NVIDIA CEO Says Android Tablets Aren't Selling Well

Why haven't Android tablets enjoyed success similar to Android smartphones or Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPad? According to NVIDIA's (Nasdaq: NVDA  ) CEO:

It's a point-of-sales problem. It's an expertise-at-retail problem. It's a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price-point problem. And it's a software richness of content problem.

Motorola Mobility's (NYSE: MMI  ) CEO adds, "Consumers want more apps for Android tablets."   

Whoa! Enough, already! Android tablet sales were supposed to take off once they featured the Honeycomb version, which was developed for tablets. But in the first quarter, Motorola Mobility shipped a total of only 250,000 Xoom tablets. By comparison, about 1 million iPad 2s sold the first weekend it was available.

NVIDIA's CEO cares because his company's Tegra 2 chip is the brains behind both the Xoom and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1. He believes the problems are getting solved, with tablet manufacturers adjusting their plans and Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) setting up a dedicated location called Tablet Central.

That's nice, but I still think the advantage goes to Apple. My experiences shopping at Best Buy have sent me to Amazon.com, whereas my experiences at Apple's retail stores keep me coming back. I also suspect that Apple will remain first in line for apps, given its huge installed base.

Although one or more Android tablets are expected to be among the top tablet runners-up to the iPad, lukewarm Android tablets sales don't bode well for Motorola Mobility, Samsung,Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) , Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) , or Sony. (RIM's PlayBook can run Android apps in what appeared to be an unsuccessful eleventh-hour attempt to make the product more compelling.) Sony at least has a unique and attractive product design working in its favor.

Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE: HPQ  ) forthcoming webOS-based TouchPad could face many of the same hurdles as Android tablets. Getting app developers' attention could be even tougher than for Android. HP does have a strong retail presence, but it falls well short of Apple's retail savvy. HP's consumer marketing is vastly improved in recent years, too, but again it falls short of Apple's. On a brighter note, there are indications that when it comes to the core operating system, HP's webOS is in the same league as Apple's iOS and ahead of Android.

Foolish takeaway
The tablet runners-up may wind up looking like the horses that followed Secretariat across the finish line at the Kentucky Derby, and when it comes to business, coming in a distant second or third doesn't pay off as well as running a close race.

Which tablets will be runners-up to the iPad, and will they win any meaningful tablet market share? An easy way to stay on top of market developments is The Motley Fool's free new My Watchlist feature. You can get up-to-date news and analysis by adding these stocks to your Watchlist now.

Fool contributor Cindy Johnson owns no shares of any stock in this story. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Best Buy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Best Buy, Amazon.com, Apple, and NVIDIA, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, and writing puts in NVIDIA. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 30, 2011, at 12:56 PM, jwtrotter wrote:

    Another article by Motley Fool that is a complete waste of time with no real substance or valid data.

  • Report this Comment On May 30, 2011, at 6:30 PM, Detfan wrote:

    You are HIGHLY discounting HP's ability in the marketplace, and also discounting the superiority of WEBos over Ios. Two huge mistakes in your writings. HP's Touchpad will leap to number 2 in sales, and will be the serious tablet owners choice of product.

  • Report this Comment On May 31, 2011, at 7:26 AM, Melci wrote:

    What the myriad of iPad competitors are terrified about is that the iPad is looking very much like the iPod whose decade-long dominance of the media player market and music markets has already translated into utter dominance of the 3-4" mini tablet market with the iPod touch.

    Despite the best efforts of everyone including Microsoft and the Plays For Sure alliance, Sony, Dell, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Creative, Archos and the music cartel themselves, the iPod has destroyed all competition despite cheaper challengers being available.

    Sounds a lot like the iPad doesn't it?

    Amazing what happens when carriers, contracts, BOGOF offers and exclusives can't get in the way of the most elegant product with the largest ecosystem of apps, third party hardware peripherals, media store and the most popular and ubiquitous retail presence.

    The parallels are all there including the fact that just like the iTunes Music store dominates the music market, the iOS App Store utterly dominates the App market.

    Then there are the thousands of iPad accessories and peripherals which just like iPod accessories and peripherals before them, fill the shelves of every retailer.

    All hail the iPad - the new iPod.

    -Mart

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