Android: Fragmentation or Freedom (Editorial)

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Many people — especially so-called “industry experts” — point out that no Android tablet has anywhere near the market share of the iPad, and they’re right. But they’re also wrong, and they’re doing the industry and their readers a disservice by presenting what can only be considered a biased viewpoint — but it sells magazines.

A recent headline reads “No Android tablet has eclipsed 5% market share“. Those numbers don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole story either.

Apple has two tablets, but somehow the articles don’t differentiate between the two. Why is that? When it comes to Android, they seem to have no problem separating tablets made by different manufacturers, or even different tablets made by the same manufacturer.

Apple does own the tablet market with a reported 73%. If we assume an equal spread between the iPad 1 and iPad 2, that’s around 36% each — which is more than the “rest” of the tablets combined. It’s a legitimate statistic — unless you count PC-based tablets which have been around for years. And what about eBook readers, aren’t they just specialized tablets? Shouldn’t both of those be included in the statistics? But I digress.

It’s the one-size-fits-all approach, which Apple capitalizes upon, that is the opposite of Android. Android doesn’t gain its strength from selling raw numbers of identical pieces of hardware. Android is whatever you want, whenever you want. It’s flexible, it’s customizable. In short: Android is choice, Android is freedom.

Even the Google’s Android Market mirrors this sentiment. It’s built on trust. If an app does something it shouldn’t, it’s removed only after it’s been “proven guilty”. Apple and Microsoft adopt a “prove your innocence” metaphor for apps submitted to their stores. Can you imagine the ramifications if public policy mimicked this form of “justice”?

Freedom of choice is the foundation of the country in which I reside. People were fed up with a tyrannical government telling them what they could and could not do. They left and started their own country, “conceived in Liberty” and the freedom to choose.

So where others opine and complain about how Android is “falling behind” Apple, or being “fragmented”, I simply look at the number of Android tablets available on the market today. I look at the varied sizes of tablets (5-inches to 11-inches). I look at their different capabilities. I look at the raw number of devices that you and I have to chose from.

I don’t see “confusion” or “fragmentation”. I see freedom.

What do you see?

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy".By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.