It is a real threat, I think. Android-powered smartphone offerings may be “fragmented” (according to Jobs) but it has the advantage of numbers. As smartphones become more of a commodity and cheaper, the sheer weight of numbers sold by big players such as Samsung, HTC, and Motorola as well as small manufacturers like CSL will dominate market share and eats into the place of current dominance of iOS iPhone. Android-OSed tablets are also fast coming into the market from many manufacturers, big and small. I will go out in a limb and say that a 7-inch tablet/pad is the maximum size that consumers want to use and still feel it is a personal device much like the iPhone; the 10-inch iPad will never endear itself to customers to treat it as personally as their phones. 7-inchers will sell better than 10-inchers.
Here is what Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of RIM, the maker of Blackberrys have to say today:
For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we know that 7-inch tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real Web experience. We also know that while Apple’s attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of Web sites that use Flash. We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple.
Watch this space in one year.