Google has now activated 70 million Android tablets, but how many of those devices are getting regular use? Benedict Evans, a strategy consultant for Enders Analysis, finds himself puzzled that all those Android tablets aren’t yet making a significant dent in the iPad’s lead in either mobile traffic or mobile ad revenues and wonders just who is buying all these Android tablets. Evans notes that Google’s Nexus tablet series, which is generally seen as delivering the best overall user experience among Android tablets, makes up only a tiny share of the Android tablet market.
As such, Evans speculates that there are three possible explanations for the wide gap between Android tablet shipments and Android tablet use: “These tablets are being bought in emerging markets (but not China, since Chinese devices generally aren’t activated and so won’t be in these numbers) and not using western sites; they’re being bought in developed markets and being used much less, or not at all; they’re being bought and not used for the internet — they’re cheap kids’ tablets, baby monitors, points of sale devices.”
Evans thinks that “the truth is probably a mix of the three” and that “the tiny share of Nexus sales suggests that people buying these devices are much less interested in a good experience than in the lowest possible price.”