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Google’s Android chief says tablet sales will kick into high gear this year

by David Needle

February 27 2012

Google's Android head honcho Andy Rubin predicts 2012 will be a much better year for Android-based tablets.
Google's Android head honcho Andy Rubin predicts 2012 will be a much better year for Android-based tablets.

How do you measure success in the tablet market when even millions of sales pales next to Apple’s market leading iPad?

Google’s Android chief Andy Rubin tried to put a positive spin on the sales of Android tablets to date, noting that the 12 million units sold so far is “not insignificant.” But he also conceded in a meeting with reporters at the Mobile Wold Congress that 12 million is “less than I'd expect it to be if you really want to win.” 

Rubin said "2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we're winning in that space,” according to a report on the Google exec's remarks in The Verge. 

"Winning" from Google's perspective may be more a matter of increasing its sales momentum rather than catching Apple any time soon when you consider that Apple’s sold over 50 million iPads in the past two years, 15 million in just the last quarter. 

In response to a question about the lack of high quality apps for Android tablets, Rubin said "I can't force someone to write a tablet app," adding that developers are "looking at market share and... being frugal." 

But he also said Google will continue to evangelize the Android platform and sees momentum already building. "We're now starting to get on the radar, and I'm hoping people decide to put in the muscle and make their apps work great on tablets,” he said. 

Google may also take matters more directly into its own hands. DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim says he expects Google to release its own branded Android tablet, a 7-inch model, that could be unveiled as soon as this April. 

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