Android 4.0 Tablets Will Have a Great Third Quarter

As Windows 8 slates won't rise before Q4, Google's OS has a nice advantage

It wasn't too long ago that we wrote about the slight decline of interest in the Android operating system, and now we get to look at the other side of the equation, so to speak.

In Q1, 2012, tablet shipments ended up decreasing, compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, by more than was expected.

The Android operating system was blamed for it, as IDC found that shipments of tablets running it were weaker than they should have been.

This all suggests that the initial enthusiasm about the new product type is finally settling down.

Windows 8 is believed to be the factor that will start a second episode of rapid tablet adoption.

Such slates won't actually be out before the fourth quarter though, which gives Google's own operating system some time to maneuver.

As such, Digitimes predicts that Q4 will have Android 4.0-based slates as the dominant products in the segment, where “segment” probably means the non-iPad tablet market. The flat demand is given as the motive behind product makers' decision not to lunge at the idea of Windows 8 pads too fast.

To elaborate, the second and third quarters are going to pit Android only against Apple's iOS. Q2 may be affected by the so-called post-holiday slowdown, but consumers should regain their willingness to spend money by July.

This all forms a fairly ironic, even paradoxical, state of affairs. Tablet sales are weakening and Android is blamed, so companies are holding off on Windows 8 until interest in slates rekindles, which gives the Android operating system more time as primary mobile OS besides the one used by Apple.

In short, Android is benefiting from a situation it is blamed for. We're tempted to say none of this is really the OS's fault, since that would allow this maneuver on the part of product suppliers to actually make sense, but we're not the analysts with charts and numbers.

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