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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 Niterios (2700835) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:18PM (#46392835)
    It is finally here! Now we just need it to be an open platform.
    • by Wild_dog! (98536) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:23PM (#46392861)

      Sailfish OS based on Meego will soon be installable on Android tablets and phones. Bingo.

      • ANDROID != LINUX (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:32PM (#46392931) Homepage Journal

        Don't believe.

        There is NO Posix userspace on Android.
        Posix kernel land is locked/limited.

        Why does it take 16 GB RAM to compile the Android tarball? That's some BEAUTIFUL community inclusion!

        • by Wild_dog! (98536)

          Interesting.... I wonder if that is true for all Android devices or some Androids. I wonder why a company would say that their OS can be installed on Android devices when it can't???
          Curious.
          I thought there were some other Open Source OS options for Android devices I had read about. Is this not the case?

        • by rubycodez (864176) on Monday March 03, 2014 @10:26PM (#46393291)

          you can add Debian and its ports to Android

          quit your whining, you pansy

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          1. install or use a terminal emulator or console app
          2. at the prompt type "uname -a"
          3. observe Linux kernel information

          • by farble1670 (803356) on Monday March 03, 2014 @10:50PM (#46393441)

            ~/src (develop) $ adb shell
            root@android:/ # uname -a /system/bin/sh: uname: not found
            127|root@android:/ #

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

            by schnell (163007) <me&schnell,net> on Monday March 03, 2014 @11:10PM (#46393563) Homepage

            So what?

            Giving Linux credit for Android is like saying that FreeBSD is a major desktop OS because of MacOS X, or a major mobile OS because of iOS. It's not. All the bits that make it a success were added by someone else and the underlying kernel is essentially invisible to the end user.

            Celebrate Google's success with Android. Don't try to turn it into a success story for Linux when it's not. Linux has succeeded remarkably well in the server and embedded spaces but has not been terribly successful in the desktop or mobile spaces. And you know what? That's okay.

            • 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 iluvcapra (782887)
                It's a Linux kernel, but it's not a Linux platform. It's good for kernel development because they have all these big juicy Google brain cells hacking in the kernel. It's a total wash for Linux application developers, because Android might as well be iOS in terms of porting their software to a phone.
                • And many of the embedded Linux platforms are any different.

                  Since when did userland count for more than the kernel?

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Fri13 (963421)

              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

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

            by caseih (160668) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @12:43AM (#46393979)

            Yes but Linux is really just incidental. It might have been picked for cost, or stability, or openness, but it's irrelevant to Android and Android users, for all intents and purposes. Sure those of us that know how can install a posix userspace and get a Linux shell. But most people will never see beyond the apps, which are targeting a specific VM stack that could easily have been developed to run on a different kernel, either home-grown, or a commercial alternative like QNX. In fact we know this is true because there are ways of running Android apps on Blackberry and even MS Windows. So don't be too proud that Linux powers Android. Especially not until we can run Android on a stock Linux kernel. So far as I know Google still hasn't merged all their changes (some have been merged), so I consider Android's kernel a fork for now.

    • It is. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sable Drakon (831800) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:40PM (#46392991)
      Android IS an open platform. It's entirely up to you if you want to be locked into Google's ecosystem or not. Install Cyanogenmod or another third-party ROM, then look as there's no GApps or Google all over your phone. But remember it's now up to you to sideload a new app store and get the APKs to what non-Google services you use.
      • From Wikipedia:
        "OHA [Open Handset Alliance] members are contractually forbidden from producing devices that are based off incompatible forks of Android."
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O... [wikipedia.org]

        This has a chilling effect on hiring manufacturers to build your actual device when most of them are already tied to OHA.

        This is a perverse definition of "open".

        • This still doesn't prevent the individual user from re-flashing their phone to a version deviod of Google's software. Remember that custom ROMs by default are legally prohibited from including GApps by Google. It still means that if an end-user wanted to take it upon themselves, they can do it. It's just a whole lot more convienient to use GApps.
  • Where do they get their sales figures from? Do they include sites like DX, madeinchina et al?

    If not, then I'm pretty confident Android has been outselling iOS for several years now.

    • Re:Sales figures (Score:4, Informative)

      by Rosyna (80334) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:44PM (#46393031) Homepage

      No idea how they make up sales numbers.

      Apple's own sales numbers say they sold 74 million iPads in 2014. Not sure how gartner lost 4 million.

      Also, Apple's numbers are reported as sales to users, everyone else uses sales to channel (the channel can return unsold stock to the company in the following quarter but can still claim it sold that many)

      • Gartner has a terrible track record. If you see any article citing Gartner statistics or predictions, you are best served by ignoring and moving along.

        http://www.zdnet.com/why-does-... [zdnet.com]
        http://seekingalpha.com/instab... [seekingalpha.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Old97 (1341297)
        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 mar
    • I would pretty much take it for granted that close to all of those low cost crap tablets are in desk drawers by now. I myslef bought chromebook at an irresistable price to try it. Yes it stinks.

  • Given that Android licensing costs are near zero and there aren't any other viable choices, why is Android a surprise at all? As for the sales volume, the low end of the market is big numbers. You can make Mercedes profit if you sell VW volume.

    I'm curious what the sales numbers are for Surface Pros. I'm in the market for a new laptop and the Surface Pro is appealing as a sort of replacement. My existing dual-core 8 GB Dell with a 500 GB SSD is kind of a tank but with the SSD it's still usable for net

    • 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.

      • How do you type on an ipad in bed?

        • by tlambert (566799)

          How do you type on an ipad in bed?

          Bluetooth keyboard or type on the screen, but the BT keyboard from Apple is a keyboard in a laser cut aluminum case, so it's not nearly as bendy as the surface keyboard.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      If Surface Pro was selling in significant numbers do you think the Seahawks defense could stand between Steve Ballmer and the TV cameras? I don't.
    • by mjwx (966435)

      Given that Android licensing costs are near zero and there aren't any other viable choices, why is Android a surprise at all? As for the sales volume, the low end of the market is big numbers. You can make Mercedes profit if you sell VW volume.

      Interesting that you used the VW analogy. It's kind of fitting as VW is owned by VAG (Volkswagen Auto Group) and they also own Audi, Lamborghini, Bugatti and Skoda in their entirety as well as 49% of Porsche.

      Much like Android, VAG services the entire market from high volume sales of VW and Skoda to mid range Audi's to high end Lamborghini supercars. It's easy for VAG to outsell someone like TVR who only offers one or two products. With Android you can find the tablet you want from a budget minded Skota O

      • Re:Trollbait article (Score:4, Informative)

        by Wild_dog! (98536) on Monday March 03, 2014 @10:30PM (#46393313)

        Our iPad gets probably 30 hours use a week by all of our family. It seems to be useful to each member of the family for different purposes.
        Perhaps it is missing key features, but I don't really think we notice because we each have our own way of using it.
        And when we need real computing power we just jump on the desktop machine.

        We haven't really regretted having an iPad for any reason.

    • by plover (150551)

      Despite the Metro UI, I like my Surface Pro a lot more than my iPad, and I use it constantly. It doesn't suffer from the walled garden of iOS, and I have a ton of programs installed. Very few Metro apps from the app store, however - I mostly have desktop and command line stuff from sourceforge (plus the obligatory Office suite.) The Microsoft app store is lacking, so I rarely think of it as an iPad type tablet. Instead, I think of it as a very portable laptop. And with the i5 and the SSD, performance hasn't

  • But I have both an iPad and a Nexus 7, both new as of about 6 months ago. The Nexus is getting a lot more use by me on a day-to-day basis because it's the form factor of a kindle, fits in my jacket pocket and is easy to hold, read, and play games on.

    The iPad is mostly collecting dust unless I want to watch Netflix, TiVo, or Amazon Prime videos on it. It's a much larger screen but it makes it a bit unwieldy to easily hold. My wife has the air. I think it's still a bit too wide to easily carry with you, b

    • by Enry (630)

      Oh, and I'm biased because I've been using Android since the OG Droid, on my 4th Android phone now.

    • by Wild_dog! (98536)

      Should let your wife have your other iPad.
      You can mount it in the kitchen for you and your wife to use for recipes and pandora.
      Old iPad are perfect for mounting in Kitchens.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      ... because it's the form factor of a kindle

      I'm wondering, if you wanted a 7" tablet, why you didn't buy an iPad mini instead? Seems a bit unfair to criticise the iPad on size, when the mini is available and is pretty much the same size as a Nexus 7. Not to mention a bit cheaper than the full size iPad.

      As a counter-datapoint, I took a couple of Nexus 7's home during the Christmas holidays. And the kids didn't like them at all, and instead fought over the one iPad. Now, this might just be because kids are dumb and like the bigger thing just because i

      • by Enry (630)

        I'm wondering, if you wanted a 7" tablet, why you didn't buy an iPad mini instead?

        I need to think more before posting. My wife has the iPad mini (not the air, though I understand they have the same size). Anyway, the mini is too wide to easily hold in one hand for reading in bed/bus/car/anywhere. The Nexus is about the largest I'd want to go for something I'm going to be using for hours at a time.

    • by linuxci (3530)

      The Nexus 7 is a great tablet, but if you're talking about a full size iPad you should compare to the Nexus 10.

      In the UK there's also the Tesco Hudl which is another Android tablet which has managed to combine cheap with reasonably capable. It's close enough to stock Android (it has a few Tesco customisations) that I was pleasantly surprised by it and are happy recommending it to those who would even consider the Nexus 7 too expensive. I prefer it to the Kindle Fire devices.

      You're right about the bulkiness

  • Seems like with tablets quickly approaching the $40 range they are almost a disposable commodity. I would expect Android tablets will quickly get to over 90% of the market in short order since everyone will be able to have one of these powerful little computing devices.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Sort of.

      Quality tablets are not approaching that range. But i do agree that sub 50 dollar tablets are disposable ( and also a dismal experience which can harm the perception of android in general )

      • by Wild_dog! (98536)

        To a family in the slums of Brasil or some other places outside the US or Europe these are powerful devices.
        $40 bucks gives people a way to finally have some computing power and tap into the worldwide info grid.

  • 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 [9to5mac.com] 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.

    • 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.

    • * white label tablets. Presumably built and sold in China, elsewhere.

      White label tablets are sold in China, but also everywhere else. Rebranded as Aldi / Staples / Wal-Mart or what have you.

      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.

      What are you talking about? I have a white-box Chinese Android tablet. It came with Android 4.2, gmail, Play store, google maps, etc. All of the no-name (Aldi Branded / Walmart / etc) tablets I've seen are the same.

      For all intensive purposes premium android is as removed from white label android as it is from kindle.

      Totally incorrect. The cheaper manufacturers actually provide a better android experience as they're using 'pure' android rather than putting shitty touch-wiz / sense style overlays & attempting to sign you up for a million stupid Samsung / etc services.

      Oh - and you say "for all intents and purposes". Think about it. Intensive purposes makes no sense in the context this phrase is typically used in.

      • 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.

      • by amiga3D (567632) on Monday March 03, 2014 @11:06PM (#46393545)

        What are you smoking? Those shitty tablets have one thing in common and that is a shitty screen. The touch screen is by far the most important part of the tablet experience and a shitty screen makes for one bad experience. That's the first thing I noticed when I picked up the Samsung Galaxy tablet. A screen to rival the iPad. That was the beginning of actual competition. Before that it didn't exist. I see those crap tablets on Craigslist all the time at giveaway prices.

      • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

        everything you say is contradicted elsewhere on this thread. All reports say that these white box tablets are cheap, with bad screens and slow guts. that does NOT provide a "better" android experience.

        The point is that there's a good size portion of the android market that are crap and junk.

    • by seyyah (986027)

      For all intensive purposes premium android is as removed from white label android as it is from kindle.

      A link for you: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki... [wiktionary.org]

    • Apple sells more than Samsung, Asus, Amazon, and Lenovo combined.

      A rational person would regard the latter as a "healthy, diverse market".

    • What on earth is "premium android"? Do you mean "custom ROM"? Anyone can install a custom ROM on just about any android device. There is no appreciable software difference between a knockoff tablet maker and samsung. If anything, knockoff tablets tend to run better android mods than samsung devices. Of course this hardly matters since anyone can customize the OS however they like, or install an entirely different flavor of android.

      The main difference is in the raw power of the hardware. I realize the power

    • by jon3k (691256)
      It's garbage $100 tablets, or less. Resistive and very low resolution screens with sub 1Ghz processors. Things that are given away as gifts or used once and never touched again. Just cheap shit being cranked out in China.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:34PM (#46392941) Homepage Journal

    There is one manufacturer of iOS tablets, there are butt loads of android tablet makers.

    That fact alone tips the balance. And like the story says, lots of them are *cheap*, in a market where apple would never tread.

  • Is Apple selling two or three?

    Anyway, Apple has 36% of the market while selling only a few models.

    I think they'll survive for awhile.
  • Questionable Numbers (Score:5, Informative)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday March 03, 2014 @09:37PM (#46392971)

    Sure, if you go with Gartner's numbers which undercut Apple's reported sales figures (you know, numbers that undergo SEC scrutiny for accuracy) by almost 4 million units while also adding in Android "white box" units that include TV dongles which track as tablets despite being not-at-all tablets while also clouding the results by reporting Apple's sales-to-end-users numbers with Android's shipped-into-channel numbers. So, yeah, if you cut Apple's numbers and artificially inflate Android's numbers, yes, Android is beating iOS in the tablet space.

    And now you may mod me troll while claiming I'm just an Apple fanboy for speaking the truth.

    I have such fond memories of when this site wasn't such a blatant tool of spin doctors for certain industry interests...

    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Monday March 03, 2014 @10:03PM (#46393161) Homepage Journal

      I have such fond memories of when this site wasn't such a blatant tool of spin doctors for certain industry interests...

      Meh. Slashdot stories have long reported Gartner's dodgy numbers at face value, even though pretty much every single such story contains multiple comments pointing out how absurd those numbers are.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by swillden (191260)
      Meh. Even if you're right it doesn't matter, because while the details of the current positions may be fuzzy, the trend is crystal clear.
  • I love my Android tablet, it does 90 percent of what I used to need a laptop to do. The only minor niggle is no Flash support. I get why Google doesn't want to support it but so many sites still use it.

    That and Chromecast is great for streaming Netflix content on TV.

  • Gartner can't add (Score:5, Informative)

    by david.emery (127135) on Monday March 03, 2014 @10:10PM (#46393195)

    From http://appleinsider.com/articl... [appleinsider.com]
    "The most glaring inconsistency is a disconnect between Gartner's 70.4 million iPad sales and Apple's self-reported 74 million unit sales for 2013. From the first quarter — Apple's second fiscal quarter — to the fourth, the company reported iPad sales of 19.5 million, 14.6 million, 14.1 million and 26 million, respectively. The total: 74.2 million iPads sold during 2013. "

    Note these numbers are reported by Apple on SEC filings, not on press releases.

  • How do you measure market share? By units sold? Can one sale of a cheap 6 inch tablet gets the same weightage as a high end 11 inch tablet? Or by percentage of sales volume in dollars? Or share of profits made?

    Or by number of eye-ball-minutes sold to advertizers?

  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Monday March 03, 2014 @10:54PM (#46393469)

    Despite this claim to large number shipped I just am not seeing Android tablets out in the hands of users. I've seen a couple (count them, two) Kindles in the real world.

    Meanwhile I've seen many hundreds of Apple's iPad's and thousands of iPhones, iPodTouches, etc.

    Something's not right with the statistics given in the article. It just doesn't match the real world. So is this a Shipped vs Sales confusion?

    Or maybe the Androids are being hidden away in 'smart' devices like toasters and washing machines. That would certainly inflate the Android numbers.

    Well, it doesn't really matter. Our family has six iPodTouches, an iPad and five MacBooks. How many Androids are being claimed to be sold is completely irrelevant. What matters is we can do the things we want to do from content creation to communications to consumption with the devices we have.

    • by RJFerret (1279530)

      The circle you associate in perhaps? I know one person with an ipad, from back when tablets were new novelties and a family member purchased it for her (she's disabled, easier to use than sit at a computer, although ridiculously heavy compared to other tablets). Everyone else I know with a device has an Android. I haven't counted since, who cares? All the families have them for their kids. Plenty of individuals too. I get handed plenty of tablets to see pics or stuff through the course of living.

      Want

    • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @12:14AM (#46393863)

      Despite this claim to large number shipped I just am not seeing Android tablets out in the hands of users. I've seen a couple (count them, two) Kindles in the real world.

      Meanwhile I've seen many hundreds of Apple's iPad's and thousands of iPhones, iPodTouches, etc.

      Something's not right with the statistics given in the article. It just doesn't match the real world. So is this a Shipped vs Sales confusion?

      These are annual sales figures. That is, they're not the number of tablets in use, they're the first derivative of the number of tablets in use. People don't buy a new tablet every year - they keep it around for a few years. So the tablets you'll see in use are a weighted culmination of 2011, 2012, and 2013 sales, which if I remember were about 85% iPad, 60% iPad, and now 36% iPad

      Despite what the Apple apologists have posted above, the important thing is the trend. And it's pretty clear that the trend is down for Apple (in market share - growth in the market means their unit sales are still increasing, just nowhere near as quickly as Android's unit sales are). They will need to come out with better products with better features (or lower prices) and more options (the iPad Mini was a good step) if they want to regain the market lead or even hang on to their current market share. Of course Apple being Apple, they might not care about that. They may be content having just 5% of the market if it's a very lucrative 5%.

      And about 2/3rds of phones I see in use are Android, about 2/3rds of the tablets are iPads, and the last time I saw an iPod Touch was in a drawer gathering dust.

    • by Wild_dog! (98536) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @12:26AM (#46393905)

      I see lots of tablets at elementary schools.
      Seems like all the kids have them now since they got them as stocking stuffers.
      My kids keep asking why they can't get tablets and take them to school.
      Seems they are the only ones without devices at recess.
      hahahaha

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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