According to Google's own data (Daring Fireball), true tablet activations came in at 1.2 million units, this is a number that is different from Strategy Analytics' data showing Android tablet accounts for 30% of the market. How can the two numbers be so far apart?
Well, SA's report takes into consideration of tablets that do no use the Honeycomb flavor of Android but also any other visions of Android that were used as a tablet OS. On top of there, there is some confusion about whether SA's data is for the number of Android tablets shipped by manufacturers or actually units activated and sold.
Between the two sets of data, I probably would go with Google's own for now, which is again, 1.2 million tablets activated. Within the same time frame, Apple has sold about 15 million iPad 2.
What does this mean? Has Apple won't the tablet market? Definitely not. Android started with the G1 on T-Mobile but it was not until the second and third years when Android really took off. And since then, it has not looked back. I reckon that Google and its partners figure that the same thing is likely to happen with the tablet market.
It can. But the amount of time that Android has to become a viable tablet OS is compressed in relation to the smartphone market and the players are bring a new arsenal that Android has to contend with.
During the Android rush in the smartphone, two tablet players were missing. HP and Microsoft. This time around, both tech giants with deep deep pockets are playing for keeps. It's like Steve Jobs said about the era we are in, post-PC. And they cannot afford to allow Apple's iOS to continue to dominate nor Google's Android to gain an unshakable foothold in the market. Windows 8 tablets will be coming in 2012 and you can believe that Microsoft will spend billions to promote it in ways that Google isn't because it is leaving it to its partners do promote Android.
On top of that, HP's Web OS is a long-term strategy that will be simply be abandoned after one Touchpad or Pre launch.
Furthermore, if Android doesn't quickly gain acceptance and it considered irrelevant in in the tablet market, this trouble could spill into the smartphone market and erode the overall consumer sentiment about Android.