It ought to come as no shock that we right here at Android Central are only a large bunch of tech fans who like to spend our time on this website speaking all about the leading Android telephones, smartwatches, and Chromebooks. However, as diehard followers of the Android ecosystem, there’s one necessary product class that we are likely to stroll on skinny ice round: Android tablets.
Now, this is not as a result of there aren’t loads of excellent Android tablets obtainable. For instance, with its Galaxy Tab S collection, Samsung makes a few of the best-looking and best-performing tablets exterior the iPad. Heck, even Lenovo has been identified to offer us some thrilling and modern gadgets as properly, notably with their Yoga collection of tablets.
Yet, for varied causes, it appears clear that the only actual problem to the iPad’s pill dominance in the Android house so far, no less than in the U.S., has come from Amazon.
What, you say, Amazon makes Android tablets?
Yep, Amazon has made a few of the leading and hottest Android tablets for a decade in its Fire Tablet line, and these are arguably the only Android tablets that have ever really mattered so far. However, Google’s forthcoming OS replace, dubbed Android 12L, means that the Android pill panorama might lastly be prepared for a dramatic change.
Kindling a Fire
Source: Android Central
Amazon introduced the first (Kindle) Fire Tablet again in 2011, at a time when the world of Android tablets was dominated by gadgets like the Motorola Xoom and Google’s personal Nexus 7. The software program working on all Fire tablets since then — known as, after all, Fire OS — was considered one of the first main (pill) forks of the Android working system, and arguably, the most necessary Android fork this facet of China.
Be trustworthy, did you notice that Fire Tablets ran a model of Android?
I jokingly hinted above that most customers most likely do not understand that Amazon’s tablets are powered by Android. That obtained me questioning if, or how, that notion or misperception might have affected the adoption and gross sales of Fire tablets over the years.
“I don’t know if consumers realize the difference between Google’s Android and Amazon’s, and even if they do, I doubt they care,” says analysis supervisor of IDC, Jitesh Ubrani.
Conversely, Avi Greengart, president and lead analyst at Techsponentialk, tells Android Central he thinks customers “tend to assume that Fire Tablets run Android,” however that this may additionally result in a little bit of a disconnect since Fire OS does not embody Google apps or providers out of the field (although there are methods to sideload them comparatively simply).
Greengart says that Fire Tablet house owners can get a bit “flummoxed when they discover that there are some apps that can’t be found in the Amazon Store on the device. However, counter-intuitively, the fact that Fire Tablets run Amazon’s Fire OS and Silk browser are key reasons for its success.”
Indeed, regardless of the lack of the Play Store and Google Apps, Ubrani says, “Amazon’s app store and services have become extremely robust over the years, leading to very few consumers missing out on key experiences.”
Experts agree Amazon’s Fire tablets have quite a lot of thoughts share in markets like the U.S.
According to Ubrani, a part of the downside with the Android pill ecosystem is that there hasn’t been a constant challenger to Apple both by way of thoughts share or market share.
“Outside of Apple, very few brands have come to be known as a ‘standard’ or ‘defacto’ option, but I’d point to Samsung on a global basis, Amazon in the U.S., and Lenovo in other parts of the world,” he says.
Greengart provides that Amazon is not precisely forthcoming with Fire Tablet gross sales numbers. However, “consumer surveys show that the Fire is behind only Apple and Samsung in the U.S.”
IDC’s inside analysis appears to bear this out as properly. Data shared with AC by Ubrani signifies that Amazon is true in the combine behind the two business titans, together with Lenovo, Huawei, and “others.”
So if Fire Tablets are lacking out on Google apps and providers, simply what do customers see in Amazon’s “Android” tablets? According to Ubrani, “most consumers see Amazon as the value pick” in the pill house.
Greengart agrees. He says, “consumers are attracted to the Fire Tablets in part because they are so inexpensive, and Amazon is willing to sell the devices at or near cost because it knows it will make money via its app store, services, and ecosystem engagement.”
As with almost all of Amazon’s gadgets, the Fire Tablet lineup guarantees sturdiness, user-friendly performance, and, most significantly, loopy low costs. Amazon grabbed the low-end of the pill market almost a decade in the past with this technique, and it hasn’t seemed again since.
Amazon captured the household gadgets market
Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central
The different factor Amazon found out early on was that mother and father wish to hand their tablets over to youngsters to entertain them, educate them, or merely placate them. In reality, it created a parallel lineup of Kids Fire Tablets that were extra sturdy, got here in enjoyable colours, and featured kid-friendly content material and parental controls in the type of Amazon Kids+ (previously Amazon FreeTime). For all intents and functions, it is primarily cornered the household pill market.
“Amazon’s tablets … are extremely family-friendly,” Greengart says. “Amazon allows multiple users (Apple doesn’t), Amazon provides extensive parental controls, and there are kids versions of the tablet that come with a bumper case, optimized user interface, no-questions-asked warranty, and age-appropriate content.”
Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central
Admittedly Fire Tablets aren’t thought-about superb for getting issues carried out, although they’re getting higher at that, however that’s not why most individuals purchase them (or why they purchase tablets normally). No, most individuals purchase tablets to eat content material on, whether or not binging Netflix or enjoying hours of Candy Crush and for these duties, Fire Tablets are simply excellent. After all, why spend extra on this performance if you do not have to?
Android 12L could possibly be a sea change for tablets
Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central
But what if you happen to do wish to be productive in your pill? That’s been considered one of the greatest knocks towards this phase of Android gadgets since day one, and it stems primarily from a scarcity of developer assist on the a part of Google, leading to an ambivalence on the a part of builders to create apps that can carry out properly on the platform at this dimension and kind issue. Heck, even the leading Chromebooks with removable screens and pill capabilities have gained floor on this regard lately. However, that all could also be about to alter quickly with the current announcement of Android 12L.
This new and lengthy overdue variant of Android is being constructed with bigger (therefore the “L” in Android 12L) kind elements like foldables and tablets in thoughts. It will enable the system to raised scale apps and UI components to raised make the most of the display screen dimension.
It additionally guarantees enhancements to the manner Android gadgets deal with notifications and multitasks on these bigger shows. And whereas most individuals see AndroidL as a response to the quickly bettering foldable telephone house and the reputation of gadgets like the Galaxy Z Fold 3, it may additionally make all the distinction in the world to the expertise of utilizing Android tablets.
Source: Andrew Myrick / Android Central
If different Android pill producers like Samsung and Lenovo can reap the benefits of the modifications coming in Android 12L, Amazon should not concern for its place at the low conclusion. However, its current foray into productiveness gadgets like the Fire HD 10 Productivity Bundle with Microsoft 365 might require retooling to remain aggressive with Android 12L optimized tablets, Chromebooks, iPads, and Windows gadgets.
“Amazon certainly has the potential to take the lead in the low-cost productivity space, but that space itself is quite small, as buyers who are serious about productivity tend to spend a bit more to get a better keyboard/mouse experience and typically a more robust OS as well,” Ubrani says. “That said, if Amazon were to beef up its software/services and specifically target schools, they could potentially displace Chromebooks, but this requires heavy investment and a fair bit of time.”
Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android CentralAmazon Fire HD 10 Productivity Bundle
Greengart does not assume there’s a lot room for Amazon to play in the productiveness house, no less than not but.
“I have been testing the Fire HD 10 Productivity Bundle, and while Microsoft’s Office suite and Zoom will run, it does not provide a good experience compared to Chromebooks, iPads, or Windows devices,” he says.
With Amazon Fire gadgets in agency management of the worth pill house and Android 12L on the horizon to rescue extra premium tablets, 2022 would possibly simply be the begin of an Android pill renaissance. Here’s hoping!
If you are contemplating getting a brand new Android pill as a present for your self or a cherished one this upcoming vacation season, simply know that there are going to be quite a lot of nice offers coming down the pike. We’ll be monitoring all of the leading Black Friday Android pill offers, so you’ll want to bookmark this web page and examine again frequently to save cash in your vacation purchases.