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?
Google May Have No Choice but to Try and Profit From Tablets
5. Amazon is a huge threat
Although Google is widely viewed as a mobile juggernaut, the company has a real threat in Amazon . The online retail giant offers a wildly popular tablet, the Kindle Fire and its App Store is becoming a top destination for many Android Market developers. Theres a good chance that if Google doesnt offer its own tablet, it might hand over too much power to Amazon as its slate gains popularity.
6. Tablets are arguably more important than smartphones
Theres no debating Google has the smartphone market firmly under its control. But looking ahead, there appears to be a good chance that tablets, and not smartphones, could become more important. After all, tablets could replace both smartphones and laptops for some consumers. More importantly, tablets could become huge in the enterprise. Its best for Google to capitalize on that now and not when its too late.
7. It could hurt smartphone adoption
Although Android-based handsets are selling exceedingly well right now , if Google cant make a mark in the tablet space, that could change. As consumers get used to products from Apple or Microsoft in the tablet market, they might turn their backs on Android-based smartphones. Its no secret Apples iPad is successful because of the iPhone. So, what makes anyone think Google might start having trouble in smartphones because of tablets?
8. Think about the upside
From a financial perspective, Google could make a solid argument that getting into tablets could be a good idea. Companies that are successfully selling tablets are making a serious amount of cash on each sale. Google, meanwhile, isnt making a dime on any tablet out there. As investors start to realize that, Google might have no choice but to try and profit off tablets.
9. It forces Tim Cook to prove hes like Jobs
Right now, Apple isnt concerned about anything in the tablet space. The iPad is the top slate on store shelves, and it has no other competitor to worry about. But if Google launches a tablet and puts Apple on notice, for the first time, Tim Cook will be tested. And hell have to prove he can live up to the legacy set forth by his predecessor, Steve Jobs.
10. Say so long to Microsoft
Microsoft is currently looking to enter the tablet space when Windows 8 launches. Right now, however, the software company has no presence there. If Google can get out ahead of Windows 8, it might make it more difficult for Microsofts vendor partners to enter the fray and succeed. Windows 8 can either be a thorn in Googles side or the operating system that, due to the search giants efforts, leads to Microsofts eventual downfall. The choice is up to Google, and tablets might just be the devices to help seal the deal.