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Company executives continue to pile on to Android tablets, and not in a good way. While earlier NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang expressed disappointment at Android tablet sales, and gave his opinions on exactly what went (and is still going) wrong. This week, John Thode, Dell vice president and manager of the company’s mobility business splashed more cold water on Android tablet fans and OEMs.
Apple has sold 25 million iPads to date. Meanwhile, the Motorola Xoom has met with a lukewarm reception, with the company saying it had shipped, not necessarily sold, 250,000 of the 10.1-inch Android tablets as of the end of Q1.
Samsung has done better, but its 1 million tablets sold pale in comparison to Apple’s numbers. Samsung’s numbers are international, as well, including a large quantity sold overseas, while Apple sold that many iPad 2s in the first weekend.
Given that, Dell’s first 10-inch Android tablet, the Streak 10 Pro, won’t launch in the U.S. first, but instead will launch in China, sometime this summer, initially. Thode said the U.S. market launch could be as late as next year.
“There’s a bit of a haze over some early launches,. I don’t want to criticize competition too much, but I think the [Motorola] Xoom has had mixed success because it launched before its time. The channels were confused, the pricing was confused [possibly referring to criticism about the Xoom’s unsubsidized price, which was in fact comparable to a similar iPad, but frequently compared to the lowest cost and wi-fi only iPad, instead].
“Our view is rather than try to rise above that noise–or worse, add to that noise–it is better to go get some traction in a market that will be a larger market. China will clearly be the largest tablet market in the world in a very short time.”
Thode also believes that the Chinese consumer is “more savvy” about tablets.
More worry for Android tablet sales, at least in the U.S., comes in the form of some concerns that, despite the huge sales of the iPad and iPad 2, many of those who want a tablet have already purchased one, and that’s the iPad or iPad 2.
Analysts have said that Apple managed to convince end users to buy a product, the iPad, that they didn’t really need. In the past, tablets were always considered a niche product, with that niche being small, as well. If in fact Apple has convinced some consumers that they “want” an iPad, but others realize they don’t really “need” an iPad, tablet sales in the long run may have to expand primarily outside the U.S., or grind to a halt.
It’s been said before that the iPad is great fun, and great for couch surfing. For real work, though, a computer is still necessary for many. That said, if people are willing to sell organs to buy an iPad 2, who’s to say?