Android tablets worldwide are facing just one problem : How to sell more? With towering iPad success and no sight or hope to answer it, let alone overcome, Android tablet manufacturers are getting antsy. While Apple’s iPad sales figures are easily available, Android tablet sales aren’t. Because of the obvious reason of too many manufacturers for Android tablets. Beyond that, numbers are hard to come by from popular manufacturers like Samsung and Motorola.
Samsung has claimed that it has sold 1 million Galaxy Tab’s. Someone from Lenovo has refuted that number by claiming that only 20,000 of the tablets were actually sold. Galaxy Tab is one of the better Android tablets out there. If Galaxy Tab didn’t meet the success it is looking for, what hope does other tablet manufacturers have?
It’s the ecosystem, stupid
Tablet manufacturers are increasingly focusing on brighter screen, better camera and faster processors. Unfortunately, that’s only a part of the equation. What made iPad successful isn’t the gorilla glass or the 10-inch screen but the ecosystem Apple built around iPad. There are 100,000 apps designed for iPad. How many apps does Android tablets have? Hell, they are still trying to figure out the naming convention and which apk should work on which device.
If the tablet manufacturers are really and truly in it to make money, then they need to stop thinking about hardware and start thinking about the software. Before that they should read my open letter to tablet makers.
Pick a niche
The best bet right now for any tablet maker out there is to pick a niche. Be it gaming, video or eBooks, whatever you fancy, just pick a niche, build an ecosystem around it and then start selling. The niche could be focused on a country too. Why is everybody worried about what’s the best screen size for a tablet? Segment the target section and not the hardware specifications on the tablet.
Lets admit it, unless Google pulls out a rabbit with its Ice Cream Sandwich and unless that rabbit isn’t let out in Motorola’s den first, the chances of anybody providing a real tablet experience is zilch.
Android is free, if you want to provide an user experience, you have to invest in re-packaging it. That’ what open means. I guess everybody’s confused with the word open. It doesn’t mean I will sit on my ass and do nothing. That’s the definition of lazy.
Go the Amazon way
Amazon is bringing out a $250 tablet. Guess what? It comes with whole lot of content – books, movies and music. And there are some apps too. What Amazon has done is it has bundled the experience. While the main attraction for someone like me to get an Amazon tablet is the books, it could be movies to someone else. This did not happen overnight. Amazon has invested in building an ecosystem. Tablet happens to be a conduit.
Go the Gamestop way
Gamestop has come up with its own tablet. The tablet isn’t manufacturer by Gamestop but it will be certified for gaming experience. The tablet is expected to come with pre-loaded games and a cloud based gaming platform. Now that’s a niche.
Go the Huawei way
Now this might not be true to picking a niche, I have included it just for the reason that Huawei has tried something different. None of the other tablets have done this. Huawei’s MediaPad tablet will focus on having India specific content and roped in Chetan Bhagat as its ambassador. The tablets will contain Chetan Bhagat’s books. I’m not sure if this would be the hottest tablet in the market but I have to say that this idea got potential.
If you pick a niche, the tablet becomes a uni-tasker from being a multi-tasker. In a way that’s bad. But the so-called multi-taskers haven’t worked so far. And there is saying that you can’t satisfy everybody.
If Gamestop satisfies gamers and Amazon satisfies readers, isn’t that an good thing versus trying to sell to everybody and anybody?
Image courtesy Flickr user Ervega