Ben Evans illustrates the difficulty of accounting for really cheap android tablets. While we know they are probably there and selling a lot (given the components being used/sold), looking at the components is a really backwards way of trying to determine the devices. And since none of these can be tracked through normal analysis (i.e. They aren’t sold in retail where there are studies, they don’t show up in Google activations or the ad impressions, manufacturers don’t disclose numbers, etc), this backwards guess is all we have.
But Ben doesn’t stop there. Instead he asks the far more interesting question: what happens when an internet connected, touch screen, smart computer can be built for $35? What will that do to innovation now that the components are starting to be so cheaply available and the OS (Android) is completely free? It’s an exciting thing to think about.