Google 'quite focused' on low-end Android tablets as iPad controls high end

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Google CEO Larry Page said on Thursday that his company is "quite focused" on reaching the lower end of the tablet market, even as Apple's iPad continues to dominate the high-end price range.



The Mountain View, Calif., company announced on Thursday its earnings for the first quarter of 2012, reporting revenue of $10.65 billion and income of $3.39 billion. The search giant also announced a 2-for-1 stock split intended to preserve the company's "founder-led "approach."



During a question and answer session on Google's quarterly results conference call, Page fielded a question about the company's strategy for Android tablets, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.



"I think there's a number of Android tablets out there and obviously, we have strong competition there as well," he said in what appeared to be a vague reference to Apple's iPad.



"Obviously, there's been a lot of success on some lower-priced tablets that run Android, maybe not the full Google version of Android. But we definitely believe that there's going to be a lot of success at the lower end of the market as well with lower-priced products that will be very significant. And it's definitely an area we think is important and we're quite focused on."



After seeing little success competing with Apple in the $499 and above price range, many tablet vendors have changed tactics to compete on price. For instance, Samsung made some adjustments in order to set the price on the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 at $250. The Korean electronics maker will face competition in the low-end market from Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire, one of the few non-Apple tablets to achieve volume sales. Barnes & Noble also occupies the budget tablet space with its $250 Nook Tablet.





Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 | Credit: MacNN







Google has just a couple months left to deliver on its promise to release a "tablet of the highest quality." Chairman Eric Schmidt said four months ago that the company would put out such a device within six months.



Recent forecasts have estimated Apple's tablet market share will remain above 60 percent throughout 2012. Research firm Gartner expects Apple to retain control of the market through at least 2016.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • sflocalsflocal Posts: 3,541member
    You keep focusing on that "low end" buddies. Look how well those netbooks did.



    It's interesting how the iPad is suddenly considered the "high-end" when not even the cheap-junk manufacturers could come out with their own similar-size tablet at a lower price-point.



    So now Google is simply saying "We'll make junk like the netbooks were at prices that will keep us at the bottom of the barrel."



    Jeez, folks just don't learn.
  • mightymikemightymike Posts: 49member
    Google realizes that it's not a tablet market but an iPad market at the high end and retail market can only be found at the low end. Watch out for Google to leverage their Android OS to squeeze out the competition much like Microsoft did with its competitors in the 80s and 90s.
  • splash-reversesplash-reverse Posts: 648member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post




    [...]



    It's interesting how the iPad is suddenly considered the "high-end" when not even the cheap-junk manufacturers could come out with their own similar-size tablet at a lower price-point.



    [...]




    Yeah... If Apple's products can be considered as high end (yes, they are), imagine IF Apple to set an even lower price for perhaps, smaller screen size iPad. Soon, they will give these Androids for free.



    They probably have already.
  • macky the mackymacky the macky Posts: 4,623member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post


    Google realizes that it's not a tablet market but an iPad market at the high end and retail market can only be found at the low end. Watch out for Google to leverage their Android OS to squeeze out the competition much like Microsoft did with its competitors in the 80s and 90s.



    What can Google do to leverage... they are already giving the OS away? I think a good shoot-out at the bottom end will make manufacturers turn out some real crap. When it's all over the general public will have had their little fling with owning a pice of junk, sober up, and buy an Apple iPad.



    I remember the electric typewriter battles of the 1970s and 1980s. The IBM Selectric was king and sold for over $1000. No one ever unseated them, finally IBM saw the end of the typewriter market coming and sold out to Lexmark for a huge bundle. They did the same with the PCs when they saw that market turning to crapola and made a bundle selling that off to Levenco.



    Back on the typewriter story, IBM held their dominance in the electric typewriters for around 30 years by (1) incremental improvements, (2) major improvements (3) leading with features that were protected with patents, (4) having an aura of quality and desirability that none of the competitors could wrap around themselves, (5) maintaining a high degree of customer service, and finally, they owned the high end of the market where all the high margins were.



    It's interesting how Apple has been able to duplicate that so well today.
  • lunarmoonlunarmoon Posts: 29member
    Yeah Google, continue to aim at the end of the barrel. This is called real loser leadership.

    Jeez, Page is destroying everything Erich Schmitt built.
  • gtrgtr Posts: 3,208member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LunarMoon View Post


    Yeah Google, continue to aim at the end of the barrel. This is called real loser leadership.

    Jeez, Page is destroying everything Erich Schmitt built.



    Everything that Eric Schmidt built?



    Now that's a laugh...
  • nkalunkalu Posts: 315member
    LOL.

    Android tablets couldn't compete with the force of the iPad.

    Google is now claiming low-end vs. high-end tablets.

    Whatever happened to the phrase: "iPad killer". There were several of them that were over hyped. Yet they couldn't compete with iPad, hence "low-end." Or substandard quality.
  • ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    without a subsidizing model for tablets, the tablet market will be more like the mp3 player market.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,297member
    Many have foolishly challenged the iPad so far, and all have failed, spectacularly miserably in most cases. When it came time to separate the men from the boys and the amateurs from the pros, nobody was left standing next to the mighty Apple, who crushed the competition like the little ants and peasants that they are.



    This is like an admission of defeat from Google. They're basically saying that they have zero chance at competing with the iPad, so they're going to focus their efforts towards making low end junk for low end people. The low end market is already saturated with many different tablets and Google's tablet will simply be another low end Android tablet in a sea of low end Android tablets.



    And since when is a $500 device considered high end? This is not Somalia.
  • robogoborobogobo Posts: 378member
    Look for the iPad 2 to hang around and drop to $199 for 16gb in an answer to the "low end" android junk. This aggression will not stand, man.
  • irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,451member
    The race to the bottom, hmm, how well does that work? Have they not seen what happened to Dell, HP, Acer etc??



    It's not even good for the end user, they have to sift through piles of craptasic products and generally end up with a terrible user experience. Not to mention the living hell it becomes to support this crap in business, lol.
  • d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    Ah, Google is now officially lowering their standards for Android. Took a while, but I can't say I didn't see that coming. They should buy Acer to build the things for them, they have years of experience going bust trying to make crappy cheap products.
  • d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nkalu View Post


    Whatever happened to the phrase: "iPad killer". There were several of them that were over hyped. Yet they couldn't compete with iPad, hence "low-end." Or substandard quality.



    Everyone who ever used the words 'iPad killer' now quietly pretends they forgot about, just like they forgot about "it's just a big iPod touch", "it is named like a sanitary product", "it doesn't have Flash", or "it is way overpriced".



    There's still some people left complaining about lack of ports, and walled gardens and such, but for the most part, the haters have ran out of arguments.
  • mightymikemightymike Posts: 49member
    Don't underestimate Google. Their ultimate goal is to be king of the lower end tablet marker and move on up. At that point they own the software and hardware and will have a little ecosystem going. Google does not have the infrastructure to compete with Apple but they could easily be king of the tablet underworld and inch their way up-at least that's what they'll try to do. Google by nature has to be more sinister and cunning to surreptitiously obtain user data to sell online adds. This spills over into everything they do. So keep your eyes on Google.
  • bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,301member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    You keep focusing on that "low end" buddies. Look how well those netbooks did....



    Jeez, folks just don't learn.



    You forgot the Chromebooks. The ones that are now "adopting" a "more Windows-like" interface....



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post


    Don't underestimate Google. Their ultimate goal is to be king of the lower end tablet marker and move on up. At that point they own the software and hardware and will have a little ecosystem going. Google does not have the infrastructure to compete with Apple but they could easily be king of the tablet underworld and inch their way up-at least that's what they'll try to do. Google by nature has to be more sinister and cunning to surreptitiously obtain user data to sell online adds. This spills over into everything they do. So keep your eyes on Google.



    1. Google's never had any success in hardware. They had NO live support for their first directly-marketed phone. Period. And now they've bought a cell phone company that's had its own marketing and support woes and is far from being the leader in the field.



    2. Their app and other product ecosytem is inferior not only to Apple's, but also Amazon's (and their forked version of of Android which takes people right to that system). And for tablet apps, it looks it'll be inferior to Microsoft's within a year of Win 8's launch, if not AT launch. MS looks to have three targets - most of the consumer range including the basic iPad range with WOA and the slightly bulkier but full Wintel business tablet - a segment in which they've repeatedly blown chunks - but they ARE taking a completely fresh whack at it. It might have a decent niche - or not. Hard to make the odds.



    3. They make no money on the OS itself, though they're forced to spend a lot on iterating it. Ironically MS makes money on each copy of Android sold because of patent infringements, and Apple's bidding to do the same. How funny and poetic is that??



    4. In integratedhardware/software terms, they're caught where Gil Amelio was caught at Apple before Jobs returned, only in a much worse position - if they make devices (and they certainly own a device maker now) they're competing with their own OEM's to whom they depend on licensure for nearly 100% of their market share at present. If they quit licensing, they lose all their outside manufacturers, who need to be in the tab market and so will go with Windows. And at least Apple was still selling more Macs than any of their clone makers (if less than all of them) when Steve returned.



    Apple voluntarily went from 10% of the PC market to 3% to end licensing. (In retrospect you see just how gutsy he was in making his bets.) Google would start at a tiny base of the Android market and no rep or cult following for any physical product bearing a Google label and not much more for Moto mobile.



    So no "owning" of either "the majority" of the hardware OR software in sight. In fact, because of the open source provisions, another company like Amazon may end up doing better iterations of Android than Google. Or Samsung. To paraphrase Shakespeare (Marc Antony on Caesar), "You have heard it said they are ambitious..." Or....??



    That's a lot of mountains to climb!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


    ...I remember the electric typewriter battles of the 1970s and 1980s. The IBM Selectric was king and sold for over $1000. No one ever unseated them, finally IBM saw the end of the typewriter market coming and sold out to Lexmark for a huge bundle. They did the same with the PCs when they saw that market turning to crapola and made a bundle selling that off to Levenco.



    Back on the typewriter story, IBM held their dominance in the electric typewriters for around 30 years by (1) incremental improvements, (2) major improvements (3) leading with features that were protected with patents, (4) having an aura of quality and desirability that none of the competitors could wrap around themselves, (5) maintaining a high degree of customer service, and finally, they owned the high end of the market where all the high margins were.



    It's interesting how Apple has been able to duplicate that so well today.



    Great observation!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ihxo View Post


    without a subsidizing model for tablets, the tablet market will be more like the mp3 player market.



    And I think you may be onto something important as well....



    Except that there's even more at play. Unlike Apple's original media players, tablets are already becoming big in the Enterprise, medicine and all of business as well as education. The iPad's had great F500 acceptance (and Macs are almost mainstream there now). Plus IT still loves MS's breadth of product for their needs and their investment in it (software, equipment, and staff) - and one thing Win 8 will have is all kinds of hooks into all of Mr. Softie's huge Server, Exchange, Windows 365, Cloud and other Enterprise infrastructure - which is another mature and entrenched ecosystem, if of a different nature than Apple's - and Office will likely be on every tablet. And Google has no rep over that way to speak of. Google Docs, Google Schmocks.



    Another big wall for Google to climb.
  • ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    The consumer who adopts the iPad typically invests in App Store, iBooks content. Most of this content can be downloaded to the iPhone without additional charges. So, an iPad owner should typically stick to iPhone.



    I would expect that the addition of Siri to the iPad, plus integration with apps like Yelp, Netflix, etc will encourage iPad owners to stick with the iPad. Even vice versa.



    However, I expect Android to be there for folks who can afford the bare minimum only... like a 7 in model with a cheap screen/camera, short life battery, WiFi only, used mostly for surfing the web, email, free apps, Skype. There are hundreds of millions in the poverty level.
  • lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,279member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    You keep focusing on that "low end" buddies. Look how well those netbooks did.



    It's interesting how the iPad is suddenly considered the "high-end" when not even the cheap-junk manufacturers could come out with their own similar-size tablet at a lower price-point.



    So now Google is simply saying "We'll make junk like the netbooks were at prices that will keep us at the bottom of the barrel."



    Jeez, folks just don't learn.



    Netbooks sold very well and were really cool.

    However, marketing soon realized it threatened the laptop business and started pushing in huge HARD DISKS and Windows.



    The only real netbooks disappeared in a few weeks (the people who got lucky still use their netbooks), and marketing started selling "small laptops" as "netbooks". Obviously, there was no real market for that, and when the superior iPad (for the read-mail-and-watch-video market) came, these small-laptop-and-pretend-netbooks died.



    As far as I know, the real netbooks sold all their stock and had more demand than they could supply, just like the iPad. Marketing just sucks hard. I recently tried to get a netbook, based on the following spec:

    small flashdisk, great battery, less than 200€, less than 10 inches screen, les than a kg, 9 hours of battery



    This was called the EEE701 a few years ago.

    It is not possible to find a modern version of this... but you can find tons of 350€ smallish-laptops with a 200GB rotating hard disk, which is NOT a netbook. Marketing then go and explains this doesn't sell well (of course, it's crap), and there is a need for more expensive laptops.



    News update: iPad ate your cheap-market, and Macbook Air is eating your medium market, and Macbook Pro is eating your high-end market. What is still needed is a "throwable" machine, typically for going on holidays with, or taking to university where it might get stolen, or just leaving lying around in the kitchen where tea might get spilled over it, or taking to the beach, all places where I'm not taking my 1500€ Macbook Air or my 600€ iPad.



    If those guys started selling high volumes of modern EEE701-class netbooks for 120 euros, they'd easily find a market. They'll never do, they're too busy protecting a "market" they're going to lose to Apple eventually.
  • irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,451member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


    Netbooks sold very well and were really cool.

    However, marketing soon realized it threatened the laptop business and started pushing in huge HARD DISKS and Windows.



    The only real netbooks disappeared in a few weeks (the people who got lucky still use their netbooks), and marketing started selling "small laptops" as "netbooks". Obviously, there was no real market for that, and when the superior iPad (for the read-mail-and-watch-video market) came, these small-laptop-and-pretend-netbooks died.



    As far as I know, the real netbooks sold all their stock and had more demand than they could supply, just like the iPad. Marketing just sucks hard. I recently tried to get a netbook, based on the following spec:

    small flashdisk, great battery, less than 200?, less than 10 inches screen, les than a kg, 9 hours of battery



    This was called the EEE701 a few years ago.

    It is not possible to find a modern version of this... but you can find tons of 350? smallish-laptops with a 200GB rotating hard disk, which is NOT a netbook. Marketing then go and explains this doesn't sell well (of course, it's crap), and there is a need for more expensive laptops.



    News update: iPad ate your cheap-market, and Macbook Air is eating your medium market, and Macbook Pro is eating your high-end market. What is still needed is a "throwable" machine, typically for going on holidays with, or taking to university where it might get stolen, or just leaving lying around in the kitchen where tea might get spilled over it, or taking to the beach, all places where I'm not taking my 1500? Macbook Air or my 600? iPad.



    If those guys started selling high volumes of modern EEE701-class netbooks for 120 euros, they'd easily find a market. They'll never do, they're too busy protecting a "market" they're going to lose to Apple eventually.



    Netbooks were a commercial failure. Incredibly low margins and they had the effect of destroying the low end Notebook market. Now they want to do the same with tablets, epic failure followed by epic failure. Maybe they are hoping the the failure is going to be SO epic that it will be a win?
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    It's a good move. Don't have pride. Just admit that Apple owns the high end and go fight Kindle. Of course Apple is not magic and undefeatable, they just have a lead that's all. Fight them later.
  • jonoromjonorom Posts: 293member
    "Obviously, there's been a lot of success on some lower-priced tablets that run Android, maybe not the full Google version of Android."



    Yeah, like much of the volume (at least in the USA) - Kindle Fire, Nook, etc. - is in "Android" tablets that have nothing to do with Google, use none of Google's services, and earn Google not a penny. This is bad news for Google, not good news.



    Way to spin.
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