While the market is flooded with Android tablets, Google’s mobile operating system and the app ecosystem around it, is not really known to be conducive to the growth of tablets. Barring some showcase devices like the Nexus 7, that have gained popularity, Android tablets face stiff competition from Apple’s iPad and iPad mini that run iOS and Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets that run a heavily customised fork of Android stripped of standard Google integration.
However, at an event where Google unveiled the next generation Nexus 7 tablet, which has been made in partnership with Asus, Google announced that it has witnessed 70 million tablet activations, a major increase from the 10 million tablet activations that it recorded the year before.
It also announced that it now has 1 million apps on Google Play, with over 50 billion app downloads, a major increase compared to 20 billion app downloads that it reported last year. However, it did not give the count of tablet optimised apps, which are far and few.
Google also announced that revenue per user on Google Play has increased 2.5 times over the last year, which implies that more tablet users are now paying for apps, which is good news for developers.
It also announced that its Nexus 7 tablet had done really well with over 10 percent of Android tablets being Nexus 7 devices, and that 45 percent of Android tablets sold in Japan during holidays were Nexus 7 tablets.
To offer some context, Apple sold 14.6 million iPads in the last quarter. If we total the number of iPads sold by Apple in the last four quarter, the figure comes out close to 71 million which is a little more than the figure given out by Google. It’s worth mentioning that a lot of Android tablets including a majority sold in China are not connected to Google’s Play Store and might be excluded from the count. Out of the 900,000 iOS app available, around 375,000 are made for the iPad. Clearly, the iPad has a much better app ecosystem but with the Nexus 7 Android is trying to close the gap, even as the apps lag behind.