2011 was great for tablets, Apple’s tablets. 2012 will be different. Google, realizing Android/Linux tablets have respectable but not great share of the market, is gearing up to actively promote Android/Linux tablets. All the pieces needed for great competition will soon be in place:
- great products,
- great and numerous combatants, and
- great prices.
Google has until now only dabbled in selling products running Android/Linux. They were mostly proof of concept products. Now they are going to have an on-line store bearing the Google name while pushing Android/Linux tablets.
So, we are 1/4 the way through the year, and share now is about 40%. With Google’s move, Android/Linux is in position to exceed 50% by year’s end. The benefit to Google is that in addition to the revenue they get from Android/Linux devices directly, pumping out tablets pumps up their search business which is already huge but needs growth. Growth is in emerging markets, including tablets.
Immediate benefits to IT should be
- beating Apple’s silly prices for tablets,
- inspiring other players to lower prices, and
- ending the litigation/legal threats surrounding Android/Linux even faster than Oracle’s case is sinking.
There are reports that some makers of tablets are being squeezed in their margins. That should be alleviated in 2012 with much higher volumes than 2011. Growth in units shipped will likely reach 100%. The market has already gone far past the point of breaking even.
This is now a war about the limits to production. RIM and Apple cannot bring products to market faster than the Android army. Sooner or later the old guard will be swarmed by legions of small cheap computers. Google will have a rapid increase in users of IT to keep its growth rate up. The world will have better price/performance in IT.
Business will adopt tablets widely, and not just Apple’s. M$ will be “mentioned in reports” but not a factor in tablets. By the end of the year the battle will spill over into all things IT. Because the tablets largely do not run the Wintelish applications, web applications will become the place to be and Wintel will decline much more rapidly.
I wonder what would happen if Google were to analyze the cost/benefit of promoting Android/Linux and began to promote GNU/Linux more than it does already… That could really expand their search business in emerging markets much more rapidly if the cost of IT were lowered substantially by widespread adoption of GNU/Linux. Chuckle… 2012 is looking to be a great year.