha put it pretty simply “Consumers want more apps for Android tablets.” Right now there are about 75 Honeycomb apps available in the Android Market.
More after the break
We expected to see a huge influx of Honeycomb app announcements surrounding the Google I/O conference last week in San Francisco. We did see a few apps here and there that have been released for Honeycomb. The ones that caught our eye were Taptu, Plume (Level Up Studios), and Catch.com. We saw the Honeycomb version of Seesmic demoed at Google I/O but it has yet to be uploaded to the Android Market.
Nvidia took a huge bet on Android with their Tegra 2 processor. They’ve even created their own Tegra 2 optimized app store in the Tegrazone available to Honeycomb tablet users. Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has also expressed frustration with the slow adoption of Android Honeycomb based tablets. He ran off a laundry list of reasons they aren’t succeeding, and also echoed Jha’s comments about apps by saying “And it’s a software richness of content problem,”.
While we, as Android users, have 75 or so apps in the Android Market, there are over 75,000 apps that are reportedly optimized for iPad. Sure there are a lot of Android phone apps that will work on a Honeycomb tablet, but for developers its a craps shoot. Google and Samsung seemed to realize this when they gave away over 5,000 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1′s at IO. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 also runs Honeycomb. Hopefully those developers in attendance now have the hardware they need to build good honeycomb apps.
One Canadian developer who was in attendance at I/O and didn’t want to be named for this piece said “I can’t keep buying each device that comes out… I own a Samsung Galaxy Tab but not a Honeycomb Tablet, and the emulator is crap…” Before leaving for the airport to go home the same developer said “The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a great start, I should have something in a week or two” referring to a Honeycomb app.
Huang told CNet’s Brooke Crothers “It’s a point of sales problem. It’s an expertise at retail problem. It’s a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price point problem,” before adding the remarks about apps.
Samsung introduced the 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab last fall. Although device only carried Android 2.2 Froyo, it reportedly sold 2 million units before the end of Q1 2011. Samsung is preparing to launch both the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 this summer, starting with June 8, 2011 for the 10.1 inch model.