What Google can learn from the Amazon Kindle Fire (and iPad)
0. phoneArena 29 Sep 2011, 08:50 posted on
Android tablets have had a tough time breaking into the market, but maybe Google can learn some lessons from Amazon and Apple to help its own tablets make a better push into consumer's hands...
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1. Goldeneye (Posts: 419; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)
Amazon is the best e-seller of the world so they know what they're doing, this tablet should sell great specially at a very attractive price point
43. daniel_bargs (Posts: 325; Member since: 27 Nov 2010)
just another tablet... but much worse. only americans will be able to use it properly. if you are not in USA, u wont be able to buy it legally and you wont have access to android market which offer many free apps.
2. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
im really starting to look forward to you articles michael. They are defiantly a cut above the others.. on this site and other sites.
Although it may not be in the scope of what you are writing, one of honeycomb's biggest flaws is the lack of real advertisement. There is no "droid does" style campaign for honeycomb tablets for the most part. The most news people probably see about android tablets are the apple/samsung boxing match. Apple always has slick advertising.
You also hinted at one of my favorite strengths of android. Its like playdough. Anyone can change it to pretty much anything. Looks like amazon might have hit customization out of the park with this thing. Add pricepoint, the fact that its going to be in the front of amazon.com till the cows come home, and that so far it looks pretty slick with all the built in amazonian goodness, and its probably going to be a damn hot seller.
6. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
edited with an addendum, because commenting here wouldn't be enough to respond to your concerns
9. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
PS. thanks for looking out for my stuff! I hope you're remembering to share the link. I needs tha Google juice to live!
39. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
ha! lol. While I agree on the content part of advertising, there still needs to be advertising for advertising sake. They could advertise some of the stand out programs they have like Pulse, the Ereader, media capabilities, how cool google maps are on the big screen, and stuff like that. Samsung started that when the tab launched as they had their own ad campaign, but there needs to be either something from google or a collaborative effort from all the makers.
It doesnt need a ton of content, just enough to fill up a 30-60 second TV spot and be cool. There is plenty of content for that. Besides, what does most of Apple's adds consist of? iTunes, apps, and "magic".
44. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
exactly, all Apple ads show the content available on the tablet. the only ads-for-ads'-sake we've seen were some of the creepy DROID commercials with people turning into androids, and I'm not sure those sold too many devices.
46. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
ha i forgot about those.. or the sony thumbs commercial.. creeeeepy. lol
47. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)
dude...we totally love people turning into Droids. xD
3. doubler86 (Posts: 320; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)
True I agree Honeycomb needs to have a better eco system but their biggest flaw is easily advertising. No one knows about the other tablets. I'm a salesperson and most people come in asking about the iPad when I explain the differences however they generally prefer an android tablet like the Samsung or the Asus.
These companies need to invest more in advertising, after all its the reason Apple got to big in the first place, it was their amazing advertising and marketing
12. doubler86 (Posts: 320; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)
How to advertise for Honeycomb:
Browse the web like you do on your comptuer with flash support
Over 14000 Tablet Apps
16:9 ratio for to watch tv shows and movies
Screen is designed like a Computer not like a Phone
Streem all your music wirelessly with Google Music
10000 more free apps than iOS
Speak to type technology
The Asus Transformer - Tablet has expandability, can double the storage with a micro sd card, you can easily connect it to a TV with a mini hdmi, Keyboard Accessory offers 16 hour total battery life. Built in Office program
Samsung Galaxy Tablet - Lightest and Thinnest Tablet on the Market, Best screen and speaker quality. Built in Office program, Music Hub to download music, Media Hub to download movies, Social Hub to link your social network options, Mini app tray to be able use more than one app at the same time
Just a few suggestions. Again people don't know about android so how would most people know how to sell it.
14. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
android tablets don't even have 10,000 apps total so how can it be 10,000 more than iPad?
16. doubler86 (Posts: 320; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)
If you didn't read like an idoit, they have over 14000 Tablet Apps, most people just don't know.
Secondly Android has 10000 more apps the iOS, I didn't say 10000 more tablet apps.
19. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
iOS has more apps than android. I guess you're the idiot.
26. doubler86 (Posts: 320; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)
really taco, you didn't read again did you, I was paraphrasing from my original where i said 10000 more free apps. I didn't think I would have to spell it out for you again. how dare you call other people idoits and morons when you obviously can't read.
Not to mention that whole iOS having more apps total than android is shrinking everyday and will no longer be true by the years end.
21. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
14000 apps with honeycomb support, which often just means it will run even if it isn't exactly formatted or designed for the tablet. I'm taking about killer apps, apps that can be marketed. Apps specifically designed for the tablet experience are still lacking.
Besides, I'm not sure that's a reliable number
27. doubler86 (Posts: 320; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)
No Michael, these are actually designed for honeycomb not just supported by it. They're are many more that will just work on honeycomb of course but that's far greater in numbers.
The little trick I posted down below to find out that there is over 14000 is actually not even all the apps made and optimized for honeycomb. I have found more other ways. Google just hasn't put a tab for them which they definitely should and hopefully will in a market update. The only thing they have now is a featured area with only about 100 or so apps which most people mistake for all the tablet apps they have.
42. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I tried your trick in the Market, and although the results said "at least 1000", there were actually only 480 listed. Can you explain again how you are getting your numbers? I'd like to make sure I get this right.
28. ToneDef (Posts: 39; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Glad you clarified that, because your article reads like the honeycomb tablet buyer will be looking at a blank screen!
4. SoyCider (Posts: 18; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)
i liked my kindle very much till i saw this news :s
i should have waited few months
oh well its only $130
5. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
Android needs a mature tablet OS before they make any headway into the market. Honeycomb is buggy and has no app support. It works on phones because the phones are essentially being given away for free, but with tablets consumers actually have to spend their hard earned money. For that they'll demand a quality product.
7. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I don't think it's a matter of the quality of the OS. Honeycomb was definitely buggy at launch, but those issues have been ironed out with subsequent updates. Many Honeycomb tablets are priced competitively with the iPad as well, so that wouldn't be an issue if the content were there. I do agree on the app support, though.
11. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
The thing is they can't just match the iPad's price. They either have to beat it or offer something above and beyond for people to switch over. iPad has too much of a head start now for android to come in and offer the same or less and think people will switch.
iTunes and the App Store gives a big advantage to the iPad right now.
40. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
i do actually agree with most of that, but honeycomb still offers more actual features than iOS. Most of the bugs have been ironed out and its actually pretty smooth now, even on my G-Slate.
It has enough apps for what I do. It has all the main app categories covered with good apps. Yea, there isnt an explosion of apps to choose from that take advantage of the bigger screen, but there are definitely a few good ones in each category.
20. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)
well Honeycomb definitely works within it's parameters very well but what i think Google could learn here is that Google's multimedia services aren't really a strong and attractive force like Apple's iTunes or Amazon's services. they're not cooked right into the core of the Android OS like iTunes is with iOS and Amazon's services are in the Kindle Fire. i think you guys saw the Fire today and saw an OS that seamlessly became a hub for movies, books and music and that's what Google needs to do. now Google just has the Google Books app and the Google Videos app that both work in hand with an update to the Android Market. Google Music is very nice but i don't use it because it's not integrated into my phone as my default music player, there's conflicts and there's conflicts all over the place in Android. the new Market looks like you dove into a Windows Phone 7 device, Google Books looks old and out of the times and it doesn't look anything like it's sibling Videos app which looks similar to the new Market. Google needs a face for the multimedia experience on their devices, it needs to be seemless and beautiful. i like Honeycomb's ghosty, minimalistic, neon look with lots of lines everywhere so i think they should update everything like that and make a Music Store and advertise the hell out of them! then they can market the hardware a little better.
10. bossmt_2 (Posts: 449; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)
Honeycomb is a great OS, people who're calling it buggy or crappy haven't honestly used it at all lately.
THey need more App support but that is bound to come.
13. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
I've used it. I have a Xoom for a work tablet. It's still buggy.
17. doubler86 (Posts: 320; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)
If you really do have a Xoom, this is how you find out all the tablet apps you've been missing.
1) Go to Android Market
2) Go to the search
3) Type Tablet
4) See the 14000 to 15000 tablet apps depending on the tablet manufactor
32. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
I agree no educated consumer would go with an android tablet at this point. iOS 5 will put a bigger gap between the two.
33. doubler86 (Posts: 320; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)
iOS 5 is nothing but trying to make iOS more like android. If you want to see a real OS update wait till the week after when android announces ice cream sandwich. They will have real innovation not just copying stuff that's been out for a LONG time like voice commands, notification panel, widgets, and split keyboard.
34. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
Oh nice and what is the innovation in ice cream sandwich?
35. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)
what's the innovation in iOS 5?
we're all using rate of progression as indication.
48. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
it has automatic facial recognition. smile beeeeches! :)
41. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
someone who actually wants to be able to use their new tablet for something other than itunes.
15. vu2ikl (Posts: 11; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
Wow.. GREAT article. There was no fanboy-ism, it gave points to company where it deserved. Very well thought and well written. I got an answer to my question, "why don't android tab click", thanks.
The big G is trying to integrate google music which is a good start. It is solving problem of fragmentation with IceCream. I hope they starts selling more tabs. Competition is good..for both apples and android.
18. wow (unregistered)
that thing is fast holy crap I saw less lag than I see on my dads ipad 2 and it makes my galaxy tab 10.1 look like a dinosaur might sell this for 450-500 and buy the fire and keep 150-200 for my new focus s! the only thing that makes me hesitate is the lack of camera/mic and since I barely ever use those I'm really thinking about it...
31. ieattacoforbreakfast (unregistered)
30. ieattacoforbreakfast (unregistered)
37. AppleConspiracy (unregistered)
Yeah, right, users decide to buy iPad because of bigger content...
38. speckledapple (Posts: 892; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)
This is my first time commenting on this site. I have read article after article and I love a large majority of the commentary. However, this article for me provides a special insight into exactly the problem Google is having selling their hardware. I have always maintained that Apple has one of the best content management systems around. They have gained a great deal experience in offering a compelling amount of content that people just grab for. Microsoft is another company that has an amazing content delivery system (xbox live and windows anyone?) that even surpasses that of Apple. Google though has never really had that. Maybe with their acquisition of Motorola, they will start to branch into a phase where they move the market by providing content on a scale that rivals others. Only then will the massive growth behind Android be enforced and pushed to even greater heights. I love this article and keep them coming.
45. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Thanks! Glad I could get you to interact with us.
How exactly do you suggest Google use Motorola to provide content for Android? I can see Motorola being helpful in pushing Google TV, but although that's based on Android, it doesn't exactly help the entire Android ecosystem.
49. jman (unregistered)
The content is the internet and android tablets surf the internet better than any other tablet out there.
50. aburgthing (unregistered)
A HUGE part of the problem with the Android ecosystem, hardware AND software is the lack of knowledge from the general public as well as the sales people at most electronics stores I've gone to. They seem to be clueless as to the benefits of using Android devices which is a shame. It took a while to fully understand all of the things I can do with my Honeycomb tablet. Out of the box I had some buyers remorse until I understood all of both the productive and entertainment utilities. A earlier comment suggested highlighting the differences between the iPad, Galaxy, Asus, etc. It really is all about choice and I love the choices I have with my Android tablet opposed to what I could do with an iPad. Finally I think this article, while it has some validity (lack of marketing), only compounds the confusion and hesitation for those who may opt for an Android device. In summation, pretty (iPad) does not equate to usefulness and the Android tablets have it in spades over iPads and aren't going anywhere soon as this article would seem to suggest.
51. zth (unregistered)
I agree with your opinion about choice, though I suspect this is not the major selling point for the entire tablet market. One would expect the general usefulness of a gadget to be a factor in how well a tablet sells. However, a tablet is, after all, gadget, at least for the moment. Also, an exceedingly large segment (hopefully decreasing) of the collective market for the iPad's and Android tablets buys not for objective usefulness, often impulsively (not to mention the fashion connotations). Marketing has a lot to do with this trend.
I have quite a few friends with an iPad. Today many of them (having bought the iPad some months ago) say it's not particularly useful and mostly leave it alone. Those who find it useful dwell not on the content but with the apps they've installed that allow them to use it in circumstances other than long trips and short breaks to augment other productivity devices like smartphones.
From what I've seen, many people tend to buy iPad's to (1) impress other people with the iPad, (2) impress other people with the stuff they display on the iPad, and (3) say they've got an iPad. Beyond that, the Apple users among those people have MacBook's, iPod's, and iPhone's to deal with their other everyday needs, while the PC users have their counterparts. Some do find an everyday use for iPad's and I congratulate them. Finally, let's not forget the kids with iPad's whose sole use for the iPad during their free time is to consume content.
People like me, on the other hand, tend to wait for something like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer 2.
52. Rey Marvel (unregistered)
What you say here is true. But what is also true, is that Google has known about it's content problem for some time. That is why it helped in software development for the Kindle Fire and will, in the future, announce a formal partnership with Amazon.