NEWS ANALYSIS: Google needs to release its own tablet. The company's partners might not like it at first, but it could go a long way in putting Android-based tablets on the map.
Google was once known solely as a search company. The firm, under the leadership of co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, found a unique new way for users to find Websites across the Web. And before long, the founders service became the obsession of people around the globe. Google has entered the pantheon of tech greats that, like the others, might not be matched for years to come.
But after its successful start, Google wasnt content to just stick with its core competency. Instead, the firm jumped to a host of other industries, including advertising and mobile operating systems. Right now, the companys Android operating system is the worlds most popular, easily outpacing Apple iOS, BlackBerry OS and others.
However, the one place Google hasnt been able to make a mark is in the tablet space despite the growing popularity of Android-based smartphones. The search giants hardware partners cant match the momentum of the Apple iPad despite the large numbers of tablets they have released. And by the look of things, thats not going to change unless something drastic happens.
For Google, that something drastic might just be developing its own tablet. Its a risk, for sure, but at this point, Google offering up its own slate is the only way for the search giant to make its mark against the iPad
. The question is whether its too late to gain on the iPad.
1. Look at the market share
Google is having a real issue in the tablet space. Androids market share is far below that of iOS, and so far, there hasnt been a single device to come along that has made Apple scared. If Google truly wants to increase its market share in the tablet market, itll have to offer its own slate with all the features customers want. Right now, except for Apple, no other vendor seems willing to do that.
2. The vendors arent keeping up
Following that, its important to point out that none of Google's Android partners is actually keeping up with the changing times
. In some cases, these companies are using outdated versions of the Android operating system. In other cases, theyre failing to deliver the screen sizes and designs customers are after. If vendors cant be relied on, Google must deliver something better.
3. It helps the entire ecosystem
There is some concern that if a company that offers software jumps into the hardware space, it hurts all stakeholders. Thats just not the truth. If Google can sell its tablet in boatloads, other Android-based devices will sell well, since theyll benefit from more customers wanting to use the operating system. A well-built Android-based device
helps the entire ecosystem.
4. Its unlikely vendor partners will care
The belief that a Google-branded tablet could hurt the market also tends to presuppose that vendors wont like it. Theyll say that Google is competing unfairly, some say, and theyll jump to other platforms. But that wouldnt happen. There isnt a single vendor thats upset about Google acquiring Motorola Mobility. In fact, all those competing vendors continue to sell products running Android. If they dont care about that, why would they care about a Google-branded tablet?