I've been thinking about writing this editorial for some time now. And today, with the announcement of Panasonic's upcoming Toughbook Android tablet, I finally decided to go for it. The point this article is trying to make may not be abundantly clear in the title, so let me see if I can get it across as a question: Is it just me, or are there a suspiciously large number of companies in or planning to enter the Android tablet market?
If you head over to Amazon's Facebook page right now and press "Like," you'll find the first product in Amazon's ongoing A-Z Sweepstakes, a Motorola XOOM, is up for grabs. Eight of them - to be precise. All you have to do is give Amazon your name, email address, and phone number to enter. This is a US residents-only contest, though (unlike our super-awesome Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi Giveaway.)
No doubt you've seen at least one mention of the 100,000-XOOM sales figure somewhere on the web today - and for me, it has reached the point of mild annoyance. From this number, all sorts of wild extrapolations and theories are being tossed around about Motorola's future, Android's future, and the viability of tablets in an Apple-dominated market.
Boy Genius Report took a step back, and presented a level-headed but clearly pro-XOOM take on the news:
So, according to Deutsche Bank, Motorola has sold 100,000 XOOM tablets in less than a month and a half, which is an average of over 75,000 units per month.
Well-known budget electronics manufacturer ASUS has a big splash-page promo up on Best Buy's website right now for the upcoming Eee Pad Transformer, the manufacturer's first Honeycomb (Android 3.0) tablet, and it's not exactly subtle:
It's a fair comparison - both will probably break their hinges around the same time
The (unintentional) irony here being that ASUS's product aren't exactly known for their top-notch materials (I'm not saying their products are faulty - just a little flimsy).
Yesterday at CTIA, Samsung unveiled its revamped Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the all-new Galaxy Tab 8.9 (check out our live coverage of the event). Unfortunately, that's about all Samsung did with them - neither was ever powered on. Samsung's CTIA exhibit housed the new devices in glass security cases (as you can see below), while early "prototypes" of the 8.9 and 10.1 running Honeycomb with Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 overlay were available for hands-on time, in order to demonstrate some of the software the company plans to include when the devices are released.
Okay, so maybe this doesn't directly relate to Android, but man, do we think some Android fans are going to like this one. With all respect to Apple, most of us are familiar with their promotional videos which can be a little, let's say, "predictable" at times. Beloved late night host Conan O'Brien created this mock iPad 2 video that... well, let's just let the clip speak for itself:
While we at Android Police don't exactly wait with bated breath to hear what Steve Jobs has to say at Apple announcements like the one for the iPad 2 today, we would be fooling ourselves to pretend that Apple products don't directly affect the market for Android devices. While an Android fan's first reaction to the latest iAnnouncement is often to (understandably) bash the smooth-talking fruit company from Cupertino, I believe that today's events could shake up the tablet market for the better.
You've seen it: a new Android tablet is featured on some mainstream media's program or website, and you know it's coming, but you still can't help but clench your sphincter muscles just a little when you hear it...
Will it be an iPad killer?
Samsung's attempt to compete with the iPad...
The latest inferior and insignificant non-Apple offering that we're forced to cover...
Can't they see that this is like describing Colin Firth as a wanna-be Tom Cruise?
Words With Friends, the wildly popular iOS game by everyone's favorite company Zynga, has come to Android, after weeks of anticipation. WWF is one of the most addicting and well made word games on the planet, and as of a few hours ago, you can download it for free from the Android Market.
Here's the best part: Words With Friends is cross-platform, so you can play up to 20 simultaneous games and kick your iOS buddies' butts all at the same time.
Less than a week after the Best Buy ad for the XOOM was leaked, the official pre-order page has launched. Stunningly, the price quoted on the website is $1,199.99, significantly higher than the price quoted on the original ad which was $799.
Best Buy pre-order page
If true, the price is an exorbitant markup over the retail price shown in two separate tips we've received of the product listing in the Best Buy systems: both show the XOOM as costing Best Buy $550, with the employee price being just $577.50.