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Nvidia CEO 'not pleased' with Android tablet sales

Nvidia CEO 'not pleased' with Android tablet sales

Motorola's Xoom tablet has received a lukewarm reception but Jen-Hsun Huang points to issues effecting all Android-based tablets, as impacting on sales.

The iPad's sales have surprised many, exacerbating the disappointment of the sales figures for Android-based tablets - a fact shared by Nvidia's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang.

In an interview with CNET, Huang is stated as being 'not pleased with the cool reception' that Android tablets have received so far.

The new Android Honeycomb-based Motorola Xoom tablet, which uses Nvidia's Tegra 2 hardware, had sales far below those of the iPad 2. While Motorola claims that 250,000 units were sold in the period between the tablet's launch in February and the end of April, iPad 2 sales were around the 1 million mark in just the first weekend.

Huang stated '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. And it's a software richness of content problem.' Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility cited a lack of apps as being one of the main reasons for poor sales.

Interestingly, Huang voiced concerns over the price and configuration of non-iPad rivals his company had hardware stakes in. 'The baseline configuration included 3G when it shouldn't have... Tablets should have a WiFi configuration and be more affordable. And those are the ones that were selling more rapidly than the 3G and fully configured ones.'

It wasn't all doom and gloom for Honeycomb, though, with Huang apparently being stunned at the rate at which the tablets were improving, with future products solving many of the issues of the first generation of Android tablets.

Do you think Android tablets will ever be able to compete with the iPad and the weight of Apple's App Store, or were they doomed from the start? Let us know in the forum.

33 Comments

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wuyanxu 16th May 2011, 13:22 Quote
definately a pricing and software issue.

i was looking for Tegra2 tablets just a moment ago, wondering whether i can pick one up cheaper in LA next week.

380 USD for a Dell streak 7 with Tegra 2 but Andriod 2.2, 3.0 update TBA.
or
600 USD for a Xoom with Android 3.0

how about a 400 USD wifi-only one with latest Android? why is the latest Android tablet so hard to come by? must Google make a Nexus tablet?


(on an android related note, only android phone i would buy is a Google nexus phone, for its consistent updates)
coolius 16th May 2011, 13:26 Quote
The main problem was Google holding back the tablets' releases until they were happy with the Honeycomb OS.

Tegra 2 was actually ready and on the market before Christmas on the Advent Vega.

The high-end tablets have only been on the market for a matter of weeks, so its still a little early to judge on how they are performing. Don't forget that the first android phone (the G1) also wasn't a big sales success.

I personally am waiting for the next generation of Android tablets with the new Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS and quad-core Tegra 3!
BRAWL 16th May 2011, 13:30 Quote
I'll chuck it out there that it's also a third-party issue. I.e. companies with the sales rep's on the floor who suggest the iPad because it's just easier for them and gets more commission.

Apple's Marketting Machine is... well a T-Rex while everything is already extinct in my eyes. They're the only company who can sell the same machine I have for £1000 more because it has an Apple logo! AND PEOPLE BUY IT! - which is the main issue for Anti-Apple-Activists... AAA anyone? :P

People need to know more about these tablets... marketting is heavily needed otherwise people walk in and go "iPad2" and anything anyone says is heresy and they don't understand.
Flibblebot 16th May 2011, 13:38 Quote
Android tablets are currently seen as iPad wannabes without the app support - and the price of a Xoom is roughly the same price as a similarly specced iPad 2. Apart from us geeky types who know the benefits of Android vs Apple, most people will go for an iPad, because that's what they know.
praxis22 16th May 2011, 14:06 Quote
I like Android, I run a Galaxy S, most of my colleagues run Android too. That said I think for the average man on the street, the iPad is probably a better device. I'm looking at the new ASUS 10" with interest at present, the one Google gave away at the recent IO conference. However, I think the price issue is key, as the only thing that distinguishes the IOS & Android at present, is "openness" and the ability to tweak, which is something lost on most people. If you want them to have mass market appeal, they need to cost < £250
runbmp 16th May 2011, 14:40 Quote
I'm not a fan of either one. Very much liked the premise of just having windows 7 on a tablet. Tried it and fell in love with it. Price is just a little too steep right now.
r3loaded 16th May 2011, 14:54 Quote
Tbh, given the going prices, I'd rather have a Fusion netbook with Windows and a keyboard than a tablet.

I've still not worked out how you're supposed to use a tablet comfortably while sitting - plop it on the desk and you have to hunch over, tilt it up with one arm and your arm gets tired easily. The only place it's comfortable to use is slouched on a sofa where you can balance it on the armrest.
Woodspoon 16th May 2011, 14:55 Quote
Could of course just be, Apple fanboys buying every single Apple product and every version of it weather they need to or not, where as "other" tablet users are being a bit more selective.
misterd77 16th May 2011, 15:00 Quote
create some tegra 2 vids with some great games as a showcase and ADVERTISE, fools. Apple spends millions advertising the ipad, so nvidia and its partners need to advertise together, and brand the tegra 2 as the best "gaming" tablet, only then will uneducated peeps take notice.
jon 16th May 2011, 15:50 Quote
I've been told Android 3.0 on a Tegra 2 is still not as snappy as iOS on the iPad. Haven't had hands-on, yet. Really wanted an Asus Transformer, despite the horrific adverts that have created a gaping hole of desolation in my brain.
supermonkey 16th May 2011, 15:56 Quote
There's an interesting lesson in the marketing and advertising world regarding the "me too" phenomenon. Up to a certain point it doesn't really matter if your widget did something before the competition, does it cheaper, or even does it somewhat better. It also doesn't matter much if the feature isn't all that important. If the competition is the first to really advertise a certain feature or gadget, you have to leverage some other aspect of your gadget. It's not enough to simply state, "Well, we have one, too! And ours has the CJT300XQ.54 chip!"

Consumers don't care. All they know is that this other company already has a nifty tablet that looks good, and can do all sorts of things. Again, they really do not care that the processor runs at X speed or that it can perform Y floating point operations per second. All they care is that it can play Angry Birds and do Face Time. And if the competition is the first to market that feature, it's not enough to stand up and say, "Oh, well we can do that, too!"
misterd77 16th May 2011, 16:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by supermonkey
There's an interesting lesson in the marketing and advertising world regarding the "me too" phenomenon. Up to a certain point it doesn't really matter if your widget did something before the competition, does it cheaper, or even does it somewhat better. It also doesn't matter much if the feature isn't all that important. If the competition is the first to really advertise a certain feature or gadget, you have to leverage some other aspect of your gadget. It's not enough to simply state, "Well, we have one, too! And ours has the CJT300XQ.54 chip!"

Consumers don't care. All they know is that this other company already has a nifty tablet that looks good, and can do all sorts of things. Again, they really do not care that the processor runs at X speed or that it can perform Y floating point operations per second. All they care is that it can play Angry Birds and do Face Time. And if the competition is the first to market that feature, it's not enough to stand up and say, "Oh, well we can do that, too!"

well said, aim tegra 2 at the gamer market and pump a few million into advertising and there we go, brand awareness, no one i know in rl would even know who nvidia were let alone tegra 2
jimbok11 16th May 2011, 17:04 Quote
yeah - it's a little bit of a strange one with the new chromebook also being launched...not sure how that competes with the tablet market, since it's predominantly cloud based operating, but still, it adds to the fragmentation of the market that might have otherwise gone for a Google tablet...
mars-bar-man 16th May 2011, 17:18 Quote
I had the choice of various tablets the other day... almost bought an I pad, but I've used the iOS and I just find it too simple to do things, I like totinkernwith stuff.

So I bought an Acer A500, typing this reply from it now, I love it!
VipersGratitude 16th May 2011, 17:25 Quote
Android will win out eventually simply due to market forces.

iOS initially got to where it is simply because there was no competition. When other mobile OS's started to compete it was difficult to dig apple out of their trench because of an economic feedback loop - Since iOS was the most pervasive, developers targeted iOS, and ignored the others, because there was a higher ROI.

However Android is now gaining traction - Apples market share increased by 0.1% from 2010-11, whereas android's increased by 7.7% and android now has a higher market share of the smartphone market of 31.2% versus Apple's 24.7% (comscore).

Android also targets multiple devices, and more importantly, price brackets. Considering Moore's Law in a few years most phones will be smartphones, and likely running an iteration of android. Apple on the other hand has 3 high-end products that they incrementally update.

The ubiquity of android will make it the more economically viable platform, reverse that feedback loop I mentioned, and relegate Apple back to where they belong - Producing high price-of-entry niche fashion products.

Android's fight against iOS's dominance may seem premature, but as AMD's CTO Eric Demers once said "The best way to lose a fight is to not show up."
leveller 16th May 2011, 17:35 Quote
The other OS's are really starting to catch up and even look slightly more appealing than iOS. But I wonder how the field will look at iOS5 launch. If Apple continue along the bland-icon-pages route (which has suited me fine until now) then I might even be tempted away from iPad. I want that desktop feeling with updated news items, instant messengers, FB updates, emails etc. I want the wireless syncing we've been promised and better integration with AppleTV and other Apple products. I am unlikely to be tempted away ... but we'll see ... never say never.

Long term I think we'll see a fraction of the manufacturers that we see now, and they will all be on a more even footing to Apples line-up.
DbD 16th May 2011, 18:33 Quote
It's the companies producing the tablets fault. They are going up against established competition with something that has brand new and often inferior hardware (not so much tegra as screens) an immature os, and much lower brand awareness. They should have accepted it wasn't as good as the iPad (in the eyes of average consumers) but instead they priced it higher then apple!

The exception being asus who (a) put an IPS screen on it, (b) made it cheap, and (c) gave it a unique selling point with the bolt on keyboard/battery. They could probably sell 5 or 10 times what they can produce right now.
trig 16th May 2011, 19:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRAWL
I'll chuck it out there that it's also a third-party issue. I.e. companies with the sales rep's on the floor who suggest the iPad because it's just easier for them and gets more commission.

this

went to best buy to look at a camcorder...very knowledgable about them...ask about tablets...she immediately says ipad2...i ask her why, she says androids are new and there's not alot known about them(ie she hasn't been trained on them..it is bestbuy afterall), ipad has been around for awhile and has tons of apps...
Madness_3d 16th May 2011, 21:21 Quote
My GF is about to get an Optimus 2X :)
cnyrsitizin 16th May 2011, 22:06 Quote
Seems to me that the android rivals are trying to sell tablets with an os thats still not fully developed and with apps that are short on the ground at prices that are as high as Apple. When will they realise that to charge those prices you have to be at least as good, preferably better, which at the moment they are not. At least Asus are realists.
javaman 17th May 2011, 01:30 Quote
Its a price problem. Tablets cost more than a netbook yet do roughly the same tasks as a netbook. Add on a ridiculous contract for data and it just doesn't seem worth it. Also, why invest in a tablet when very few are on the market? Galaxy tab, ipad, vega and archos 101are the only notable contenders with ASUS, Motorola, RIM, a new galaxy tab still to come out. Who in their right mind would buy now? I also bet that retail outlets are a problem. Who sells these? Curry's, Orange, O2? If you want an ipad you go to the apple store. When you wanted the galaxy tab it took ages for network stores to sell them. Even the vega seems exclusive to the dixons group.

A mobile phone is something that you tie yourself into for 2years, a laptop is something thats replaced when something newer comes along. Do you really wanna be tied into a laptop for 2 years? Most people own a netbook or even a higher end laptop. Tablets will see but I still see it as a limited market with 4" smart phones being just as fast and handling media just as well. If you want to type a document you'll want a hardware keyboard.
ssj12 17th May 2011, 03:18 Quote
Well if the Xoom wasnt so damn expensive, and the Droid Bionic was actually released they would be singing a different tune.
supermonkey 17th May 2011, 03:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Well if the Xoom wasnt so damn expensive...
Wait, you mean decent non-iOS tablets aren't automatically cheap? Well, there goes that argument then.
Bindibadgi 17th May 2011, 03:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jon
I've been told Android 3.0 on a Tegra 2 is still not as snappy as iOS on the iPad. Haven't had hands-on, yet. Really wanted an Asus Transformer, despite the horrific adverts that have created a gaping hole of desolation in my brain.

Oi!

Just ignore the adverts! :P (Did you watch #3/4/5?)

While Mr. Nvidia makes nice hardware, he fails to acknowledge is not just price, it's the fact that iPad swooped up a lot of the components supply for itself which makes manufacturing ramp-up that much harder for everyone else. The OS and software needs development time and 3rd party software dev's don't just magically make apps compatible with Android 3.0 overnight - it's a chicken and egg issue of market saturation point too.

There's also the more subtle point that many companies are not keen to invest a lot of money in the tablets they make because they are not sure of cost recuperation versus the MANNNY competitors hitting the market: why would people buy an x/y/z "me too" tablet? Unlike Windows devices, Android stuff requires considerable investment in software engineering, because the most you follow the dev kit from Nvidia/Google directly, the easier it is for people to copy you.

That's my analysis on the Android 3 tablets launched so far anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by supermonkey
Wait, you mean decent non-iOS tablets aren't automatically cheap? Well, there goes that argument then.


We are $399! :P
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 17th May 2011, 06:13 Quote
maybe because these tablets are all half ass done and overpriced.
every commercial is the same..play a song, watch a movie, toss in a facebook logo cut.
at least Apple has better marketing scheme and really shows off some alternative functions to these giant cell phones.
Apple has Apps GALORE while Android has no or few Apps.
I'm still hoping for a well made Sony Vaio tablet but other than that the Asus ep121 seems to be the only iPad2 Killer as it runs a full Win7.
Bindibadgi 17th May 2011, 06:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krayzie_B.o.n.e.
Apple has Apps GALORE while Android has no or few Apps.

In pure count, Android actually has more apps than iOS. Not tablet specific, no, but remember Android is a year behind there. ;)

Just out of interest: name me one thing that iPads do natives that Android 3 doesn't. :) Also Android 3.1 is a nice improvement - as should be Ice Cream when it arrives. :)

They are just different - there's more choice with price and hardware with Android, but if you want all that Apple gives you in its neat bundle and you can stomach only ever using iTunes, than get an iPad :D Horses for courses.

While I appreciate the recognition I still think you are off the mark as the EP121 is a professional tablet with Wacom interface. It's not focused on the touchscreen and simplicity like Android and iPad tablets are. That said, we still can't make enough of them to fill demand
leveller 17th May 2011, 08:15 Quote
oi Bindi, how much commission you on? ;)
Guinevere 17th May 2011, 12:11 Quote
Let's face it...
-There are more apps for iOS.
-More of the AAA titles turn up on iOS first (often exclusively)
-There is more money to be made by developing iOS apps (Big! difference)
-The iPad2 is a powerful little beast with great battery life
-You buy an iPad and you know you're getting something that will work well and be supported
-There's been malware in android app markets, can't find evidence of the same for iOS
-The iPad2 is not expensive when comparing it to it's rivals
-The iPad2 (and other premium tablets such as the Xoom) is expensive compared to alternatives (Kindle, Budget android tablets etc)
-The iPad2 sucks if you want to tinker with it.

So it's easy to see why the iPad2 is selling well. A lot of people want a premium product that does what it's supposed to and doesn't need their 12yo nephew to get it working for them
jimbok11 17th May 2011, 12:37 Quote
on the malware front, some sites (such as amazon) are actually going to create android marketplaces that provide 'vetting' of apps and ensure that they are to a certain standard, etc etc...will see how that works out but it provides a space for apps to shine.
Bindibadgi 17th May 2011, 14:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
oi Bindi, how much commission you on? ;)

Not enough! :'(

(I was just correcting an assumption!!11)
javaman 17th May 2011, 14:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Let's face it...
-There are more apps for iOS.

If you notice the difference hats off. Your hardly gonna be counting. The fact is Apple has "quality control" which android kinda lacks. Sheer numbers mean nothing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere

-More of the AAA titles turn up on iOS first (often exclusively)

still not really a selling point. Its like xbox "exclusives", companies are shooting themselves in the foot if they don't port. Even then Android will have some cheap knock off. In fact Apple's QC can hinder app development on that point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere

-There is more money to be made by developing iOS apps (Big! difference)

by apple. Just put ads in your app and release an ad free version
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere

-The iPad2 is a powerful little beast with great battery life

Best thing about the ipad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere

-You buy an iPad and you know you're getting something that will work well and be supported

True but who knows when Jobs will next dictate how you use it? Again look at quake being put on android tablets. YOu do that and the Apple bods come knocking on your door almost!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere

-There's been malware in android app markets, can't find evidence of the same for iOS

Amazingly since everyman and his dog has an iphone at least. Again QC at work. Anotehr good point for Apple
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere

-The iPad2 is not expensive when comparing it to it's rivals
-The iPad2 (and other premium tablets such as the Xoom) is expensive compared to alternatives (Kindle, Budget android tablets etc)

Its still too expensive. Until all the rivals release we won't see what prices will do. Apple and xoom will remain premium products tho
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere

So it's easy to see why the iPad2 is selling well. A lot of people want a premium product that does what it's supposed to and doesn't need their 12yo nephew to get it working for them

Pretty much plus lack of focued competition. Android 2.3 isn't officially out yet so Apple have had the entire market to itself really. Samsung went a different way with 7" form and adding phone capabilities in and matched the price. Apart from that there has been no competition or choic high end. Apple addressed the problems with the ipad ie. weight but personally and quite a few agree that 7" is preferable or at least should be an option. iOS is very intuative to use and markets are well established. The biggest reason it sells well is the ecosystem. Very few don't have itunes. Why move away even if the competition is better. ipad allows total device and media integration since its so tightly locked down. Ironically the reason I didn't buy into itunes. I want to choose what device I listen to my music on, not be forced into an ecosystem. Android spans as many devices that takes my fancy and soon it'll hit blackberries when QNX ports to the phone front. With Apple its this device, with this software nothing else. You've invested already tough.
supermonkey 17th May 2011, 14:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
We are $399! :P
Yeah, but I said decent tablets. :p

Oh, come on, you opened yourself up for that one. :D
idontwannaknow 5th September 2011, 04:40 Quote
Android is a joke and always will be. 6 months i've been trying to access their app store on my android phone with no luck. Thousands have the same problem as me and google ignore us. I'm definitely moving over to Apple iOS and i hope Android dies a slow and painful death. You sad geeks can have Android while the rest of us enjoy using iOS.
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