Android Tablets Innovating to Stay Ahead

With the craze for the Android OS hitting an all-time high, the LFY team interacted with those in the Android-based tablet space to learn more about their brands equity and where they faced the most competition from Apple’s iPad or the other Android-based tablets?

The gadget world, which is flooded with stylish hi-end gizmos, has spawned a generation of tech buffs over the past few years. With a heady mix of technology and style, tablets have made inroads into the lives of brand-loving young geeks or no-nonsense corporate honchos like never before. So much so that gadget lovers don’t mind splurging heavily to acquire the latest model, just to indulge in their taste for technology. As the obsession for this hi-tech accessory reaches a fever pitch, the primary question in every gadget lover’s mind would be whether to go in for Apple’s iPad or its more economical competitor, an Android tablet? LFY gives you an update on the royal slugfest, the essence of Android, brand value and more.

Apple versus the rest
Even though the craze for the Android OS has gone viral, Apple’s iPad continues to inspire deep loyalty from its die-hard followers. So which of them is leading the market Apple’s iPad or the competing brands and models that offer Android? Apple serves a niche segment and so we are not in the race with it. The other brands offering Android are definitely our competition, as all are devising ways to offer quality products at an effective price, says Gaurav Khanna, CEO, Go Tech Digital Pvt Ltd, a brand that recently launched a health-oriented tablet Funtab Fit.

Those at Zync Global Pvt Ltd, the company that upped its brand quotient recently by launching its lowest price tablet, the Z-999 Plus, with features that include calling, GPRS and Bluetooth, echo similar views. Says Ashish Garg, a director of the firm, With more tablets entering the market, product awareness and tech knowledge are on the rise among users. Now there is a tablet for every budget, and with the entry of many promising domestic players, the market will undergo a significant change. We see other brands that offer the Android OS as competition since many of them offer the same features we do in terms of hardware, software, multimedia usage, apps, etc. But we definitely have an extra edge, as we are the pioneers of the 4.0 ICS low-cost tablet in India.

Android on the go
Blessed with several nifty and inimitable features, the Android OS has caught the imagination of the young tech junkies. That probably explains why it is easy to see Android tablets topping the popularity charts among gadget freaks. So what makes Android so special? Is it cost effectiveness or something beyond that? Asus, which launched its Eee Pad Transformer Prime with a fabulous 3D graphics performance that has previously never been seen on a tablet, is gung-ho about Google’s OS. “Android is a multi-channel, multi-carrier OS. It facilitates users in many aspects like security, privacy, speed, updated user interface design, audio, graphics, and input enhancements for game developers, etc. Android tablets are packed with the security and other exciting features that promise to deliver the most complete computing and satisfying experience,” says Alex Huang, country manager, System Business Group, ASUS India.

With the Android OS swamping the tablet market and sending the cash registers ringing, how do buyers differentiate between brands? Sushmita Das, country manager India, Kobian Pvt Ltd, which recently launched the Android 4.0-based mTab Rio, comes up with a remarkable answer.A tablet has three main features that decide its position in the market the display, the processor and connectivity. We understand the market and the product as we are the manufacturers who work closely with technology leaders. We believe in making technology simpler, and our focus on improving and innovating on the above three parameters helps us to differentiate ourselves in the crowded tablet marketplace, says she.  
Straight from the brand  
At a time when tablets are being churned out into the Indian market and brands are scrambling to be in the race, how are companies that offer hi-end models able to carve a niche of their own? At Samsung, we launched the first Galaxy Tab in 2010 and pioneered the convergence era in India, creating a niche for ourselves in this market. It would not be out of place to say that tablets have emerged as converged devices that have created a unique user experience, thereby revolutionising the lifestyle of the Indian consumer. We offer the widest range of tablets in terms of screen sizes ranging from 17.78 cm (7) to 25.65 cm (10.1) and across price points from Rs 19,000 to Rs 34,000,says Ranjit Yadav, country head, Mobile and IT, Samsung.

While Samsung has managed to make a grand entry in the era of tablet computing, Sony is not far behind. When it comes to design, it has to be Sony, feels Sachin Thapar, head, IT and the Mobile Business, Sony India. Sony tablets are optimally designed, and this is what sets them apart. With its uniquely asymmetric design, Sony’s Tablet S is similar to a magazine that’s been folded over, which makes it a wonderful experience to use for hours on end, says Thapar.

Milagrow, a home-grown brand, has launched what it claims is the slimmest tablet in India. Innovation is our key driver to success. From being the first to launch the tablet with the most ports (a SIM card slot, a full USB, an HDMI port, a memory card slot and a 3.5 mm audio jack, all in one), to launching India’s only tablet specially designed for women and rolling out the thinnest tablet the TabTop 7.4 we have done it all, quips Rajeev Karwal, CEO, Milagrow.

Adopting the open source policy!  
Intex, that claims to be the first to have launched an Android tablet in the budget segment, is charting out strategies to target the open source community. Android has a strong fan base in the open source sector and we are in the groove to cash in on this aspect. We are in touch with open source app developers to come up with applications that are India-specific. That apart, we are focusing on the youth segment, as we believe that open source has ardent young followers. Our motto is to provide them relevant and useful content related to their fields through Android technology,says Sanjay Kumar, general manager, Mobile Business, Intex Technologies (India) Ltd.

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