ViewSonic VP Says Steve Jobs Afraid of 7-inch Android Tablets

ViewSonic isn’t scared to face off against the iPad, today launching both an Android and hybrid Android-Windows tablet. In fact, according to the company’s vice president of marketing, it’s Steve Jobs who is afraid of the entire 7-inch slate category. I had an opportunity to speak with Adam Hanin a couple of days after Apple’s earnings call, during which Jobs labeled 7-inch tablets tweeners that were too big too big to compete with a smart phone and too small to compete with an iPad. And during our quick interview Hanin was ready to defend 7-inchers while also agreeing with Jobs on one of his Android criticisms.

Check out the Q&A below and lets us know if you think 7-inch tablets will succeed–or if Jobs is right.

What did you make of Steve Jobs saying that 7-inch tablets are DOA?
Hanin: Steve Jobs never says anything without thinking through it carefully. But I think in this case he may be a little afraid of this category. And he’s finding whatever he can to attack because he sees (7-inch tablets) as a challenge to the dominance of the iPad.

But if Google’s director of mobile products said Froyo isn’t ready for tablets, is it?

H: It absolutely is. We’re finding that it’s working great with our product. And we’re not alone in that. That is what’s happening in the market. There’s demand for the product.

If the ViewPad 7 is 3G capable, why not sell it through the carriers?

H: If you put a SIM card into it it’s going to work. As a vendor we’re looking for ways to enable 3G browsing that are carrier independent. We’re looking for solutions for that.

How would you position the ViewPad 7 versus Samsung’s Galaxy Tab?

H: There’s a couple of differentiators. It has no custom interface. One thing that I will agree with Steve Jobs on is that when vendors start customizing the Android OS that does potentially lead to issues. We’re committed to the open standard. What’s you’re getting is pure Android when you get the ViewPad 7.

With the dual-boot ViewPad 10 why are you using the old Android 1.6 OS for a product that’s launching in 2011?

H: That is the current software load that we’re running on it. A lot of it has to do with that we’re trying to optimize for the dual boot environment. You can use the Windows option to view Flash and run your Office programs, and then use the Android boot for entertainment and apps. We’re trying to get the best of both worlds.

A lot of tablet makers are waiting for Intel’s Oak Trail for Windows slates because it promises longer battery life. Do you see a risk in sticking with the current Atom CPU?

H: We really feel that there’s a market for the product, otherwise we wouldn’t be introducing it. There are a lot of people who like the convenience of a slate-style form factor and they want to be able to run their Office applications on it and the ability to take advantage of all of the open source Android apps out there. And they want to be able to take the same browsing experience that they have at their desk with them. We fell there are people who want this product.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. Luke Says:

    Haha.. Steve jobs was right and your wrong.. Look behind the marketing screen and the fact is that no one else has a OS which can do what the IPad can at that screen size, no one else can match on price cos cost of manufacturing is much higher when it’s not done in house, apple spent years developing the iPad and other companys just hav a bunch of rushed to market pointless featured devices.. Steve jobs is a grate man and his vision is far grater than any other tablet makers out there..

  2. NotTellinYou Says:

    A dual boot environment? Asking users to run Windows to view Flash and run Office? But then use Android boot for entertainment and other apps? You call this “the best of both worlds”? Seriously? I have a little news for you, neither of these is “best” so as they say 0+0=0!

    Is this meant to be a “consumer” device or an engineering exercise with poor product management thrown in for laughs?

    You’ve learned NOTHING from Apple, the iPod, the iPhone or the iPad. NOTHING! You’ve wasted company dollars on a “Hail Mary” totally ignoring EVERYTHING that makes an Apple product successful! It floors me that after Apple has shown the industry OVER and OVER and OVER how to do products right for the masses and yet you still choose to ignore it.

    I guess it’s true! You can lead them to water but you can’t make them drink!

  3. AdamC Says:

    Didn’t surprise me at all when idiots start to open their mouths.

    Btw I don’t think the android OS can perform in anything bigger than 7″ – it is not optimised.

    If this idiot really has a brain why didn’t they produce a tablet before the iPad.

  4. Mark Says:

    I have my opinion, but the truth is that the market will tell us all we need to know. If this product is successful, wildly successful, then great, but I think we will see the company re-orentate their goals downward. They will redefine success the way all “successful” companies do. If you set your standards low enough you will succeed.

  5. His Shadow Says:

    There is an easy way for any of Apple’s competitors to prove Jobs wrong: make a ship a 7″ tablet with a superior experience that sells millions of units. Unless and until someone does this, the competitors are blowing smoke.

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