The death of the Android tablet has not been exaggerated

Daniel Bader

June 7, 2014 1:27 pm

Next time you’re on the bus, streetcar or subway, or perhaps sitting down for lunch on a park bench or in a mall food court, take a look around. Specifically, notice the phones and tablets people are using.

For the most part, you’ll see three types of devices: iPhones, likely an iPhone 5 or 5s; Android phones, statistically a Samsung; and iPads. It’s quite unlikely you’ll see an Android tablet, even among those who own Android phones.

Indeed, tablet growth seems to be slowing, as highlighted by an IDC report from March that revised its initial tablet forecast for 2014. The research firm claims that, unlike 51.6% worldwide tablet growth in 2013, the same sector is likely to grow only 19.4% this year.

idctablets-1

Year over year growth of nearly a quarter in a flourishing industry is nothing to snuff at, but when the iPad was announced in 2010 tablets were immediately hailed as the beginning of a new computer revolution. But even as they became slimmer, lighter and more powerful, it became immediately apparent that the one-screen-at-a-time paradigm would have a difficult time replacing most users’ laptops. These days, that appears more true than ever.

In an article for Re/code, former head of mobile at Netflix, Zal Bilimoria, decried that our love affair with the tablet is over. He claimed that though initial pickup of the tablet-optimized Netflix app was tremendous, usage dropped off equally quickly, replaced in kind by smartphones (and to some extent, set-top boxes). “It has been the phone all along,” he says, and activity patterns seem to reinforce this.

On the iPad side, millions of customers continue to enjoy the devices for content consumption and, increasingly, content creation. There is a whole swath of the App Store dedicated to artists, writers, brainstormers and pundits; though iPad growth has slowed, the app ecosystem continues to flourish. People may not know what the iPad is good for, but they’re making do.

Screenshot 2014-06-05 22.10.01

Android tablets are another matter. While a March report by Gartner promises that tablets powered by Android outnumber iPads by nearly two to one, it fails to find the nuances in those astronomical numbers. The market for Android tablets is dying, murdered by its kin, the Android smartphone.

Screenshot 2014-06-05 21.26.23

An article by Alex Barredo last month delved into the screen sizes of smartphones between 2007 and today, and while the outcome may not be hard to grok, even without looking at the graphs it paints an impressively prescient picture of Android tablets’ future. 

It took five years for the average screen size to get from 3″ to 4″, but only two more to get to the current average of 5″.

Barredo finds that the average smartphone size in May 2014 was five inches, up from four inches in May 2012. Even devices dubbed “mini” are comparatively larger than their flagship equivalents two years earlier. Aside from the iPhone, which has only changed screen sizes once in its lifetime, from 3.5-inches on the original iPhone to 4-inches on the iPhone 5, Android devices have blown up.

In February 2011, when the first official Android tablets were released alongside Honeycomb, the average smartphone size was around 3.75 inches, with most high-end Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S i9000 hovering around the 4-inch mark. It would appear that Apple was cognizant of this disparity when designing the first iPad and, a couple of years later, the iPad mini. The iPhone’s screen size stayed single-hand usable in part because Apple did not want to cannibalize its growing tablet market. As we’ve seen, the same can’t be said for Android OEMs.

Much of the Android tablet’s death can be levied on Samsung itself; it was the first company to release a so-called phablet, the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, in late 2011, and has since swelled the selection of smartphones up to a tablet-encroaching 7-inches.

Screenshot 2014-06-05 21.26.47

As smartphone-mature markets like North America, Asia and Europe grow used to smartphone sizes above five inches, the need for a second device with a slightly larger screen to perform similar tasks lessens. Many users find it difficult to read books, for instance on a 4-inch iPhone, but bloom to the 5-inch size of the Galaxy S4 and that prospect becomes significantly more tolerable.

At the same time, the app ecosystem for Android tablets has not grown nearly as quickly as its iPad equivalent, and one can’t take for granted that developers, even big companies like Facebook or Dropbox, have the resources to create tablet-specific versions, even as Google’s improved tools make it easier for them to do so. Apple’s Tim Cook often pokes fun at the dearth of Android tablet apps during iPad launches, but unlike many of his other flippant dismissals of Google’s mobile operating system, those criticisms can be substantiated: using an Android tablet is, objectively, not a great experience.

It’s unlikely that companies like Samsung, Sony, LG, Asus and others will cease designing Android tablets, mainly because they’re increasingly commoditized and are used to expand their respective company’s mobile pursuits, but it’s increasingly difficult to recommend Android tablets over their iPad counterparts.

  • Unorthodox

    What a pile of useless mumbo-jumbo.

    • HeyYoWL

      IPads>Android Tablets. There’s just more support and apps for iOS vs Android. How often do you hear random people asking “why’s there no Android version?” or something similar when a new app comes out? How often does the reverse hold true for iOS?

    • deltatux

      Really? I have yet heard people ask that. Most of the important apps are already available on Android.

    • HeyYoWL

      You hear that all the time for this and that app. Whether it be games or productivity, it’s a common thing from my experience. A game off the top of my head is Hearthstone.

    • Nahuel

      I work Part-time at future-shop (student job), and I have to disagree with you. Besides certain selected games, 99% of the apps are available on both ecosystems.

    • HeyYoWL

      I’m not saying that there’s not compatibility most of the time, but it’s common for me when I’m interested in a new app of some sort to see someone to ask that. It happens all the time. And sometimes if there’s an Android version it’s a crappier version of it I find.

    • MisterChew

      Like others have mentioned, only in very rare circumstances that iOS would have an app released first prior to the Android version. 99% of the apps on iTune has an Android version.

    • HeyYoWL

      Again that’s fine, but still, iOS usually gets priority. You rarely (if ever) hear someone ask where’s the iOS version of a new app. You also rarely see a poor version of the app on iOS versus Android. Even if you’re talking about a small percentage, it’s still there. That, along with thinner bezels, better battery life and nicer screen is why I would choose an iPad over an Android tablet.

    • A Din

      Okay go and search for TubeMate or any such app on iOS store and let me know when you find any for free.. goodluck finding it…

    • HeyYoWL

      You’re using one Android app to support your argument? It’s something that you can easily research, Android always gets the shaft for iOS. Google it, I’m not saying this to talk crap about Android, my phone is a Nexus 5. But Android apps are frequently later in coming out, and uglier than their iOS counterparts. Have you really not seen articles about how an app is finally on Android? Or an app being released and the forums are full of people complaining “why isn’t it on Android”?

    • Nadefrenzy

      Dude that was the case 2 years ago. Not anymore. Android is right up there now in terms of app support. Trust me, I was in your shoes once.

    • Anthony

      That’s not true at all. Android phone apps usually come after and are not as nice because of fragmentation. Tablet apps are a totally different story. They are terrible 90% of the time.

    • Nadefrenzy

      ” Android phone apps usually come after…”

      Sometimes, sure.

      “…and are not as nice because of fragmentation.”

      Have to disagree with you here. In fact in some ways, they’re even better on Android thanks in part to their larger displays.

    • Mr. Biloz, Ph.D.

      I honestly don’t understand, being a Nexus 5 user as you say you are, bashing so much on Android. I recently updated my 4s to a Nexus 5 and I find it much nicer to work with… And honestly I haven’t seen any difference in the everyday apps I use. But that’s my own experience, yours may differ. Cheers

    • Jonathan Schmitt

      ? Really? Thinner bezels and better screen with an iPad? I can justify that iOS will have priority on apps (plants vs zombies 2 being the first example I can confirm). But there were dozens of units with thinner bezels then the iPad and better screens far before the newer generations.

    • barrist

      iOS gets priority without a doubt. Very rare? i hear all the time that this or that app has “finally” arrived on Android, even on this website a few times recently. There’s a reason the big keyboard developers for Android were chomping at the bit to announce Swype, Swiftkey for iOS8

      Case in point, a few recent mobilesyrup headlines:

      “Pebble launches its appstore on iOS, Android version coming “very, very soon””

      “Shazam rolls out new Android version, overhauls interface and adds tablet support” with the beginning sentence: “Shazam’s Android app hasn’t quite kept up with its iOS counterpart…”

      how long did it take the popular game Quizup to be released on Android, after several delays?

      Perhaps the biggest evidence is the fact that the ios version of some of Google’s own apps (ie Google Maps) have been at times updated with more features before the android counterpart!

    • MisterChew

      The only reason that iOS has priority on app release over Android is because those developers are targeting the North American user base where iOS has a slightly higher market share than Android.

      If you go overseas to Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Australia etc., Android has priority on app release, and in MOST CASES, the iOS version aren’t even released as they barely have market share outside of North America.

    • MassDeduction

      Wow… as a Windows phone/Windows tablet user, this debate is kind of strange for me. I’m used to Android fanbois attacking my platform of choice, not defending their own.
      One correction. The iPhone has massively dominant marketshare in Japan. So not accurate to say North America is their only successful market. It is accurate to say Android is dominant in all major markets besides Canada, the U.S., and Japan. Hell, Windows Phone is now ahead of the iPhone in dozens of markets, and the list grows every quarter.
      As for tablets… well, as the article says, that’s a different story.

      Typed on my Dell Venu 8 Pro Windows Tablet. ;-)

    • TheShinraCorp .

      You’re a Windows Phone developer? TEACH ME YOUR WAYS SENSEI! :P I actually have a 920 and a 2520 and I always had a few ideas for mobile apps. Just lack the direction to start learning (newbie programmer btw)

    • MassDeduction

      Not developer, user. :-)

    • Anthony

      You’re forgetting about fragmentation.

    • Anthony

      Yes but the quality isn’t the same at all. Android is just blown up phone apps. Anyone who’s used both systems would see this. iPad apps are usually completely different apps.

    • captain irrelevant

      It’s because iPhone apps that don’t have support for iPad cannot be installed on the iPad. So any app you install has iPad UI layout designed. You can’t see the apps without tablet UI. Android developers let tablets install phone apps, but the playstore will clearly say, designed for phones.

    • Anthony

      On iPad there are apps that run 2x like android and apps that are designed specifically for iPad. It sounds like we are saying the same thing, android tablets are hindered by the fact that apps were created to run on a phone adding to the fragmentation android already suffers from.

    • Eugene Kim

      Developers almost always start with an iOS app first because it’s a more profitable platform for them to develop for. For whatever reason, there are many, iOS users are more willing to purchase apps over Android users – FACT. Fragmentation also is a reason for the slight delay in release on Android compared with iOS. Also, iPad’s can install iPhone apps not optimized for iPad. Some of the comments here are amusing, some very good examples of “misinformation” and pure ignorance. Also, Android has more market share in North America than iOS…Fact!

    • Nahuel

      Your findings are most probably affected by your love for Apple. But that’s your right. Competition is healthy.

    • HeyYoWL

      No, no it’s not.

      I’m sure you can find many articles on the matter. I use an Android phone and I have an Android tablet. Just because I think the iPad is the superior device doesn’t mean I’m being affected by anything.

    • barrist

      Oh well, discussion over people, a part-time Future Shop employee has chimed in.

    • Nahuel

      OK so what? I mentioned that because I’m around electronics all day. That’s all I meant to say.

    • jensonmacabensw

      i P r o T a b l et — is worth reviewing and offers ten new Tablets to launch this month– including the Ramos i 10 Pro ($399) which is the first Dual Boot Windows 8.1 – Android hybrid, and powered by an Intel Bay Trail 64-bit CPU plus features a 10″ 1920×1200 HD display, Bluetooth, GPS, along with 9 hours battery life

      Also new is the Ramos i12 ($299), an ultra-size 12 inch tablet also powered by Intel; plus the iFive mini4 ($199) – which is the first 8-inch Android tablet available with a retina-quality 2048×1536 display–

    • A Zardoz

      You made the mistake of jumping into the OS religious wars.

      OSs, and diets, are today’s replacements for religion & the combatants’ minds are closed. Calm discussion is out of the question. Proselytizing & flaming is the norm. Also, there’s the aspect of status, conferred by paying 3 times as much for an equivalent device. Never mind keeping up with the Jones; one must be ahead. Note that most of the “arguments” are about the latest apps, mainly games. Perhaps they should just grow up & get a life.

      The smart-phone is the new rosary; it never leaves their hands. I call them text-zombies; totally absorbed with their devices. They’ll walk in front of your car – no loss; Darwinism in action. Bugger about the dent in your hood, though.

      Cheers.

    • Anthony

      The same apps are generally available on both but the quality of apps isn’t the same at all. Android is blown up phone apps. Anyone who’s used both systems can’t deny this. Plus a lot of apps are still released on iOS first.

    • Guest

    • Mohsen

      Come on! it’s about tablets!
      I have a Nexus 7. I loved it truly at first. now after a year it’s so very sluggish and the battery is just awful though I never ever over charged it. It never happens to an iPad believe me.

    • deltatux

      It is about tablets. Unfortunately, the first generation Nexus tablets suffered the same problem with other ASUS Tegra 3 tablets in that they slow down over time. Luckily being a Nexus device this can now be fixed by formatting the tablet with the F2FS filesystem. I’m typing to you with my Nexus 7 right now and it’s rather zippy without the lag. The second generation Nexus 7s do not have this problem likely because the flash chips have been replaced by better ones.

      This is a hardware issue rather than a software one. You can’t blame Android for ASUS cutting corners when producing the original Nexus 7.

      As for battery life that really depends on how you use your tablet, my Nexus 7 can last a day with battery life left to spare when I charge of at night for the next day.

    • captain irrelevant

      I have an 8gb 2012 Nexus 7, it gets sluggish but once I do a backup, reset, restore. Everything is speedy again. My battery is still comparable to 2014 tablets. Maybe 5~6 hours with intermittent gaming and regular browsing? Not great, but not like the 7~8 hours I used to get.

      I work with iPad 2 to iPad 4 at work every day 8 hours a day, and trust me, this happens to iPads as well. I know the frustration of an unresponsive iPad all too well. Seems to happen most on the iOS7 task switcher. The battery meter on Apple devices are less accurate too btw. Two of the iPads used to have great battery even at low levels. 10% would let me use for another 1 hour or so. Now the battery drains from 30% to less than 5% in 20 minutes.

    • Nadefrenzy

      I’d get an iPad over an Android tablet any day. This article directly talks about people such as myself who have a large phone (5.7″ note 3), and hence don’t see the need for an Android tablet counterpart.

      An iPad not only provides an experience of a different platform, but also has a much better roster for tablet apps.

    • collinpage

      iPhone screen sizes suck balls which is why those people prefer their iPads whereas Android phones screens are perfect so they don’t need to pull out their tablets.

    • MassDeduction

      It’s not that the screen size is perfect (as perfection means different things to different people); it’s having choice in the first place. Those who might prefer a phablet can get one in Android (and Windows Phone, and even Blackberry). If you’re an iPhone fan, you don’t have that choice. Yet. That’s clearly coming, as they can’t ignore those big screen smartphone sales charts forever.

    • captain irrelevant

      AirDroid, SwiftKey, Tasker.. to name a few, these are the apps that many people ask why iPhone doesn’t have the equivalent. Most of the Apple users will tell you they don’t need it but obviously there’s a need for them or else Apple wouldn’t be releasing similar features in iOS 8. Look up Apple forums, people have been questioning Apple on these apps for awhile. Sure most games come out on Apple before Android, but that’s because developers work on iOS first, not because they can’t make it work on Android. When you look at the other way around, if it doesn’t exist on iPhone, it’s because they couldn’t do it on the iPhone.

      I’d much rather know that an app isn’t available because developers are putting it off than knowing its because it’s not possible and that I’ll never get it.

    • Anthony

      So in one sentence you say Apples adding this functionality in iOS 8, the next you say Apple will never get these features. Great argument.

    • captain irrelevant

      That was before Apple announced iOS 8.. you can’t figure that logic out, genius? But even then, Tasker still isn’t possible. AirDrop still isn’t quite AirDroid. Pressy’s not possible. App Quarantine’s not possible. Facebook’s floating bubble’s not possible.

      Other than proprietary things like iMessage or Facetime, when you look at functionality, there’s really not much iPhone has that Android can’t do.

    • Mohsen

      SO irrelevant!

    • captain irrelevant

      How is that irrelevant when I’m replying to someone else’s post, genius?

    • Mohsen

      You can’t even get the joke I made using your own username! Genius!

    • captain irrelevant

      That joke makes absolutely no sense at all.

    • calysto1

      Nevermind the app support, an iPad is just more stable and robust than any Android tablet I’ve ever used, which within months of ownership strangely become laggy pieces of junk. iPad2 is still relevant in today’s technology while cheap Android tabs are hot garbage.

    • Mohsen

      True that. I hate my Nexus 7 that I once loved! So sluggish, and the battery is just awful (even though It’s never ever over charged)

    • David Rawlins

      Same reply as another post. I’m glad for both ecosystems. It means greater diversity and better products for all consumers. You enjoy iPad’s more than Android? Right on! I personally like my Android tablet better. I’ve never noticed a lack of app support myself but I could see it happening with some apps… oddly enough I have heard of the reverse happening. (Android support before Apple), but I could see that being a rare thing.

      Personally I love the customization for Android. That and I find there are more … “Geeky app’s” for free. Ie, Wifi Analyzer, Andie Graph, CamScanner to name a few.

      But anyways, the point is, competition is good for us all! ;)

    • MikeOxlong

      To bad your kindergarten description isn’t equal to reality. There is no better tablet than the iPad. Not in build quality, display quality, battery life, and most importantly EVERY SINGLE APP IN EXISTENCE being written for it, and only about 10% of those apps (including knockoffs) being available elsewhere. Sucks to be a hater against the best thing out there lol.

    • Nahuel

      Not better Tablet than the iPad? If you want to play childish games maybe. But for work and productivity nothing beats an Asus on Windows 8 (Not RT), or the Surface from Microsoft. Also the N7 has many advantages over the iPad mini (the direct concurrent). I am not hating, don’t take me wrong, the iPad is great when you feel like the screen on your iPhone is too small.

    • InfiniteLast

      Looking for an android tablet to replace your ipad? Sony’s line of tablets are gorgeous.

      Looking for a better alternative to the ipad Mini for using on the go? Nexus 7 is a great choice (or the N8 depending if rumors are true).

      Looking for a tablet that can get some serious work done? The Surface is your man.

      So many choices out there for consumers! iPads are great, but people are acting as if they’re the only choice out there. It ain’t true.

    • HeyYoWL

      Battery is one area where iPad is king versus everything else I find.

    • Nahuel

      Not, again, I have to disagree with you. I use a Asus VivoTAB Smart, and I can’t remember the last time I charged it, compared to anything else I see at work.

    • HeyYoWL

      Anandtech’s battery tests would disagree with you. You’re using anecdotal unmeasured evidence whereas they’ve measured both iPad and your Asus, and the iPad comes out on top.

    • Nahuel

      Those test can be influenced by anything… Yet I’m moving on, got a life to live! Lol

    • HeyYoWL

      Right, even though they use the same tests for everything (otherwise how can you compare properly?), you’re telling me they can be influenced by anything. Makes total sense.

    • Nahuel

      Sir, or kid, I am politely asking you to move on because I’m trying to enjoy this sunny Saturday afternoon with my girlfriend and your notifications are getting on my nerves. Thanks

    • HeyYoWL

      How nice of you to be condescending and dismissive. “Those test can be influenced by anything”..lol

      I like how you tell me repeatedly I’m wrong based on your subjective experience, but when I provide objective proof you dismiss me and tell me I have no life.

      Good day to you sir.

    • Nahuel

      Bravo smart guy! I just don’t bother.

    • HeyYoWL

      To check facts, yes I gathered that. Stop responding to me since you’re trying to enjoy your day.

    • Nahuel

      Lol, coming from someone with a name like this either you literally are a no life prick or just a troll… Cheers!

    • HeyYoWL

      Lol now you’re attacking me based on my screen name? Give up. Why do you keep responding back with redundant things? You tell me and others that we’re wrong but have no facts to back it up. You tell me to leave you alone but you keep coming back. You’re being a condescending prick but telling me I’m one. Wow. Why don’t you come back with facts instead of personal attacks?

    • Nahuel

      God, you are annoying!

    • It’s Me

      If you make nonsense comments, you have to expect to be called on them. That you would let some Internet discussion ruin your time with your girlfriend speaks volumes.
      She’s on lucky girl…

    • A Din

      Go and search for TubeMate or any such app on iOS store and let me know when you find any for free.. goodluck finding it… what a apple fanboy you are…

    • alphs22

      Someone proved me wrong on the internet, better run away and pretend I have a life!

    • Nahuel

      How about you shut the f up?

    • alphs22

      Lol. I thought you were out to live your life ;)

    • Anthony

      Why write something and then act like you’re to good to reply when someone backs you in a corner

    • RoboBonobo

      More like: why take the time to reply with a reply that says you’re not going to reply? lol

    • Thr1ve

      No actually, he’s using REAL WORLD usage as evidence as opposed to benchmarks and battery drain tests that does not reflect real world usage…

    • HeyYoWL

      What..? Ok I don’t know how to say this without sounding condescending, but have you thought about how to compare things against each other at all? Only when you run two things under the same tests can you tell you which has better battery life. With both being tested, the iPad came out on top. I’m not arguing for the number of hours because that will vary depending on your usage. I’m just arguing which has a better battery. They did a test. He bad not done a test. All he stated was that his own usage of his tablet allowed him to use it a lot.

      “I can’t remember the last time I charged it, compared to anything else I see at work.”

      That’s not a number, thats just him giving a vague statement. I’m sure it DOES give him lots of usage, that’s fine, but I was never arguing about the number of hours of usage.

    • Nadefrenzy

      That’s probably true, but hard to beat the Surface Pro 3 for productivity.

    • David Rawlins

      That’s interesting that you mentioned the Anandtech’s battery tests, because I just checked out my own tablet (the Nexus 7 FHD) and it looked like mixed results. The iPad was better at video playback (13.45 Hrs vs 11.43 Hrs) but the Nexus 7 was better at general use like web browsing or reading, (12.23 Hrs vs 9.48 Hrs). The iPad 4 is much better at gaming battery life however with 5.93 hrs vs 4.05…. however the samsung tab 8.9 came out on top of that one with 7.37 hours of gaming time.

      Personally I’m glad for both ecosystems. Competition drives diversity and makes things better for fans of both systems. (For myself I really enjoy the size and shape of my Nexus 7. Even with the case it can fit into my inside coat pocket or back jean pocket. Because of the iPad mini’s form factor this isn’t possible with it)

    • jacob

      It is clear that you’re blinded by your love for apple to say something like this ! While I must admit that the iPad has the best app ecosystem, it is false to say that it has the best screen ( quite a low pixel density and not the best contrast) ! Displaymate has awarded the best screen to the kindle fire hdx 8.9! It also doesn’t have the best speaker, and not in the good orientation ! It’s the best overall tablet, but not the best in each category like you’re trying to say.

      Sent from my iPad Air

    • alphs22

      What distance are you using your tablets from?

      If 264 ppi isn’t sharp enough for you at normal viewing distances, you should enroll in The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning because you clearly have superpowers.

    • Nadefrenzy

      Noticeable difference in the clarity of my Note 3 vs its predecessor, the Note 2 (386 PPI vs 267PPI respectively).

      Not that difficult to differentiate especially since the human eye can distinguish upto 300PPI, and for some people even higher.

    • alphs22

      It all depends on the distance.

      The 300 ppi you’re citing is the approximate threshold for which a human with 20/20 vision can discern pixels, at a normal viewing distance for smartphones (1 foot).

      I usually look at my tablet at a further distance, maybe around 1.5 feet. At a further distance, logically the number of ppi you can discern decreases. Hence my comment.

    • Nadefrenzy

      I suppose it’s more noticeable on a smartphone, though the Note 3 falls in between the two categories, and with the PPI considerably higher than it’s predecessor’s sub 300 PPI display, the difference is definitely noticeable.

    • John

      After you’ve used a better screen, 264 ppi looks like crap. You don’t need superpowers, you just need to spend some time on a quality android device.

    • alphs22

      Used plenty of 300+ ppi screens. Pixel density is overrated IMO. Plenty more to a screen than just resolution.

      Maybe I’m one of those people who don’t put their phones right up against their face.

    • Jim Thibault

      This guy has no clue, has done no research, he has Apple commercials beam to him and buys them. The way Android tablets win is the way Android phones win. You have hardware choices everything from a $150 7 inch tablet to a $800 12.2 tablet. My Galaxy Note 12.2 is better than any iPad and cheaper too.

    • MikeOxlong

      Wrong. And I’m not an Apple fan per say either. I love android on a phone, and currently run a nexus 5. However, the app ecosystem is complete night and day tablet wise, and it literally is 90%-10% iPad over android when it comes to not only quality, but the quantity of apps covering every single possible cross section of the spectrum. From play to highly technical and professional, nothing comes close.
      Clearly, you are the one without a clue as you have no idea how wide spread the iPad is used, nor by whom, or for what.

    • Vladimir Ivanov

      Would you like to elaborate with counter arguments, preferably in essay form, with references?

    • Unorthodox

      Нет. Достаточно того, что я прочитал это безобразие.
      Just read the comment thread to get elaborate answers.

    • H M

      GET READY that MalDroid is DUE ANNIHILATED in 2 Years to COME

    • Unorthodox

      Hahaha. You sheeps’ been saying that since 2008. Get real!

  • tre

    It is true, I have an android phone. Nexus 5 to be exact, however I have an iPad. Apple finally did something right with their tablets, the tablets are truly the best right now in the industry.

  • TomsDisqusted

    Personally, I find the Nexus 7″ to be a great size for reading, and even a 5″ phone would be too small, but I take your point never-the-less: the bigger phones get the less need there is for a small tablet. But tablets too, are getting bigger – I think there are several 12″ Android tablets now, but maybe that is getting to close to laptop size.

  • jfbaudio

    Personally I read the data differently — my conclusion is that it’s harder to justify an Android tablet over an Android smartphone, because they are getting similar in size and functionality. People who want to use Apple products are hardly likely to change for tablets. As for the tablet experience being “objectively” not great on an Android tablet… I think that’s a subjective opinion… It’s pretty much the same as on a phone. Which for me is fine

    • Unorthodox

      It’s always the story with Apple. I don’t understand how anyone wouldn’t see that. They don’t open the full potential of their devices to the users, just to up-sell another piece of equipment. An they don’t improve the lower devices, just to avoid jeopardizing the sales of the higher margin ones.
      Brilliant sales strategy.
      Sucks to be an Apple customer.

    • John

      Yes, apple rapes their customers, but apple is EXCELLENT at convincing them they want it.

  • hamza

    iPad is great, but I would never buy a tablet, not even an Android. My Note 3 is big enough for me do all my tasks on comfortably without the hassle of carrying a 10″ device. I can see how it would aid those with a 4″ screen though.

    • John

      The Note 3 is an excellent phone.

  • Stephen_81

    I hated my iPad3, never saw the value in it and in the 12 months I had it I turned it on a handful of times when it wasn’t required I use it by work.
    But I felt the same about most Android tablets I have had/used, I liked my BlackBerry PlayBook when it was new because of the Bridge functionality and its size but even that I stopped using the second I got a 4.2″ smartphone

    But I’ve seen more and more Microsoft Surface tablets and keep thinking I want to buy one myself but don’t pull the trigger because I have a touchscreen notebook, when people ask for suggestions in tablets 7 out of 10 times I suggest they consider different smartphones vs buying tablets the other 3 I am more likely to suggest a Surface over an iPad unless the shop is all iPhone already.

    • HeyYoWL

      It sounds like you just have no need for tablets in your life really, if all 3 tablets aren’t to your liking. Makes me wonder why you need a Surface..lol

    • Nadefrenzy

      Productivity.

    • Stephen_81

      ;) because you never know. I never thought I’d have an electric chain saw, never thought I’d use a BlackBerry and if you look at my post history you’d see my reluctance to accept a work issued BlackBerry later transformed into an obsession, I never thought I’d get to like Sushi, lots of things at different points of my life I couldn’t see a use for and later use regularly and enjoy. I lug around a laptop with me every day all over Central/southern Ontario a tablet theoretically should work for me just haven’t found one I’m willing to replace my laptop for on the go use.

      One day maybe a tablet will be useful for more than netflix and games, and it’s only money so I’ll keep trying them.

  • Dennis Forbes

    What a bizarre, ridiculous, trollbait article. Most of the comments thus far are just as asinine.

    Just to be clear, Android tablets outsell iOS 2:1 or greater, and are growing rapidly. But Android tablets are dying because there are larger smartphones?

    What?

    And then the inevitable “hurr durr iPad > Android” comments. This is just a garbage time post.

    • Mawhayden

      With a name like Forbes, I thought you would have a bit more insight with your comments. I guess you are counting the $99 “forked” Android tablets, Amazon readers (you cannot access the Google store on Amazon) and knockoff in China. If you include these Tables, and they are tablets, it would be 2:1…..now look who is being disingenuous ……… So technically you are correct. But if you are a developer and or investor where would your money go …..meaning would it still be 2:1 ?

    • Dennis Forbes

      I like the part of your comment where you say nothing of value or consequence while pretending that you’ve soundly refuted something.

      This article is garbage. It is here to pander to people like you.

    • barrist

      Somebody angry they wasted money on a Galaxy Tab lol

    • Dennis Forbes

      No, simply angry at trollbait nonsense pandering to imbeciles. I was actually curious if there was a decline in Android tablet sales — I mean, given the headline — to discover yet another asinine, fluff-filled bit of pablum meant to pander to fanatics who need to have their choice of consumer electronics validated.

      And personally my go-to tablet happens to be an iPad — it has a great web browser and fantastic battery life. That says *nothing* to industry trends, and does nothing to make me support this garbage post.

    • John

      I found this exchange interesting, Dennis.

      If you say something sensible, but which is unpleasant for an Apple Cultist to hear…

      …then you must have bought a Tab, and must be ‘angry’ about it.

      Even if you actually prefer an iPad for personal use.

      The more committed apple fans are weird.

    • Chris Stoochnoff

      I was trying to figure out how Android increased it’s tablet market share between 2012 and 2013 by 16 percent, overtaking the lead from Apple, yet it is apparently dying. Erm, OK. I feel like I was Rick Rolled by even opening this article.

    • It’s Me

      Increasing marketshare and all losing money. That’s dying. Unless you think selling lots of units at a loss is winning.

    • It’s Me

      Look further at the numbers. Most of those sales are effectively white box units you can pick up for $99 or literally kids toys.

      The android tablet market is a black hole.

  • Thoughtful

    I suspect the article is half right. The need for small tablets is reduced when you own a large phone. Also, from the other side, consumers will question why they would buy a tablet with a ‘tablet operating system’ when this fall you will be able to buy atom tablets with the full Windows operating system for the same price.

    Small tablets, if they are really cheap, may just be something you buy to leave on the living room table for intermittent use.

    • Unorthodox

      I am 100% sure Apple sales strategists realize exactly that. That’s why they held off iPad mini for so long. That’s why they’re still sticking to their guns about iPhone’s screen size. Apple is competing with itself, whereas in Android part of the world manufacturers compete with each other. And this will bite Apple’s a$$ at the end, not Android. Because if one Android vendor looses, the other still wins and Android users along with it. Apple will always cut the balls of lower end devices, to make people waste more money on iPads.

    • John

      In other words, apple doesn’t care about serving its customers, only manipulating its customers to rape them on price.

      Yeah, that sounds about right.

  • Digital_Troll

    I knew it. So evident when you walk around, Apple truly dominates. Long live iOS!!

    • Deli

      Long live iOS! As long as there are other OS’ to copy from every year! W00t!

    • John

      Yeah, I was embarrassed for apple during this years WWDC

      Especially because they were *proud* of themselves over so little!

  • jclowater

    Having an ipad mini retina, a Nexus 7 and a Samsung 8.4 pro I find myself using the Samsung most of the time.

    The apps I want to use are on both ios and android but android os is just smoother and more intuitive. The biggest thing is the ability , on the android , to go back one screen at a time across applications using the back button.

    I have considered replacing my 7 to 8 inch tablets and my nexus 5 phone with a note 3 or LG G3.

    • Civuck

      My iPad Air sits idle most of the time. My Samsung Tabpro 8.4 gets most of my time. I’ve been able to configure all my app widgets onto a single home screen page because of the Tabpro’s high resolution display. The constant home screen page swiping on iOS got too annoying.

    • John

      Yeah, there is a lot that is really annoying about using an ipad. Somehow all the buzz seems to be about apple, though iOS is inferior in so many ways.

  • hhy2k

    An Android tablet is just a big phone. An iPad is not a big iPhone.

    • Nahuel

      SAY WHAT? Its the exact same lol

    • hhy2k

      No, it’s not. Different screen ratios and different apps. An iPad never felt like a big iPhone, but any nexus tablet I bought was a useless device as it did exactly what my android phone meant to do but blew out of proportion…

    • Nahuel

      Sure because an iPad doesn’t do the exact same thing as an iPhone? You need to stop fapping to Jobs and face reality.

    • Chris Stoochnoff

      I hate to tell you this, but your Android tablet didn’t blow your Android phone out of the water because your Android phone wasn’t a limited piece of .. hardware.. like an iPhone. Maybe you should be mad about Android phones being too overpowered.

      Also, I’m not sure where you’re going with “different screen ratios and different apps” because there are a whole shwack of different screen ratios from phone to phone, phone to tablet and tablet to tablet, plus apps are limited to the hardware involved, generally. If your phone has excellent cpu and video capabilities, the app should work on it. If not, you would likely need something more powerful, which may fall in the tablet category. Some of my apps only work on my tablet, for example, although a lot work on my phone because it’s quite capable.

    • hhy2k

      The only limit I found on an iPhone is downloading torrents….

      Your own reasoning might be true, but it also makes an android tablet useless, a device what one not need (may be because his android phone is so awesome). The article was about this, and I thought it had a great point as it is exactly what I think. (I am trough with about 10 android phones, 3 android tablets).

      I was not talking about android vs iOS, but I must tell you, on the street an iPhone is a better companion as it is a simpler device which is always ready for interactions. My last android, an M7, while a great device in many aspects, it is years behind in usefulness of an android device. It is choppy, clumsy and a battery hog compared to a 5s… Not to mention it is too big as well for causal on the street peeking on your smartphone.

      There you have it. I am also sure you realized that almost all android tablets are 9:16 or 10:16 screen ratio vs the iPad’s 3:4. Nexus tablets are choppy too just like the FB app on any android phone to date… I can’t stand that!

    • hhy2k

      So, you are saying that an android tablet only makes sense if i have a limited piece of crap android phone? What? Never mind, the 5s blows away the M7 in almost every aspect (except the sound) and i don’t mind to have an ipad with the iPhone as it is a different experience. Totally different.

    • ABCONMan

      Oh give it up already. You’re embarrassing yourself.

    • hhy2k

      Ya man, keep on chopping with your droid…

  • Shimoner01

    I take one of the points of this article to be to say that as smartphones get larger, there is less of an advantage for the use of a tablet; and I have to agree. iPads, in particular, are just giant iPhones in that they run iOS. So, as the iPhone gets bigger, which it is about to this fall, there will be less of an advantage to owning the iPad – particularly the mini. However, the iPad is, by and large, a media-consumption device. Smartphones, outside of making calls and sending texts, are also media consumption devices. Thus, if we consider tablets as oversized phones, in that they operate on smartphone OSes, then it is entirely correct to say that as phones get bigger, the use for a tablet declines. However, there is also the case of desktop OSes being shrunk into tablet form, and this could still be a growth area in the tablet market.
    The obvious example here is Windows (not RT) in tablets. They offer more to a user than an iOS/Android device will because they offer more value for work-production, rather than media consumption. Something like the Surface Pro 3 might actually be successful, if not for the price, with this in mind. I have heard several people saying that they would replace their laptops with one. That said, there is nothing stopping Apple or Google from producing tablets with the desktop OSes to achieve a similar effect [though I've heard that Chrome OS kind of sucks]. Some people may find it practical to replace their tablet and laptop with one device. Though that may not work for everyone, it is one area where the tablet market could potentially continue to see growth.

    • hhy2k

      What is a laptop? ;)

    • Shimoner01

      Lol, well yeah. Just lighter with a detachable keyboard. Though I suppose with ‘two-in-one’ laptops, they’re really isn’t much of a line to be drawn there.

  • demigod79

    I don’t think it’s Android tablets that are at special risk of dying – it’s just sharing the same fate as other tablets in an industry that is slowing down (iPad sales are down as well). The novelty of the tablet has worn off, and it’s no longer the “cool” gadget that it once was.

    IMO, tablets have, so far, been just bigger versions of smartphones. In order for the industry to thrive further I think it needs to start going beyond that. Some Samsung tablets allow pop-up or windowed apps for things like the calculator (and some video app allow video playback on the home screen) and I think this should become a standard feature. It feels like a huge waste, using the big screen on a tablet to do only one thing at a time (how great would it be if we could browse the web while watching a movie with a chat window open on the side?).

  • jones19876

    Something’s off in the comparison between iPad apps and tablet-bound Android apps.

    iOS apps need to include a specific layout to be counted as iPad apps (otherwise they run in their iPhone format surrounded by black borders, a horrible experience), but very, very few Android apps actually use a tablet-specific layout because Android (unlike iOS) isn’t so restrictive about using absolute values – on Android, values are relative to how much real estate the apps gets to play with.

    So, it’s all fine and dandy, but because apps are built and packaged differently, I don’t think comparing the two sets can work.

    Also, on the Android front, I think the phablets are screwing up the numbers, they are technically phones but they are true hybrids and thus make for a more practical purchase than a stand-alone tablet. This is just a guess on my end, though.

    In any case, far from me the idea of desperately defending Android numbers – I love my Nexus 5, it’s a great phone, but I dislike most Android tablets because they feel very redundant. I do however own an iPad and I think it’s a great product – call me crazy, but I feel the iPad is a much better and potent product than the iPhone, which I cannot stand.

  • alphs22

    iPads are superior to every Android offering out there.

    This isn’t just Daniel’s opinion. Look at every single iPad review from reputable tech sites and compare them with Android tablets. They don’t compare.

    • John

      No no no, ipads are glorified toys. If you want a power tablet, get an android tablet!

      “Reputable tech sites”? Is that like a ‘true scotsman’ ?

    • alphs22

      LOL I have a Nexus 7. It’s just as much of a toy as the iPad.

  • Lion5

    What a load of hogwash. I used to mainly see people on the subway playing games on their iPads but nowadays I see just as many Tabs and other brands during my commute. I bought myself an 8 – inch Tab and it serves me well. The UI is much better than the basic icon display on the iPads. I have all the apps I need on my Galaxy Tab and it runs just fine. This article and the Apple trolls who pollute the comments section is utter and complete nonsense. Most-likely written by an Apple fan boy. I will never again buy another Apple product. The one limited (for my use) phone was enough to convince me to never go back. Cue up the hate from the rotten apples.

  • Humberto Giambrone

    Tablets are a short-lived technology. The only really successful one is the iPad, and that will diminish once Apple makes larger iPhone screens and when flexible screen start to emerge, allowing you to roll out or fold open a phone into a larger screen.

    I was given an iPad as a gift, but I honestly never understood what the point was. I played with it a bit at first since it was a new toy, but really haven’t touched it much. My phone is big enough for simple searches, socializing etc. If I need to do something more focused, I use my computer. The iPad is in no-mans land. I certainly would never want to haul it around with me, I already carry around my phone.

    I’m sure some people will continue to see the value of it, but the market will peak if it hasn’t already.

  • one5

    Is this a joke? Dude, come on.

  • Nadefrenzy

    Too bulky and heavy. Next.

    Get the Xperia Tablet Z2. It will soon get vanilla Android on it like the original. Then it’s a monster (not in dimensions tho lol).

  • selonmoi

    Outselling iPads 2-to-1, but still dying because… big phones?

    The death of Mobile Syrup’s credibility has not been exaggerated.

  • Rimtu Kahn

    I don’t think it’s a matter of iPad vs an Android tablet issue. I had Asus transformer tf100 and once I gave it away as a gift I was itching to get another. I had IPad that I’d gotten as a gift but it felt less useful for serious work. However, ever since I’d gotten the xperia z ultra I find no reason whatsoever to get a tablet at least nothing in the range of 7″-10″

    The 6.44″ on this beast of a phone is great at handling all tasks I used to do in my android tablet and it’s much easier to carry.

    I did get excited with samsung’s release of 12.5″ note tablet but I read some really shoddy reviews of it..so haven’t bothered with it. however I feel samsung’s note series of tablet with its amazing pen integration is and will be very useful for any student who can carry it. They can and should be used for note taking instead of wasting trees with use of paper.

    I have noticed several medical clinics are now using tablets for writing down patient histories too. So there are some use cases for some tablets.

    But if the tablets offer nothing more than what a 6″-7″ phone can do why should one bother with them?

  • rgl168

    A couple of weeks ago I was at a Samsung Enterprise showcase, where they pushed for their Knox platform and Android tablets (hardly a word regarding their Windows offerings). After the main talk was done, there was breakout sessions and I noticed a couple of execs of other companies complaining to the Samsung reps why they don’t provide WWAN tablets as mass market devices (currently they only provide limited models, and via carriers only), because field workers need constant connections, wifi-only devices are not adequate, and tethering is not an option as it runs down the phone battery quickly. I immediately jumped in, saying “the other company” offers 16/32/64GB, Wifi-only or Wifi+LTE to choose from, so why can’t Samsung.

    The Samsung rep said he understood the situation but didn’t say much, other than “stay tuned”.

    This is a cycle that the vendors themselves created: they complain that their tablets don’t sell. On the other hand, they produce devices that are, shall I say – “undesirable” – that people don’t want to pay for them.

    [FYI - I saw a lady taking photos of their kids at a festival - using a Lenovo Android tablet.]

  • wes

    Have a Nexus 4, 7 and Microsoft Surface Pro.

    This is what I use the most:
    1) Microsoft Surface Pro (laptop and pc replacement with at 24″ external monitor)
    2) Nexus 4
    3) Nexus 7 (2012)

    Rarely touch my Nexus 7, waiting for a 5.5-6.0″ phone that will replace both my Nexus 4 and 7.

  • Unorthodox

    It depends of your typical use. I for once consider Note 10.1 the best tablet for productivity. Nothing beats taking notes with a ball pen precision, alongside with great performance and media capabilities. Taking notes with one of those capacitive screen styluses is like using a marker. Mwehh!

  • F Young

    By the way, Koodo has a good sale on in Quebec now. To see the rates for any region, you must select the region at the bottom of the screen, but this may or may not work; the region button seems to be broken for me.

  • Andrew Phillips

    I have both here at home and I cannot remember taking the ipad anywhere but my Tab3 is with me often (my S4 always). At work there was quite a few Ipad users but now nearly all of them have android and will bring both phone and tablet to work.
    I would agree with this article but only to a point, More and more are moving to the phablet so that they only have to carry a single device, and if you use the definition of a phablet as a tablet with phone capabilities, which is how they are really used, then this story is totally wrong.
    This is not an option for the iphone users, who for the most part will not carry both all of the time, and have no option for a combination unit. .

  • Jim Thibault

    The death of the Android tablet has not been exaggerated!!! What a pile of hype, stupid title makes people think no Android tablets are being sold in 2014. So the growth in the Android tablet market is slowing big deal, it is not like the sales dropped 30 percent this year. Sales are still increasing maybe at a slower rate but they are increasing. There is market saturation, I own a nice Android Tablet why buy another.

  • bmccull

    We see similar patterns on our wifi networks. Phones are split between iOS and Android, then come iPads, then much farther down Blackberries and Kindles/Kobos etc. Very few Android tablets.

  • Bawd

    Moving from an iPad 2 to the Nexus 7, I must say that my experience has been downgraded. iPad is the superior tablet experience even with limitations in file management and customization.

  • kaostheory

    “Take a look around” I don’t see any tablets. Every once in awhile you see some dork trying to take a picture but I never really see any. The reason I never bought one is I know I’m always closer to my phone, if at home my TV is bigger. True story, my friend bought an ipad because his iPhone screen was too small.

  • Big Ang

    Soon we’ll have a flood of inexpensive Windows (full Windows, not RT) tablets out. Once that happens, why would anyone want an Android tablet, when they can buy a much more powerful Windows one for the same price?

    • wes

      Gotta agree with what you said. My case precisely. Android in a tablet form is pretty useless and so is an iPad.

  • WatDah

    These comments here are all excellent examples of “people only like to hear what they want to hear”. Very educational.

  • ABCONMan

    I have an Android tablet (Nexus 7) that I use at home, but don’t need to take with me, because my Android phone is large enough to use in public. Typically old people need an iPad, since their iPhone is so small.

    Like they say, the iPhone is your Mom’s phone.

  • ScooterinAB

    I want to think that there is something deeper and more relevant going on here. iPad/iPhone usage, as a whole, tends to include more casual users. This makes an iPad a (generally) cheaper and better alternative to owning a dated desktop PC. Think about it. How many of your parents or grandparents own an iPhone or iPad because they are simpler and cuter? How many of them also own a computer than pre-dates the US electing a black president, and haven’t turned it on in as many years?

    Android usage, on the other hand, if you paint with a very broad brush, can be said to include more tech-savvy, younger, or more freedom seeking users. These are exactly the people who are still going to be using a desktop or laptop computer for day to day computer, while a smartphone or tablet is going to be an accessory to that. Where as an iPad might be the centre of a casual user’s world, an Android user has a full computer to use along with their smartphone and perhaps a tablet. This puts tablets in an awkward spot.

    Again, incredibly broad strokes here, but I think there is more going on here than simply people using iPads for more things and Android killing itself with larger screen sizes (though it’s certainly a factor).

    At the end of the day, I think tablets are going to end up as book readers and web browsers when the gimmick wears off (iPad and Android alike). The operating systems are just too restricted compared to modern computing, and are likely to end up as more of a gag item that the X killer. I remember hearing that laptops were supposed to be the desktop killer, yet they are still around. I think people are just cluing in that tablets weren’t all they were cracked up to be, with Android users seeing it first.

  • iKrontologist

    Retarded In iDenial of Reality. Apple is afraid of Samsung most, because they are slated to take over the lead in tablets. Reality for me at least is I rarely if ever see a full sized iPad out and about. They are seen on coffee tables and shelves these days, than actually being used. If you’re looking for productivity? Only Samsung Tablets are growing market share as being the most productive Tablet with full drag n drop Apple used to brag about in the 80’s but no longer have on iPad or iPhones.

    Multitasking is just a word to Apple. They really don’t know what Pervasive System Wide Multitasking is in reality. Since they are still stuck in the DARK AGES of NeXT’s “Preemptive Task Management”. Which basically hasn’t changed in 25yrs. It merely suspends Apps while running the current task or app as the only one LIVE!

    That’s because it’s file system was originally designed for 30yr old hardware. Like slow floppy disc drives and single threaded chips. So it stacked tasks or apps one on top of the other. You’re only ever running ONE App or Task at a Time!!! ……great for two or less cores, but a waste on more than two cores!!!

    This is a full on crock of doo doo. lol…. I’ve been seeing more Android tablets since Nexus 7 came out than iPads. Less iPad Mini’s even. I’ve used the first iPad Mini and it was a total joke! They seem so cheaply made with that pot metal rather than Aircraft Grade Aluminum Apple was using on older iPads!