There were questions last year about how many Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablets were actually sold to customers as compared to the several million that were shipped to vendors. More recently, there have been questions about how many Motorola Xoom tablets have sold. Indications are, “not many”. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab was built on Android 2.2 (Froyo). This is the same version that Android smartphones use. Google said that it was not suitable for tablets. Motorola’s Xoom, on the other hand, was the first tablet built on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). So, it served as a flagship for the expected fleet of “real” Android tablets. Unfortunately, it shipped with some features turned off or not working well. The hope was that new Android 3.0 based tablets from other manufacturers would provide a rich set of alternative products for consumers to consider. However, there hasn’t been any significant tablet released since the Xoom. So, what happened? electronista reports on speculation that:
These low hopes, they say, are because Xoom sales have not met expectations. The strong sales of the iPad 2 probably isn’t helping Android’s tablet cause either.
Here’s one thing to note before you write off Android tablets: Android smartphones floundered after the launch of the first one – the T-Mobile G1. In fact, Android phones looked like an also-ran for a bit more than a year until Verizon Wireless and Motorola launched the Droid with a massive and well-done advertising campaign. I would not be surprised to see Android tablets take the same trajectory and take off later in 2011 or early 2012.