Android will become the king of the tablet market, stripping the coveted title from Apple's iPad, according to Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell. The claim appears in an interview in today's Wall Street Journal, in which Dell traces the meteoric rise of Android over the past 18 months and predicts that the platform's entrance into the tablet market will achieve similar success. Though Dell can't be considered completely objective (See: Dell Streak and Dell Streak 7) it is reassuring to see some confidence from the CEO of one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world.

Dell says that he doesn't see the shift in dominance coming anytime in the near future, citing huge reported profits from Apple and less-than-stellar sales of the much touted Motorola Xoom. And despite rumors of upcoming Windows 7-powered Dell tablets, Dell has repeatedly made it clear that his company is committed to Android. “I think you'll see... enormous numbers of Android tablets with Dell certainly playing a role in that as well.”  [The Wall Street Journal]

 
There are 60 comments

trenen says:

"Android OS" might surpass the iPad...but let's see if a single Android device has a single level of close success like Apple has seen over individual products. That's the difference.

tgaskill says:

Why would everyone buy the same product when they can choose the one that fits their needs? That's what I don't get about the iPhone and iPad. They're not nearly as customizable as Android devices.

trenen says:

Because, putting typical Android user prejudices aside, iOS actually works great for 'everyone'. It's one of the tried and proven things. I use both an Android phone and an iPad. When it comes to just "working", iOS has Android crippled - hands down. Sure, it's nice that I have LauncherPro installed and makes things look a little fancier, but I'm not sure that counteracts the resetting I have to do of my Droid X at least once a day - not counting random reboots. What are these "needs" people talk about? The core of either OS is the access to applications. What more does the NORMAL user need?

Treknologist says:

I need to be able to look at more than just a bunch of icons on a screen. I need to have info accessible at a glance on my homescreen without having to open and close different apps. I guess that makes me an abnormal user.

trenen says:

Yeah, I know having to wait that extra second for an application like a Calendar to load up is a real killer. :)

I find Android (and maybe it's my device) not much easier when it comes to the widgets. For example, I have the calendar widget on one of my screens. However, to access it I have to swipe the screen, and since it only shows the day (used to show the month, prior to the 2.3.3 update), I have to open the calendar application itself. Hell, to actually use the calendar I have to open it anyway...

Notification and what not are not any worse either. When I get a Gmail prompt, I still have to open up the mail application to read/respond. I guess to me, widgets are more of an extra battery drain than a real benefit. :)

Treknologist says:

I have a widget on the center homescreen that tells me the next 3 appointments on my calendar. Without having to open anything...imagine that! I can just glance at my screen and there they are. Need to see more? Scroll to the left and my agenda is right there and I can see everything else. Need to do more, then I can open the calendar app. Try doing that in iOS without opening an app. Same goes for my favorite people to call. Just scroll to the right and tap on whichever one of them and the phone call is made. Can't do that on iOS either.

To each his own. I see benefit in something that you clearly could care less for. Looking at a bunch of icons on a screen is utterly useless to me.

trenen says:

By the time you swipe back and forth, I can click a single icon (conveniently located right on the launcher) and have all that information you're swiping for in a second. :)

I don't have an iPhone, so I don't know about the whole contacts thing. Either way, you are right...to each their own. But for people to claim iOS as completely inferior is retarded.

Treknologist says:

iOS isn't inferior and I did not say that. It just isn't what I want. And YES, I have used it and I absolutely detest it.

And no, I don't have to click anything to see my next 3 appointments. So, you have to open the app while I just glance at the screen.

UFd0L says:

sure iOS is inferior. and so may android it just depends on what you need to do. I have none of the problems listed above, and someone has to reboot their phone once a day, they have a bad phone or have really messed it up.

I need my tablet to do things that iOS just doesn't provide. It certainly doesn't 'just work' for everyone. I need:

* flash! I watch hulu on my tablet (http://tiny.cc/7xh9x)
* interface a usb drive (http://tiny.cc/ks72m)
* will use sd (once I get all my books in pdf form I'll have my library on an sd)
* make video calls to anyone (http://tiny.cc/weh92)
* will use 4g for fast browsing
* use google maps
* use voice search
* multitask by swtiching between apps in the easiest way possible and not have to be bothered by other tasks(http://tiny.cc/oyxtp)
* NOT have to plug in something to access files and use that horrible program called itunes
* using a custom thumbs-only keyboard so I can blind-type documents
* use widgets so I can get instant real-time market data (http://tiny.cc/h7g4q)
* have apps that scale up to proper size even when when not designed for the tablet
* can see filesystem! so I can run scripts off of linux
* actually download files! (http://tiny.cc/9f71k)

I'm sure iOS is good for something, but just because it works for some people, don't assume it works for everyone.

Treknologist says:

Good list! :)

"iOS actually works great for 'everyone'"

link please. I need that Unix/POSIX/Linux version of iTunes so I can use it at all.

trenen says:

As an editor and journalist, I would think you would understand what the '' means, or at least the implication or context of it. :)

btw...what was I supposed to link to? I could link to sales charts if that helps. I could link to surveys. :)

ScottJ says:

I get it. It was "...not meant to be a factual statement." Is that you Senator Kyl?

kenyee says:

I actually understand what that means, I think.

Take the non-technical user. Give them an ipad and android tablet. Let them play and they'll probably find that the android table is frustratingly complicated. A friend has a mother who can't deal w/ using a mouse to web browse on a PC. My wife's father can't deal w/ the mouse on a PC either...hard to click on tiny items. Both can intuitively use an ipad.
"Everyone" = "Average Non-technical Joe who can't program that blinking 12:00 on their old VCRs" ;-)

FWIW, I'm an Android developer (Studio Buddy app)...I am in no way an ipad/iphone fanboy, but I try to evaluate things objectively. I am hoping the Android tablet makers figure out that they need to get an initial mass out there by pricing low first. I think that's a big part of Android activations now (the first wave was the Droid thanks to Verizon's commercials....they got techies interested and they were a decent sized wave, but far smaller than the folks buying the Mytouch 4G and Samsung Vibrant now IMHO).
And fragmentation is annoyingly frustrating. When the emulators don't emulate enough that you have to test your app w/ different hardware to find bugs (getting the HTC Hero's trackball to work properly w/ my app, e.g.), there's fragmentation. It's not Google's fault. It's just the flexibility and open-ended-ness of the platform. It's very much like developing for the Mac vs. PC. It's way easier as a developer to test/debug on a limited hardware set and it always will be, and even if you follow the guidelines, you still have to fix quirks...

trenen says:

That's exactly what I meant. 'Everyone' meaning, the general populace...ie, people outside this website and other gadgetry places. ;)

There is no denying that iOS works best for the masses when you see people that never touch advanced products walking around with iPhones and iPads. This isn't just limited to the elderly. Look at the adoption of this kind of technology with kids and older adults. The rise in smartphone (and now tablet) usage has been astronomical since 2007. Let's not stop there though...how about the implementation of the technology in school systems? Any schools out there using Xooms? Sorry people, but this continual burst isn't because of Android.

foxpacific says:

How about give them an Android tablet show them the one icon that brings up the App Drawer... how is iOS different from the Android App Drawer???

hmmm says:

Although that may be true as to the success of a single product the more the market share for Android grows the more devs are probably going to develop apps for it at the same time or hopefully even before iOS simply because more money could be made by getting their products out to whatever platform has the largest market share. So, if Android tablets make up a 75% market share of the tablet space eventually and iPads are 25% wouldn't it make sense to develop for Android first? (I made up the numbers)

trenen says:

If that really happens, sure. The problem with Android (which maybe it will be fixed by then) is the hardware and software fragmentation. If Android reaches that level of popularity where more developers want to create better and more abundant applications for it - are we then going to have to deal with 'specs'? Does x tablet/phone have the 'specs' to run this software? At least with the iPad and iPhone, developers know the devices are the same - or at least the minimal amount of variation between models.

So ios is for lazy developers?

trenen says:

No, I was thinking more about complications for the end-user. But, since you mention it, that extra headache of 'which one to develop for' could be a real headache for developers. After all, if the developer builds in Objective C first, and builds around specific hardware - when it comes time to convert the application, how could it not be a problem? Which specs do they adjust to? Higher end or lower end? It could be twice (or more) the work. It's not about being lazy, it's about cost-benefit, and labor bandwidth.

Your argument on this is retarded. Objective C only applies to Apple here. If someone is going to develop for Android, they need to know the code. Not all apps need to keep up with the Jones's, most new builds of Android can handle most all of the apps that were made to run on a previous build. If they want to be uber competitive then yes, they will need to burn the midnight oil now and again. You can tell who does this by the updates and the fact that they fix issues when brought to their attention. Lazy devs need not apply here. Go load your crap on ios.
A really good example of a lazy dev is Zenga.

trenen says:

It's not retarded if you re-read what I said. I did mention "convert", I guess you missed that. The struggle with developers is already around. There are many apps that are on both devices. I have found the "iOS-native" apps run far smoother and efficiently than the Android versions. Why is this?

ScottJ says:

Bias on your part.

Treknologist says:

But that is the Apple model. They only make one device which is supposed to fit everyone's need. Of course the one thing is going to sell and not be matched by one single device with Android given that the model for Android is totally different. Multiple devices to fit the needs of different people.

trenen says:

"Multiple devices to fit the needs of different people."

Through the overwhelming success of iOS devices, that apparently doesn't seem to be such a huge factor. I think both OS variations are great. My problem comes with the dependability of Android. I have not had a single Android phone that doesn't freeze up or reboot. I have applications that constantly force-close every single day, despite keeping up-to-date on releases (Slacker is really bad about this). Is this hardware or software related? Who knows for sure, but having had all the major devices VZW has released, I lean more towards the OS. What consumer would enjoy that kind of trouble?

Treknologist says:

Android has overtaken iOS in the phone market because of the variable form factors. So, yes it does make a difference in people. What Apple did was make something that was perceived as for nerds to the common folk and that has changed how phone operating systems are made. People don't want to have the same thing over and over and over. It grows stale after a while. And this is true of everything. You don't eat the exact same food every day, do you?

trenen says:

Or maybe it's because for years AT&T had a stranglehold on the the marketshare and access of the device? That couldn't possibly effect anything could it?

People don't want the same thing over and over again, you're right. I guess this is why Apple releases a new iPhone once a year (iPad too). Each new device is typically better than the other. Function-wise, if it ain't broke, why fix it? Google needs to embrace manufacturers a little bit harder. They need to micro-manage a the process a bit more. Each device you buy gives you a different experience, and not in a good way.

Treknologist says:

In the US AT&T had a strangehold on the device, not globally, and Android beat iOS globally before it beat it here in the US. Even the Verizon iPhone hasn't changed the trend of more Android phones being sold in the US.

Insofar as Google managing the process a bit more, they appear to be heading that way. Time will tell.

trenen says:

The Verizon iPhone hasn't probably changed anything because of how and when it was released. I'm sure when a new version comes out (especially when a version with LTE and/or global capabilities) those numbers will shift.

Outselling doesn't necessarily mean that's a good thing. Of those devices in market, how many are actually good or on part with the best? If things are not taken carefully, Android could become more of a "spamware" than a good OS in the long-run.

I have seen Google is managing a bit more, I just hope they take it further...there is still quite a bit left to be desired when it comes to a good, consistent experience - especially across devices.

ScottJ says:

"Outselling doesn't necessarily mean that's a good thing."

Unless, of course, when the iPhone was selling more. Then, popularity is a good thing.

briankurtz79 says:

That's the difference to OEMs. Not us. All we need is for the platform to keep gaining. That keeps developers interested. Maybe one day we will be talking about all the cool apps a couple months before the the idorks.

It is Android vs ios, douche. Stay on topic. If Apple made twenty different ipads you could compare it that way. Alas, Apple only makes two with three different memory capacities for each.

trenen says:

Uhh no, the topic is actually "Android vs iPad".

Yes it is, yet In your comment you thought that a comoarison of single devices would be more interesting.

trenen says:

haha...that's what the article is about. To say "Android will overtake iPad" is no surprise. It would be more interesting (and accurate) to argue, a single variant of Android overtaking the iPad, otherwise you might as well compare Android vs iOS. Just because Android is so freely available that any Joe Schmo manufacturer can implement it, doesn't mean that's a good thing or will necessarily "overtake the iPad".

UFd0L says:

And just because people flock to Apple like sheep doesn't mean it's a better product either. Android has the people who don't know any better and Apple has the people who wear shirts because of the name on the label.

Just look at the Android phone v.s. iphone sales. Apple sells so much more than any other company. Do we really think that iPhone is just leaps and bounds better than the best Android phone, really? I mean like 15 times better? I don't think so, a VERY large portion of those sales is because Apple is great at psychology and people love their trends.

trenen says:

Yes, that's exactly it. Apple fucks with people's minds. They make you think people are brainless drones that can't make their own decisions because they bought a better and more appealing product. Apple furthers the psychosis by then reporting these incredible numbers that couldn't possibly be a result of a great product and word-of-mouth but mere brainwashing. Man, you must have a fancy helmet you wear that blocks these brain-scrambling waves from the television every time an Apple ad airs.

Sounds like you might want to get a refill of your green Kool-Aid. Android is great, but so is iOS. Some of the hardware released with Android is great...but the Apple hardware is almost always better. Some companies are just better at things than others. Is that criminal?

Btw - trends typically don't last for over 4 years.

ScottJ says:

"Btw - trends typically don't last for over 4 years."

They do if they have a powerful social component behind them. Add in millions of dollars in marketing and yes, they will last that long.

Roshizzle731 says:

when you give people choices like the phone makers you end up with fragmentation and Devs openly saying they won't develop for your OS because of your lack of control. Android users seem more like the sheep because you really don't have the control you think you do. and you do know iOS can be jailbroken just like Android is rooted. knowing what your talking about usually goes over better than name calling.

Sorry, meant iPad not ios. Typo. And sorry, your not a douche.

UFd0L says:

I hear this all the time, and my eyes hurt from rolling so much. Assume there were 100 different companies all competing on the android platform, but apple had 5% market share--that is, 95% went to android--yes Apple would be biggest seller, but Android fans would be completely fine with that. Yes Apple sells more than any one given company, yes they always will, we agree COMPLETELY, you can keep that fact all you want, and the Android people will be happy with the 95% market share. See, everyone is happy with what they have!

Cleantech says:

Really Trenen? lol
thats the beauty of Android!!! were not stuck to a small device that the cult of apple TELLS us we should be happy with!

Go home fanboy

trenen says:

Right...maybe you should try it before you trash it. Also, just because I am making "negative" comments against Android doesn't mean I don't have an Android device myself. I actually really like Android, iOS is just better at more important things. Sorry that offends you.

Cleantech says:

I have Trenen

When i was jumping ship from blackberry i did a lot of research.
Even went to my friends with iphones and androids and asked them to convince me they had the better device. Android has everything apple has and then some.
I no longer use itunes so that is of zero use to me personally.

The one thing that would be nice is if there were min specs for the devices that google put out.

Im sorry you having issues with your phone rebooting etc. No problems here.

There are iphone forums you know? Since becoming a fanboy you would probably like it over there. Sure its a free country( i know your the type where your going to have a smart remark) but it would do us all a favor so we dont have to read these negative comments:)

have a great day!

trenen says:

Believe me, my time is more precious to me then to sit here and "troll" an Android comments section if I didn't actually have an Android device myself. Can't really be a "fanboy" of Apple if I have Android, can I? Oh yes, and your assumptions and generalizations about me and my responses degrade you.

Cleantech says:

you have an ipad, so yes.

lol...wow

meccariello says:

I am very pro android, but i hate to admitit...the android tablets have been total duds. Xoom overpriced itself out of the market and android keeps shooting utself in the foot. Not to mention the hardware comoanies that keep putting out devices in which no two are remotely similar.

Android better get it together. It sure tries hard to fail. Its almost successfull in spite of itself

CaptainYoshi says:

I don't think you can really put that on Google... once the base OS goes out to the Hardware companies they can't really be blamed.

SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab failed because it used an OS that wasn't designed for Tablets.

MOTOROLA Xoom failed because they didn't have the same availability as the iPad (No internal memory size options, so no matching Price Points) and released it without it actually being finished (4G upgrade\SD Card Slot)

Also any manufacturer needs to be smart enough from now on to release a Wifi only version at the SAME TIME as the 3G.... If these manufacturers would use their heads, then Android tablets wouldn't catch so much crap...

trenen says:

I think the other problem is Android never gets properly advertised. How many commercials out there actually show what Android is or does? Whether tablet form or phone, proper marketing would really help reach that general populace that Apple is so good at capturing.

CaptainYoshi says:

Very true, originally Verizon had the right idea with the Droid Does commercials. More companies need to work around that kind of promotion. (Not copying obviously, but the same feel)

hansonator says:

I got to finally play with a Xoom today at Best Buy, it was pretty nice. A bit heavy though, much heavier than the iPad but the Honeycomb UI is soooo nice.

*puts on gloves* :P

FRAGMENTATION? Really? We still flogging this old lame argument?

Great developers follow Google's app guidelines, they make great apps that work on most if not all Android devices flawlessly. I have noticed that many devs are awesome at responding to users feedback with bugfixes and new features.

Galaxy S, no lag, no reboots, no issues and awesome battery life. :)

CaptainYoshi says:

LOL.... the Galaxy S works well....

So what happens to it? LAWSUIT!

trenen says:

Works familiarly well...exactly why it has brought up a lawsuit.

hansonator says:

Pfft! First of all, it does work very well. Not on crappy US carrier so I have had 2.2 since December.

Second of all, this lawsuit is going to blow up in Apple's face like a goddamn truck bomb. Samsung had a similar UI and phone design before the iPhone and LG had a similar one before that. Look it up, quite funny. Trying to patent a "look and feel" didn't go well for Apple in the past and it won't go well this time either.

If you actually used TouchWiz you would quickly see the difference. So the app drawer scrolls horizontally, iPhone doesn't even have an app drawer, or widgets, or a notification panel ect.

Apple is getting desperate, though they shouldn't be. They have a niche product with a loyal following. I'm sure they will soon settle comfortably into a 13-15% market share like with their pc's.

As odd as this is to say, I actually agree with Michael Dell on something for a change. The disappointing part however, is unless they get their heads out of their proverbial butts, Dell will not be participating in that growth.

Dell Aero - Failure

Dell Streak 5 - Failure

Dell Streak 7 - Slightly Larger Failure

They are going to "Stage" themselves right out of contention, if they keep going at this rate.

ace060782 says:

You guys keep talking about which tablet fits your needs, when in all actuality it's the apps that make the os and the quality of apps that matter and so far android lacks quality polished apps.

ChaosZero112 says:

Which is why a lot of big iOS developers are now porting to Android or releasing simultaneously...

And to be honest, iOS has so many useless apps. It use to be quality, now it's quantity.

Roshizzle731 says:

that's so not true dude only apps that are released close to simultaneous is angry birds. most of the top apps come months and months later. Cut the rope has been coming soon since Oct. Scorecenter update to bring push notifications coming in "early 2011" is still not here. Cnn app was pretty close together also.

Jon Seals says:

Not.

sookster54 says:

An Android tablet being better than an iPad doesn't make any difference when the iPad is being sold way more.

Dell is a great laptop brand, but like Acer, they should stay clear of tablets, just my IMO. I own/owned a few Dell laptops in the past and loved them, I got nothing against Dell, I've also had Acer ones and they were all terrible.