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Google's Eric Schmidt admits 'we were late to tablet game'

Google: we were late to tablet game
Google readying bigger assault on tablet market

Eric Schmidt says there are 1.3 million Android activations each day, but it's still playing catch up.

The Google executive chairman, speaking at the launch of the new Motorola Droid Razr family, confirmed that the globally installed Android base is at nearly half a billion devices globally, putting it at the number one position in the mobile OS game.

"We've got 1.3million Android activations per day, with 70,000 of those being on tablets, which is growing very fast, but we were late to market for tablets compared to our competitors."

Worldwide winners

But Schmidt, despite stating that the company hadn't begun the most efficient way in the tablet market, said that overall Android is far outstripping its rivals:

"[The 500 million install base] puts us in the number one position by far. Depending on the numbers you use, we're two to three times larger than our competitors.

"According to Comscore, 52 percent of the U.S. is on Android, 32 percent is on the iPhone and the others are following."

Long game

The notion that Google was "late" to the Android tablet market is an interesting admission. The first tablet that used Honeycomb, Google's tablet-optimised OS - the Motorola Xoom - was available almost a year after the original iPad, which gave Apple a huge lead in the tablet PC space.

However, Google has been bullish about its ability to provide decent alternatives - the Google Nexus 7 is a good example of that - it shows that it now believes it can make real inroads into Apple's market share in the slate market if it's comfortable making such statements.