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Android Handhelds Linux

Android Beats iOS As the Top Tablet OS 487

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the gnu-feeling-left-out dept.
sfcrazy writes "Linux is on a roll. After conquering the smartphone space, Android is now dominating the tablet space. According to a new study by Gartner, 'the tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers; this led Android to become the No. 1 tablet operating system (OS), with 62 percent of the market.'" Also, everyone is buying tablets.(~200 million sold in 2013 vs ~115 million in 2012). Microsoft still only has 2% of the tablet market.
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Android Beats iOS As the Top Tablet OS

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  • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:34PM (#46392937)

    Who is making all these tablets? Here's the rough breakdown of 2013 unit volume from Gartner [] for worldwide:
    * Apple 36%
    * Samsung 19%
    * ASUS 6%
    * Amazon 5%
    * Lenovo 3%
    * All others 31%

    the first notable thing is that Apple sells more than Samsung, Asus, Amazon, and Lenovo combined. The second notable thing, who is the "all others"? All sort of white-label chinese makers? Who is buying these? And can you say that these are truly Android tablets if they have some sort of modified android 2.3?

    Here are the categories that I see in this market:

    * iOS
    * "Premium" Android. The Galaxy Tabs, the Nexus tablets, etc. Sold in US, EU, etc. The ones we are familiar with
    * Kindle
    * MS Surface
    * white label tablets. Presumably built and sold in China, elsewhere.

    We need to recognize that premium android might as well be a different OS than white label android. The apps will be different, the languages will be different, the monetization will be different, the fragmentation will be different. For all intensive purposes premium android is as removed from white label android as it is from kindle.

  • Re:Trollbait article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linuxci (3530) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:37PM (#46392975)

    I'd avoid any of these compromise tablets like the surface. I've used them (at work) an they really combine all the disadvantages of a tablet with the disadvantages of a laptop, they're the worst of both worlds.

    For example, you can't use the keyboard cover of the surface unless it's on a flat surface. Personally I often use my laptop in bed, which needs a solid keyboard.

    The surface has a mix of Metro and desktop UI, I ended up getting frustrated when trying to manipulate the desktop UI I ended up plugging in a mouse.

    Some of the control panel items are in Metro, others are Windows Classic.

    Microsoft have not shown a good history in updating their consumer devices, for example most Windows Phone 7 devices could not be updated to WP 8.

  • by SeaFox (739806) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:44PM (#46393029)

    The second notable thing, who is the "all others"? All sort of white-label chinese makers? Who is buying these?

    Brands like Haier, Eviant, etc Yes. White label Chinese makers for the most part.

    The people buying them a schmucks who still watch QVC/HSN and think they're getting a good deal when they could do better, with the same convenience, buy turning on their computer and shopping online.

    They should adjust those numbers for the devices that are returned to the manufacture for hardware issues, because I can tell you from professional experience these "other" tablets are junk.

  • by brantondaveperson (1023687) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:48PM (#46393069) Homepage

    On both iOS and Android you can use something called Puffin browser []. Five minutes using that thing, and you realise why no mobile OS has any interest in supporting Flash. But if you really need Flash, it's there.

  • Re:Sales figures (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Old97 (1341297) on Monday March 03, 2014 @10:22PM (#46393253)
    And a couple of other suspicious things here. 1) Shipped doesn't mean sold as you say, but it can include give aways like when you buy a Samsung TV and get one of their pads for free. Yeah, if you gave me a Samsung tablet I'd take it. Then I'd give it to a poor relative or kid down the street. Not worth anything to me. Also, the "Other" category out ships all the other Android OEMs including the top 3 Android OEM's combined. Sorry, but its pretty arbitrary to put a crappy knock off for the 3rd world market with a state of the art iPad or equivalent. Finally, Gartner predicted that the iPhone would be a flop in 2007 and again in 2008. Their fantasies about MS products in the mobile market are pretty imaginative too.
  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday March 03, 2014 @11:05PM (#46393543)

    White label tablets also include TV dongles that happen to run Android - for some reason, they track as "tablet". Presumably it's the most accurate of the choices available. Despite it not being a tablet, at all.

    And there are a LOT of these TV dongles out there. For example, do a search on Amazon or eBay for "android tv dongle".

    Skewed and distorted numbers.

  • Re:ANDROID != LINUX (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday March 03, 2014 @11:33PM (#46393679) Journal

    It's the Linux kernel, for chrissakes. Why you would count embedded Linux installs and not Android is beyond me.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Monday March 03, 2014 @11:37PM (#46393693) Journal
    I've got several of those $50, 5" Android tablets. They are perfectly suited for use as SONOS/Z Wave controllers around the home. Fast and responsive when doing that. Why buy a $300+ tablet for such a mundane task? I'd rather have 6 of these lower-end controllers rather than one - and I can leave them around in all the rooms of the house. Choice is wonderful!
  • by cheesybagel (670288) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @01:30AM (#46394195)

    Losing market share. You know. The title of this article.

  • Re:ANDROID != LINUX (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Fri13 (963421) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @02:34AM (#46394387)

    You are so wrong.

    Linux kernel is a monolithic kernel what means Linux kernel is the complete operating system. There is no other software needed to add to have full operating system than just the Linux kernel.

    Same thing is with FreeBSD, OpenBSD etc what are all using a monolithic operating systems architecture, not the Server-Client operating systems architecture like XNU and NT, operating systems of OS X, iOS and Windows, Windows RT and Windows Phone.

    XNU operating system does have servers from FreeBSD, but the whole XNU operating system or most important part of it, the microkernel, is not from FreeBSD. The Apple toke network stack and filesystems functions from a FreeBSD and made them operate as servers instead modules and used them in XNU.

    Linux has conquered the world. It is used in most servers, most embedded systems and in most mobile devices from smartphones to now tablets. Linux operating system is most used operating system in the IT history by its wide usage purposes instead being just targeted to specific use (like only on embedded systems). Linux has proofen that monolithic operating system architecture is superior to server-client (aka microkernel) architecture in security, speed and stability. Because its open licensing and huge community, Linux hardware support and level is second to none. The Linux operating system is licensed under GPLv2 and it secures its openess (even that some would like to it be GPLv3 or BSD) and it truely was the most important decision what Linus Torvalds made, to use GPLv2 instead own or other license.

    Linux deserves the credit for being most used operating system. It has already passed the install base of Microsoft or Apple developed operating systems by two fold, thanks to mobile world. Thanks to Linux, we have truely a open operating system used in the world, what is requiring hardware and software developers to take Open Source seriously, even Microsoft admitting that Linux operating system is more widely used and Open Source isn't "a cancer" or threat to industry jobs.

    Every success what Android gets, is success for Linux as it is the operating system in Android. It isn't even directly success to Google either, because Android is developed by Open Handset Alliance (OHA) what is lead by Google. Every OHA member is free to improve Android and send patches. But Google makes sure that Android AOSP stay clean from proprietary code or functions what would benefit only a single authority.
    Many falsely believes that Google applications and services (gapps) belongs to Android, while they don't. Google applications framework and all applications are third party to Android like Samsung S-series software is for Android or Microsoft software for Android is third party. The difference is just with the Google that if you want to call your device as Android device, you need to be OHA member and then pre-install only the Google Play (not required to install Google Maps, Gmail or any other applications for Google services) and you are free then to install any alternative services for Google services, but you can not block device user from installing any other third party (including Google Maps, Google Search or Gmail) applications and make them as default instead your chosen ones.

    You are as well required to not modify Android API/ABI so that you don't have 100% Android compatibility. And here is again the other mistake what people make, as Hardware differences (display, resolution, CPU, GPU, amount of RAM, camera, flash, microphones, compass etc etc) are the one what you are free to design and use as OEM. And if Android application developer has designed their application to need hardware functions like front camera and rear camera flash, then if you have cheap Android device what is missing both, you can not see or install that application from Play store because your hardware doesn't fill the requirements the application developer has chosen to. It isn't fault of Android or it doesn't require application developer to test their software on

  • Re:ANDROID != LINUX (Score:3, Interesting)

    by caseih (160668) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @02:57AM (#46394461)

    Do you deny that Android apps can run on an Android stack on QNX or Windows? Android is the environment: the whole stack, of which a major component is a virtual machine. The bottom of the pyramid is the Linux kernel, as you say, but I maintain it's not technically an essential part and could be replaced, with enough effort. I'm not sure how well BlueStacks or Windroy run at present, but they certainly run on a Windows kernel. And I'm not saying the kernel of Android is likely to change. Only that it could very well have been different.

    Yes you're right that by choosing Linux to be the kernel of Android, there have been benefits that flowed back into the community, though I do note that Android's kernel is still technically a fork of Linux, and hasn't yet been integrated into the mainline git repositories that I know of.

    Not everyone shares your narrow definition of "operating system." The definition I was taught in uni, which is shared by some random wikipedia editor, is that the Operating System is a collection of software that manages resources and provides services for a program to run on top of it. By this definition, Android *is* the OS, and happens to have a Linux kernel at its core. It's also the reason that Stallman insists on Linux distributions, "GNU/Linux." Also, many distros correctly call themselves "Operating Systems." Debian calls itself "the Universal Operating System" and comes with either a Linux kernel or a FreeBSD kernel.

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"