Over on Techcrunch it’s fun to watch the comments come in after it ran yet another “Apple’s iPad still has no competitors” rant.
The Android fans are saying “just watch, Android will beat your iPad just like it beat your iPhone in market share.”*
No, this time won’t be the same.
(* I put an asterisk on this because I still haven’t seen convincing numbers that Android has beat Apple at anything that matters, like number of apps, profitability, or even sales at Verizon).
First of all, ALL THAT MATTERS IS APPS. Let’s keep repeating that until you get it.
See, with the iPhone Android got to “enough apps” that it largely took away iPhone’s advantage there. With that advantage gone, now the market could look at other things. Android beat iPhone in several key places: more carrier choices, more device choices, cheaper prices.
The thing is iPad has a total lock on the app market RIGHT NOW. Consumers won’t even be able to consider other advantages Android has until Android gets enough apps.
Now, some people think “enough” is 16, which is currently the number on Android. I totally disagree and believe the market will, too. Apple’s iPad has 60,000 apps.
Until Android gets “enough” apps (let’s say that’s 5,000) it won’t enable average people to consider it because they will look stupid when going into the store to buy one.
That’s why Google’s IO conference this year is so important. Can they convince iPad developers and others to build apps for tablets on Android?
Google needs to have a great developer story and, so far, it doesn’t have one. Mostly because its slates won’t sell nearly as well as iPads do, and even if they did have a runaway success, their app store doesn’t monetise nearly as well as Apple’s does. Can they fix that before the IO event? That’s worth watching.
That said, I can’t see any scenario that takes Apple’s iPad out of the #1 slot this year. That’s why it has no competition and why Techcrunch is right.