News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Android tablet makers curbing production, says analyst

Jun 2, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

After relatively slow early sales, Asus, Motorola, and Samsung have reduced their Android tablet manufacturing plans by about 10 percent, according to a JP Morgan analyst. Meanwhile, the rumored Android tablet could sell 2.4 million units in 2012 without significantly cannibalizing the company's Kindle e-reader sales, according to a Piper Jaffray analyst.

Apple's tablet rivals are apparently slamming on the brakes. That's according to JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz, who suggested in a recent research note that Android tablet manufacturers Asus, Motorola, and Samsung are reducing build plans for their respective tablet offerings by about 10 percent, following a lukewarm reception by consumers and businesses. Research In Motion (RIM) is said to be similarly scaling back its BlackBerry-branded Playbook.

"Non-Apple tablet hopefuls have adjusted to the weak showing so far," he wrote, according to the International Business Times. "In our view, the technical and form factor improvements of the iPad 2 stand to make it tougher for the first generation of competitive offerings to play catch-up, meaning actual shipments could fall well short of plan."

Apple sold 4.7 million iPads in its fiscal 2011 second quarter, which saw the release of the iPad 2. Overall, the company's mobile devices helped buoy its overall revenues to $24.67 billion with a net profit of $5.99 billion. The iPad's popularity could be having a noticeable effect on PC sales, which research firm IHS iSuppli pegged as falling 0.3 percent during the first quarter of the year.

"The increasing momentum of the media-tablet market, led by the iPad, is creating a difficult environment for the PC industry," Matthew Wilkins, an analyst with the firm, wrote in a May 24 statement.

"IHS believes that the jury is still out on exactly how much tablets are cannibalizing PC sales," Wilkins continued. "However, the rising number of tablet models on the market, along with certain high-profile product launches during the first quarter, caused confusion among consumers as to exactly how to view the tablet platform relative to the PC platform."

That confusion, he added, "contributed to the PC sales decline in the first quarter." Whether or not the iPad is having a negative impact on PCs, manufacturers certainly want a piece of the consumer tablet market that Apple helped create.

The past several months have seen the release of everything from the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to RIM's Playbook to the Motorola Xoom (pictured), the first device to run the tablet-optimized Android 3.0. As each of these devices readied for its market debut, media and pundits chattered about its potential as an "iPad Killer," a tablet with the sales potential to challenge Apple's lock on the nascent market.

So far, however, actual sales of each new tablet haven't come close to those of the iPad. Some, however, such as the seven-inch Galaxy Tab (pictured at left) and the RIM PlayBook, have reportedly posted respectable numbers.

A report on this week's Computex show by Tuan Nguyen on Tom's Hardware appears to support the JP Morgan analysis on Android tablets. After first noting a general impression of attendees about how "slow" Computex seems this year compared to last, Nguyen reports that new Android tablets are everywhere.

Nevertheless, several tablet vendor reps told him anonymously that while it was important for a company to field an Android tablet to show they're in the game, it was not likely that any of the tablets would compete with the iPad. One reason cited was that Android users are seen as being cheap compared to Apple iOS users. This was backed up by a Distimo study this week that says that Android Market has significantly fewer paid apps than Apple's AppStore — and that they are earning less money for developers.

Nguyen added that a number of vendor reps told him that if one company could compete with Apple it would be Samsung, which has had one proven success in tablets. Perhaps more importantly, it manufacturers its own LCD displays, thereby controlling costs.

Amazon tablet could sell 2.4 million units

Apple could face a substantial new rival in an Android-based tablet from, with Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster theorizing in a recent research note that the online retailer could sell as many as 2.4 million devices in 2012.

Munster's note came in the wake of one by Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin, itself suggesting that Amazon is planning to release at least one Android tablet in time for the holiday 2011 season. One earlier report suggested the tablet is being built by Quanta, while another suggested Samsung was the manufacturer.

Munster also theorized that an Amazon tablet would barely affect sales of the Linux-based Kindle e-reader. However, until Amazon actually announces a tablet, analyst conjecture necessarily remains in the land of the theoretical.

Nicholas Kolakowski is a writer for eWEEK.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.