Google hoped Android to be on 1/3 of all tablets by 2011

Acheived goal of 10 million sold, but missed marketshare substantially.

The software company Oracle is suing Google over the latter's use of Oracle's intellectual property in its Android operating system, and the trial is shaping up to be an illuminating look at the inside of Google over the period in which it built up to launching its first phone.

Today, we find out that, as of July 2010, Google expected to sell 10 million Android tablets over the course of 2011, and to capture a third of the entire tablet market.

Those are big figures, given at the time there wasn't a single Android tablet available. Two years on, and it seems like the first of the goals has been achieved, but the second is a long way off. The Verge reported in February that 12 million Android tablets had been sold, a figure which doesn't count tablets like Amazon's Kindle Fire which run on the Android operating system but don't have any of the hooks into Google's software suite.

As for the marketshare target, it appears Google – or rather, Morgan Stanley, upon whose analysis the figures are based – underestimated the potential size of the tablet market. They assumed that there would be 46 million sold by the end of 2012. In fact, Apple alone has sold 67 million iPads, with two thirds of the year (including Christmas) left to go.

The path ahead doesn't look any clearer for Google in the tabloid market. Comscore today reported that more than half of all Android tablets sold in February were Kindle Fires. These tablets run Android, and are cross compatible with a number of apps, but have none of Google's proprietary software installed, and so offer the advertising giant no easy way to monetize their use. The success of the Kindle Fire would be good for Android qua open source operating system, but not so good for Android qua Google's saviour from the declining returns of search advertising.

Google has a long way to go in the tablet space, and its start can't have been helped by thinking that a sizeable market share was a fait accompli.

An Android tablet is demonstrated at CES in Las Vegas. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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PMQs review: Theresa May shows again that Brexit means hard Brexit

The Prime Minister's promise of "an end to free movement" is incompatible with single market membership. 

Theresa May, it is commonly said, has told us nothing about Brexit. At today's PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn ran with this line, demanding that May offer "some clarity". In response, as she has before, May stated what has become her defining aim: "an end to free movement". This vow makes a "hard Brexit" (or "chaotic Brexit" as Corbyn called it) all but inevitable. The EU regards the "four freedoms" (goods, capital, services and people) as indivisible and will not grant the UK an exemption. The risk of empowering eurosceptics elsewhere is too great. Only at the cost of leaving the single market will the UK regain control of immigration.

May sought to open up a dividing line by declaring that "the Labour Party wants to continue with free movement" (it has refused to rule out its continuation). "I want to deliver on the will of the British people, he is trying to frustrate the British people," she said. The problem is determining what the people's will is. Though polls show voters want control of free movement, they also show they want to maintain single market membership. It is not only Boris Johnson who is pro-having cake and pro-eating it. 

Corbyn later revealed that he had been "consulting the great philosophers" as to the meaning of Brexit (a possible explanation for the non-mention of Heathrow, Zac Goldsmith's resignation and May's Goldman Sachs speech). "All I can come up with is Baldrick, who says our cunning plan is to have no plan," he quipped. Without missing a beat, May replied: "I'm interested that [he] chose Baldrick, of course the actor playing Baldrick was a member of the Labour Party, as I recall." (Tony Robinson, a Corbyn critic ("crap leader"), later tweeted that he still is one). "We're going to deliver the best possible deal in goods and services and we're going to deliver an end to free movement," May continued. The problem for her is that the latter aim means that the "best possible deal" may be a long way from the best. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.