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Android tablet numbers “lack transparency” despite rising popularity

by Kristen Nicole

The Android tablet market can be a scary place, full of dark corners and jaded personalities. At least that’s how it seems the Android tablet market is being portrayed in a recent report from InfoWorld’s Galen Gruman. He delves into the numbers from several analytics firms to take a closer look at the Android tablet market, recently trumped up by Kindle Fire sales. According to Gruman, a lack of transparency is the biggest obstacle to understanding the Android tablet market, creating a stark contrast between sales from OEMs like HTC and Samsung and Apple’s more revealing stats on iPad shipments and sales (there’s a difference, you know).

One of the questions raised by Gruman is in regards to the latest Strategy Analytics report, which cited a 39 percent market share for Android tablets in the fourth quarter of 2011. Given Android’s dive in overall market share in Q4, in part thanks to a major iPhone release, Gruman calls for more data to reach conclusive claims about Android’s real tablet figures.

An expanding Android tablet ecosystem

But even if Strategy Analytics took liberties in their inclusive data for their report, the industry as a whole expects the Android tablet market to take off. ARM, which has seen a great deal of success with its mobile chips thanks to Android’s rise, says the Android tablet market merely needs more time. Warren East, ARM’s CEO, recalled Android’s early smartphone growth pattern during a Q&A session following ARM’s earnings call this week, noting it took a bit of time for Android’s numbers to catch up to the hype.

The Android tablet ecosystem is also gaining traction from the developer community, creating apps for Honeycomb’s more liberal screen capabilities and Ice Cream Sandwich’s unifying layout. Personal finance service Mint has optimized its app for Android tablets today, an update that follows their iPad edition. With features that animate your spending data over time, the Mint team found that Honeycomb’s hardware acceleration enabled a range of new visualization methods for end users.