Since Apple launched the iPad back in April 2010, an entire industry has set its eyes on this brand new market of internet touch screen tablets. Aided by its amazing marketing machine, Apple took the world by storm with the iPad, selling a whopping 7.5 million devices over the course of 2010. Competition is never far behind in the consumer electronics industry with tech giants like Samsung, Archos, and HTC preparing their own internet tablets to grab a larger piece of the enormously lucrative market. For this reason, 2011 is set to be an intense year for tablet enthusiasts, a potential year of the tablet as many pundits claim.
The iPad has been successful in captivating the minds and souls of millions of people from around the world. The elegance of its design, the quality of the manufacturing and the refined simplicity so closely associated with Apple have transformed the touch screen tablet into an instant hit. It is estimated that the iPad currently holds a massive 95% of the internet tablet market. In April, Apple is expected to announce the next generation of internet tablets, the iPad2, which will feature many improvements over its predecessors.
Nevertheless, Google, the archenemy of Apple in the mobile world, has pushed hard its Android operating system and turned itself into a competitor that can take on even the mighty iOS. Taking advantage of its open nature (Android is free to license), Samsung created a serious challenger to the iPad: the Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy is a 7 touch screen tablet, hailed for its features such as the dual cameras and Flash support. In 2011, the Galaxy Tab is expected to lead the Android tablets pack and gain a strong foothold in the ever-expanding internet tablet market.
Almost every major consumer electronics manufacturer has announced or is rumored to launch a touch screen tablet in 2011. Most of these will be Android tablets, although some companies such will use their own OS. Among them, RIM is expected to announce an internet tablet called Playbook, and Asus has announced that it will produce Windows-powered devices along with a series of Android tablets.
Motorola has already begun teasing an Android tablet powered by Honeycomb, aka Android 3.0. Rumored to be called the Xoom, the tablet will employ the advanced capabilities of Honeycomb to threaten the virtual monopoly held by Apple on the internet table market.
Asus, the successful Taiwanese netbook manufacturer, will present its line of Android tablets at the 2011 CES, in Las Vegas. The touch screen tablets from Asus will have various form factors and feature cutting edge components, such as an HD screen and a dual-core processor.
Acer, Toshiba, Panasonic, Archos and a slew of smaller manufacturers also have plans to launch their own Android tablets during the 2011 CES. There is a real race to secure a foothold in the touch screen tablet market, a race that will have consequences for years to come.