Lei Jun, CEO & co-founder of Xiaomi, published a blog post this morning (Beijing time) elaborating on why Android tablets don’t sell and what his company has done trying to improve the situation.
His conclusion is the problem is in the Android app development ecosystem — In short, there are not many quality apps for Android devices with bigger screens. He argues that consumers may buy a phone installed with any operating system as long as they can make phone calls and send text messages with it. Since the two functions are absent with tablets, what motivates consumers to buy Android tablets can only be apps, and it should be a large number of good ones — That’s why iPad series sell.
We know the problem with Android tablet isn’t about price or choices. It’s easy to make an Android tablet the device and the cost can be very low. Android tablets of all price levels are on the market.
We also know that software developers are not motivated to create high-quality Android apps for bigger screens is because (1) in general developers make less money for Android apps then from iOS apps; (2) low end Android devices don’t run sophisticated apps such as games well.
Xiaomi, according to Mr. Lei, has done a lot to make developing high-quality apps for Xiaomi tablets appealing.
1. Mr. Lei touts that Tegra K1 processor in Xiaomi tablets is so powerful that the gaming performance can be as well as on PC. — Encouraging developers for PC software to migrate the existing products or create new ones for Xiaomi tablets.
2. The the screen of Xiaomi tablets is the same with iPad Mini Retina in both specs and size. — It’s easier for iOS developers to replicate their apps for iPad Mini. Does it feel to you that Xiaomi is so humble that it does such a favor to developers or that this company cannot do anything to change the hardware performance?
3. MIUI, the customized Android system Xiaomi has been making improvements on, has had 50 million users that developers cannot ignore. Xiaomi has had a group of dedicated developers making products tailored for MIUI.
He doesn’t say anything about how to help developers make revenues from Xiaomi tablets. On Xiaomi phones, developers get about 70% of revenues from paid themes, paid in-game items, or other in-app items or paid services. But Xiaomi, apart from the 30% revenue cuts, has way more revenue sources that include display or search advertising.