The on-going legal spat between Sun and Google over Android infringing on Java patents has thrown up a number of interesting titbits about Android in general.
Andy Rubin, Google’s Senior Vice President for Mobile, had stated in a presentation dating back to July 2010 that Google expected to sell a whopping ten million Android tablets a year in the following two years (i.e. 2011 and 2012).
They had also used Morgan Stanley stats to estimate the size of the tablet market in the same time period, and asserted that tablets running Android would take up about 33% of the total tablet market by the end of 2012.
While a research firm called Strategy Analytics had claimed at the end of the third financial quarter of 2011 that Android tablets had a 26.9% market share, the familiar Android problem of fragmentation plagued their tablet offerings as well. The fact that cheap tablets running Android were a dime a dozen meant that the Android version specifically meant for tablets (Honeycomb) had extremely low market penetration.
In any case, while global tablet shipments came to 16.7 million units in total in Q3, Apple shipped 11.1 million out of them with their bestselling iPads. This meant that iOS had a 66.6 percent market share among tablets. 4.5 million Android tablets were shipped during the same period, giving the Google OS a 26.9 percent share then.
This quite clearly indicates that Google wasn’t too far off with its prediction two years back, even though the first Android tablet – the Motorola Xoom – hadn’t even launched by then, and definitely hadn’t done too well when it did. But the fact that most flagship Android tablets have failed spectacularly more often than not doesn’t bode well for the platform at all. Google intended for Android to be a genuine challenger to the iPad dominated market, and not an also-ran that powered budget slates from Amazon and ViewSonic.
[via The Verge]