Can Android replicate its smartphone success with tablets?

by Kristen Nicole

Android’s been quick to follow Apple (AAPL) into the handset market, and straight on into the tablet realm. And while Android’s been kicking butt and taking names as far as smartphones go, Google’s (GOOG) mobile OS may not fare so well against the iPad. The latest report from Gartner indicates that Android will only take a 24 percent market share of the tablet market by 2015, leaving Apple with nearly 50 percent. That’s a significant drop from Apple’s current reign of 69 percent, which has already fallen nearly 12 percent since last year. But in the long-run, Apple may still be the winner.

Can Android replicate smartphone success with tablets?

The report comes a mere week after Gartner surmised that Android will retain a near 50 percent hold on the smartphone market by 2015, with rapid gains in the coming year (not to mention the speedy uptake we’ve already witnessed for Android these past two years). When it comes to the tablet market, however, Android may still have a few kinks to work out.

Google’s struggles in unifying a fragmented OS and optimizing Honeycomb for the tablet world are reasons Gartner lists as potential obstacles for Android, also noting the iPad’s preferred user experience as a strong factor for consumers looking at similar price points for iOS and Android. Whether Android’s strategy for undercutting Apple prices and overwhelming the market with the sheer number of devices will translate to the tablet world remains to be seen.

Android economy lives on

Toshiba (TOSBF.PK) is still hopeful for Android’s tablet market, with an upcoming device headed to Best Buy stores soon. Joining other PC makers that have transitioned to tablet manufacturing with Android’s OS powering their devices, the Toshiba Tablet will run Android 3.0 and features an NVIDIA (NVDA) Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 10.1 inch HD screen and front- and rear-facing cameras. No details on the exact release date have been released, but Best Buy has more information here.

Adobe (ADBE), too, is increasing its resources around the tablet market. The release of CS5.5 today offers updated software for designing and developing content for tablets, with tools to help them work from tablets as well. Adobe’s swiftly expanding its mobile app offerings, and even supports HTML5 alongside Flash, acknowledging the evolving face of the mobile market. Adobe’s new monthly subscription options for its licensed software also indicates a shift in monetization goals, which should entice plenty of tablet developers and fans [via].