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31 August 2011, 15:11

iPad vs Android tablets: onto the next round

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Anrdoid Icon The IFA consumer electronics trade show is set to demonstrate that iPad alternatives do exist: new Android tablets have been announced by vendors such as Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba. The tablet announced by Medion is also likely to come with Google's open source mobile operating system, and HTC might present its first 10-inch tablet.

A survey by market researchers ABIresearch concluded that Android tablets have grabbed a market share of about 20 per cent from market leader Apple in a year. However, ABIresearch said that no individual manufacturer has managed to become a significant competitor – since its introduction in April 2010, 29 million iPad devices have been sold – "None are separating themselves from the pack", said ABIresearch expert Jeff Orr. Some vendors have even launched their tablets at a higher price than that of the iPad.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1
Source: Samsung
Beneath Berlin's radio tower, various manufacturers are making a new attempt at an 'iPad-killer'. Korean vendor Samsung says that there will be tablet news at the IFA show, which starts on 2 September; insiders expect a further Android model in the Galaxy series, perhaps a particularly small and more mobile device.

Samsung last made the news when Apple managed to stop the sale of Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices in Germany with a temporary injunction. Apple is accusing Samsung of copying the iPad and infringing intellectual property rights; the accusations revolve around protected designs. A Samsung PR spokesperson in Cologne said that the decision won't affect Samsung's IFA presentation, and that devices that have already been delivered to retailers will continue to be sold.

Zoom Sony's "S1" and "S2" tablets will get their proper names at IFA and are scheduled to go on sale thereafter.
Source: Sony
At IFA, Sony will show its first Android tablets, due to be launched in the near future: one of the two Android models has a 9.4-inch screen and is mainly intended for reading online content and digital books. The smaller device flips open and has two 5.5-inch screens. The official device names will be introduced at the IFA show.

Chinese vendor Huawei also plans to present a tablet at IFA. The MediaPad with a 7-inch screen is scheduled to become available in November. Whether HTC will introduce a successor for its Flyer tablet computer remains unknown; the Taiwanese manufacturer has issued invitations for a new device presentation on the eve of the IFA show but hasn't provided any details. There are, however, rumours about a new 10-inch tablet by the name of "Puccini".

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(Peter Zschunke / crve)

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