Android tablets selling badly for so many reasons, moans Nvidia CEO

Poor marketing and sales techniques are hurting the new Honeycomb breed of Android tablets, according to the top man at Nvidia.

Andy Merrett
Andy Merrett has been using mobile phones since the days when they only made voice calls. Since then he has worked his way through a huge number of Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson models. Andy is a freelance writer and is not an employee of CNET.
Andy Merrett
2 min read

Nvidia's CEO is far from happy at how the new crop of Honeycomb-laden Android tablets are being received. Jen-Hsun Huang listed a whole raft of problems with the way the first tablets have been priced, marketed and sold, in a recent interview with our sister site CNET News.com.

"It's a point of sales problem. It's an expertise at retail problem. It's a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price point problem," said Huang. "The baseline configuration included 3G when it shouldn't have. Tablets should have a Wi-Fi configuration and be more affordable.

"And it's a software richness of content problem," he added, referring to the quality -- or perceived lack of it -- on the Android Market, especially for tablets.

It's no surprise he's fed up. His company's Tegra 2 is on board the new breed of tablets and he wants to see results. Seeing Apple's iPad 2 doing so ludicrously well -- selling 1 million in the first weekend alone -- can't be good for the blood pressure either, despite the Motorola Xoom shifting 250,000 units.

While it wasn't clear exactly where Huang was pointing the finger, it's unlikely anyone gets off the hook. Manufacturers aren't pushing their wares strongly enough, while retailers haven't been properly educated about all these shiny devices that keep appearing on their shelves.

Apple has a distinct advantage, having much more retail and marketing experience and a single brand identity. There are constant ads for the iPad on TV, and Apple Stores seem to be popping up everywhere. Apple Store employees are taught to love and understand the products.

Try training every employee in each high street electrical store or mobile phone shop to do a decent job of selling your Android tablet and you can see where they're having problems getting through to the average punter.

It's not all bad news though, with Huang extolling the virtues of future Tegra-based Honeycomb tablets. "But those problems are all getting solved. The rate at which these Honeycomb Tegra 2 tablets are being improved is really stunning. I think all of the manufacturers have now recognised that and readjusted their plans," he said. There's still a lot of work to do to dislodge the mighty Apple, however.