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The Tablet Wars

January 17, 2011
Last week at CES in Las Vegas, the talk was all about tablets. Specifically, what can really challenge the iPad and its dominance in the tablet market?' That competition is poised to come from none other than Google. According to ReadWriteWeb, the best new tablet, belongs to Android and its Motorola Xoom. "The Motorola Xoom, an Android tablet that will run Google's new tablet-only version of Android called "Honeycomb" already bests the current iPad in terms of technical specifications." With its two cameras, high resolution screen, ability to upgrade to 4G, and support of Adobe flash, the Xoom introduces new features such as video chat via Google Talk, access to Google E-books, tabbed Web browsing and better multitasking. Though the Xoom has not officially been introduced to the market yet, CNET picked it as "Best In Show" and was chosen as the best overall tablet by other large tech blogs such as Gizmodo, PopSci and Engadget. In terms of the big picture, another reason that Android was the big winner of the conference lies in the fact its software is ubiquitous. A writer for Times of India explains, "The company's Android software is everywhere - with every other smartphone or tablet being launched running on different versions of its Android operating system." Honeycomb a.k.a. Android 3.0 is responsible for powering devices like the Motorola Xoom and other Android software is behind various products from Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG and Dell. Google is in this game to win and is well positioned to challenge Apple head on with its new devices. Before any company can really dethrone Apple, the tech world has to await the release of the much-anticipated iPad 2. And many are confident that Apple has enough of an early mover advantage to stave off competitors. According to eWeek.com's Clint Boultin: "iPad has a more than one year head-start on most tablets and is prepping for an iPad 2 launch this spring, making it extra challenging for the non-iPad tablets to gain traction in businesses that have grown to trust the iPad." However, Bountin points out that Android could potentially pose a serious invasion of the tablet market because "it happened in the smartphone sector. No reason to believe it can't happen in the burgeoning tablet market." While there is only one Apple product in this race, just like in the smartphone market, Android is rolling out several products to compete with the iPad. The sheer amount of devices is certainly a competitive advantage in terms of tablet market share. One thing is certain, with an estimated 82 million tablet owners in the US by 2015, it will certainly be an all-out war to own the tablet market. Game on.